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I can't grow grass on 1 side of yard: what grass seed should I use and how?

I've used a few different types of grass seed, including rye grass for a quick fix to make it look good for a minute... But, the grass dies out.  Who can teach me at my site in NW, Washington, DC.  As a business promotion: I can let a landscape artist fix the yard and advertise his work.  My corner house is target area for curb appeal to thousands of drivers on a main street.
  • September 04 2013 - Washington
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Answers (2)

Growing grass under trees is difficult but, depending on the type of tree its not completely impossible. You will never get the same lush lawn as if it was in an open area.

Pine trees have a tap root system which means the root has a main leader that pretty much goes straight down. Off this main root are the fiber roots. The roots don't really compete to much with the grass, its the acid from the pine needles. Keeping close tabs on the soil acidity level helps keep the grass growing. You would have to lime the area as the acidity level gets higher.

Some Oak trees have similar root systems as the pine trees but, the big problem with Hardwood trees is their roots tend to spread across the upper soil level competing for the water. also, the canopies of hardwoods are dense and don't allow much light to penetrate to the grass. Keeping a nice layer of top soil under the Hardwood trees, thinning out the canopy and keeping the area watered lightly on a regular basis helps the grass thrive. Don't over water the area, just lightly water a few times a day. Some trees like Norway Maples are just impossible to grow grass under because of the combination of their Extremely Dense Canopy and Large upper root network.   

Identify your trees and apply accordingly. I hope this helps.

Create a Beautiful Day and Enjoy to its fullest.
Dwight [website deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • September 12 2013
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I have always just picked up your basic mix at home improvement stores, watered the area with the new seed and applied a layer of straw over the area to keep the seed in place and keep the birds from stealing it and giving the seed time to take hold.

You mentioned that you get the seed to grow, then it dies? Did you plant it in the heat of the winter? Early spring, late summer ( now ) is a good time to give it another try.

You may also consider the fact that that area lacks something and the soil is dead, a good mix of fertilizer within the seed mix may help.

Some shady area are also hard to grow grass in also, may have to trim some trees back.

Is that area near a place that maybe sprayed with anything ( something the county, city, whatever...does to keep the weeds down.
Here even that does still happen...you will notice signs homeowners place along these routes ready "No spray area" they are there for just that reason.

I know that isn't much to go on but no one else was trying to answer your question and maybe there is something here that will help

Otherwise you may have to buy some ( store bought grass ) as we call it down here in the country.
-Joseph-
  • September 05 2013
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