Question: Our backyard is deeply shaded by deciduous trees. We have tried to get some lawn going for two years now with spring and fall seeding and it won’t take, no matter what mix we use. Can you recommend a lawn grass for deep shade, or specific steps we can take to get it going?
Answer: As you’ve found, growing a turfgrass lawn in an area with more a half a day of shade is a losing battle. Rather than spend more time, money and effort on establishing a lawn, work with your shade, which offers you other opportunities. You could grow a shade-loving low-maintenance groundcover. Moss can make a lovely carpet in the shade—read all about gardening with moss. Or you might even just mulch the area, especially if you want to use it as a play space or for entertaining. To keep the area looking tidy and gardened, carve out a border to edge your lawn alternative, and plant the border up with textural shade lovers such as ferns and hostas.