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Grass - Under Shade Trees

Q: My back yard gets absolutely zero sun. I have tried several things to get grass to grow back there but have failed at all attempts. I recently had a guy come out and give me an estimate for St. Augustine, but the man replied that it needed at least 4 hrs of sun a day and that if I planted it there it would be dead by next summer. Please guide me in the right direction for growing grass in the back. J.H., Wills Point.

A: No sun - no grass. Both the trees and the grass want the sunshine. Guess which one wins? You should use mulches and groundcovers and forget the grass unless you want to remove some trees.

Q:  My wife and I just bought a house.  There are several shade tree where grass is not growing.  What should I do to encourage growth?  Is there a better grass for shade and sun?

A:  You have two basic choices. Let the grass have the sunlight or let the trees have the sunlight. If the tree foliage gets to continue to have the sunlight, you'll have to change the planting under the trees to ground covers that appreciate shade - Asian jasmine, English ivy, Persian ivy, liriope, ophiopogon, horseherb or dwarf shade-loving shrubs. Just mulch is OK with me and the trees love it. Best choices would be shredded native cedar, lava gravel or decomposed granite.If the grass gets to have the sunlight needed for proper growth, thin out  the trees severely or cut them down.


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