Almost every Bermudagrass lawn that we encounter has areas where the grass is thin. What do these lawns have in common? Shade. Bermudagrass needs full sun all day in order to stay thick. If you have a Bermudagrass lawn, then you have probably noticed this phenomenon.
Your Bermudagrass lawn is most likely a cultivar called Tifway 419, which is a very nice hybrid Bermudagrass. Real estate developers today seem to prefer it to other types of grass probably because it is affordable and establishes relatively easily from sod. It is a very attractive lawn when it is cut at the proper height (1"-1.5") and frequency (at least once per week), when it receives adequate water (1" per week), and when it is in full sun (at least 8 hours per day). The great thing about Tifway 419--or just about any other type of Bermudagrass--is that it will take a lot of abuse. Cut it improperly or infrequently, let your kids and pets rip and tear on it all summer, neglect to water it. It will survive, and even better, it will repair itself because it spreads aggressively by both underground stolons and above ground rhizomes (runners). Here's the bad news: It won't look as nice in areas where it receives shade at some point during the day, and it doesn't stand a chance where there is less than about six hours of full sun exposure per day.
Lawn areas that are typically thin on a Bermudagrass lawn due to shade are those against the foundation of your house or fence, and under or near trees and shrubs. If your house is within 25-30 feet of your neighbor's house, the Bermudagrass may be thinner between your houses.
What are some other options for areas that receive less than 8 hours of sun per day? Along foundations, fences, and natural areas, or under the branches of trees in your yard, consider non-lawn features such as shade tolerant shrubs, perennial flowers, or ground covers. For larger areas where you would like to have a lawn, choose a different type of grass. Tall Fescue does well with 5-6 hours of sun. One cultivar of Bermudagrass called "Tifgrand" will handle a little more shade than other cultivars of Bermudagrasss. While Tifgrand has a finer texture, it is a suitable match for Tifway 419, and it will do well with about 6-7 hours of full sun exposure.
Contact us today to discuss a solution for your shady lawn.
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