Shade tips for your lawn this winter

Although we are never short of sun in Australia, the winter months do mean that your lawn receives less sun than normal. But, can your turf actually handle less sunlight? And can you do anything to help it along?

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Photo courtesy of Lawn Solutions Australia

When turf is originally laid for a new home, shade isn’t a huge factor that is considered. Generally, trees and shrubs are newly planted as well, meaning that their growth will not affect your turf for a while. Additionally, if your neighbours are also building, or you are located in a new estate, neighbouring buildings can cause shade that was not present when your turf was installed.

So, what can you do to give your lawn some help when it comes to shade?

There are four important things to remember when it comes to shade and your lawn:

  1. Always water your lawn less often in any shaded areas.
  2. Choose a turf variety that is shade tolerant.
  3. Prune shrubs and trees where possible to allow more sunlight through.
  4. Never mow off more than one-third of the leaf at a time.

Shade management

Managing shade throughout your front and backyard should become a priority if you are wanting your lawn to be as healthy as possible, especially during the cooler months. Routine pruning and avoiding overwatering are especially crucial, with excess watering in shaded areas encouraging the growth of various diseases throughout your yard, as shade does not allow for the quick evaporation of surface water.

When it comes to shaded areas and watering, less is best. Only water when absolutely necessary and, when you do, water very thoroughly. And, when mowing, never cut more than 1/3 of the blade length off and then remove cuttings from the lawn to allow as much light as possible.

What do I do if my lawn just won’t grow?

If you are finding that your lawn just isn’t growing in the shade, there are a few options:

  1. Remove the lawn and replace it with a shade-tolerant version (if you do not have one already).
  2. Remove the lawn and replace it with:
    • A new pathway.
    • A new garden bed.

Shade tolerant lawn types

Although shade levels change throughout the year, depending on the season, it does help to consider the lawn type at the outset.  Sir Walter DNA Certified is a Soft Leaf Buffalo that does well in Australia, tolerating around 50 – 70% shade. This equates to about 3 – 4 hours of direct sun a day, or speckled sunshine throughout the whole day.

Another option is Sir Grange Zoysia, which requires low fertilising and is highly shade tolerant. Due to its slow growth, it doesn’t need much sunlight and can survive in shaded areas much better than most turf options.

TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda is also a shade tolerant lawn variety, which has increased gibberellic acid production which results in superior stimulation of photosynthesis. This means that TifTuf can retain its winter colour, as well as absorbing sunlight incredibly well. In short, TifTuf needs around 50% less sunlight than any other Bermuda turf.

If you are needing some help when it comes to lawn and shade in your front or backyard, Rosemount Turf are providers of all the above turf varieties and more. Get in contact today!


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Tips for Shade on Your Lawn
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Greg Pelka

We are a local, Sunshine Coast turf grass company with a committed team to providing a quality lawn. Like any small business it's the people who make it great. Above are the friendly staff you'll meet and deal with when ordering turf from Rosemount Turf.

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