Everyone knows that all grasses depend on sunlight to grow and thrive. No grass seed can grow and establish in no light, but some plants are more forgiving of shady areas than others. Grasses that do grow in shady areas typically grow slower and are more vulnerable to diseases and pests. But sometimes you need to plant seed in areas that have partial shade. So what are some options?
Creeping Red Fescue
Creeping Red Fescue is one of the most shade tolerant species available. It has fine blades with a nice dark color. Creeping Red is often used in blends that are marketed for shady areas. Typically it is not planted by itself, but is mixed with other like Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial ryegrass
, Chewings Fescue or Hard Fescue.
Chewings Fescue grass seed
has good shade tolerance. It’s a little less shade friendly than Creeping Red Fesuce, but still a good choice for shady areas. Chewings fescue uses less water than many common turf type grasses and stays green longer than many other turf grasses
Hard fescue seed
has good shade tolerance; about the same tolerance for shade as Chewings. You will often find Hard Fescue mixed in with both warm or cool season turf grasses in blends that are designed for shady areas. This is also a commonly used grass for overseeding existing lawns.
Tall Fescue has some shade tolerance, but is not as tolerante as the other fescues mentioned on this page. Tall Fescue produces a coarser lawn than the other fesuces, but is often slower growing and can require less water.
Perennial Ryegrass seed has some shade tolerance, but is not often known for its ability to grow in areas with lots of shade. Perennial ryegrass is very fast growing and is often mixed in with some of the fescue grasses in shade friendly mixes.