Even with all the best advice in the world, growing a turf lawn can be problematic depending on one very important factor - shade. Growing lawn turf in the shade is one area in which Rolawn is regularly asked for advice from customers. As such it makes sense to understand how shade affects successful lawn development and the key maintenance points to help deal with this issue.
Photosynthesis is the natural chemical reaction through which a plant turns sunlight into plant food. The key to the problem of shaded turf is obvious - with less sunlight, the ability of plants to generate the food they need to grow strongly diminishes and therefore additional help is required by the gardener.
Of course, the most obvious method to prevent unwanted shade on your turf is to ensure that its location is away from objects that will cause problems - however we appreciate that this is often easier said than done. If you do have the opportunity to lay a new turf lawn wherever you wish, then where possible, you should avoid laying your lawn too close to buildings and other large structures as well as away from large trees. Not only do big trees generate large shady areas and leaf fall, which all add-up to additional maintenance for the lawn gardener, they consume great quantities of water, which, in hot dry summers, can drain the soil of available water for your turf.
Avoid walking unnecessarily on shaded areas. Grass blades in the shade require as much help as they can get to develop into a strong lawn and the additional wear and tear from unnecessary walking in these areas will make their job much harder.
Never cut your shaded lawn turf by more than a quarter of the total grass blade length. This way you'll be protecting the healthy green part of each blade which will encourage future growth and strength.
It's important to give shaded grass all the help it can get and this means removing competitors from its path. Moss and other unwanted plant growth can choke a lawn if it's not dealt with properly. Scarification is the name given to the technique of removing moss and thatch (dead plant matter) that exists between grass blades using a fine tined rake. It allows additional room for the grass to grow densely. There are times of the year when scarification is not desirable however, because it can lead to the gaps being filled by further unwanted weeds. Spring and Autumn are usually considered the best time to scarify in conjunction with top-dressing and seeding where necessary.
For further information visit Rolawn's Shaded Lawns Advice pages.