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Grass problems! New lawn seeded last April. 3/4 of lawn growing well. One area, under plum tree and in deep shade performing badly i.e. muddy, bare patches. How would I improve this area without starting from scratch? I fear treading heavily in this area is not helping but I have no pathway around beds! See photo .... Vg

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If it were me , I would buy a couple of rolls of turf and lay them in that area. That would be my "instant" solution.

16 Feb, 2011


"under plum tree and in deep shade"

which explains why the grass is unable to grow in that particular area.

You could put down turf or re-seed, but the grass would simply die off once again. The best longer-term solution would be to increase the size of the bed to incorporate the area where the grass in unable to grow and, if required, add some form of paving/path/stepping-stones (which can be as informal as bark or as solid as paving slabs) to allow you to access and walk across the area.

16 Feb, 2011


Agree with Ilex - grass obviously doesn't want to grow there, and his solution is one I'd use, for sure. Otherwise you'll be returfing that area every spring...

16 Feb, 2011


We experienced the same problem in a shaded section of our back garden. The only solution that worked for us was, as the others have said, re-turfing the area. It is a one-season solution though, and the problem will return when the bad weather hits again. The only feasible alternative was to incorporate most of that area into the side bed and cover the rest with gravel to form a path.


16 Feb, 2011


If you think about the plants that grow in naturally shady areas - like a woodland floor for instance - you won't ever find short, lawn-type grasses amongst them.

People tend to think of grass as little more than a carpet that can be rolled out and walked upon wherever it's needed, but it is also a plant (or rather a group of plants) the vast majority of which have evolved specifically to grow in bright, sunny locations. As with any other plant in the garden, in order for them to thrive they have to be given growing conditions that suit them.

Finding out, and then planting: "The right plant for the right situation" is always the best approach to gardening!

16 Feb, 2011


Thanks for all your replies - I do appreciate all your advice. Unfortunately laying turf is not an option as I seeded the lawn with special shady lawn seed and any turf wouldn't match. Also unfortunately, I can't think of cutting into the grass area to make a bigger bedding area as the shape would look ridiculous, pity as this would've been the easiest option. The grass looked fine when I didn't walk on it, so I will look to find a way of creating a path between the beds and grass to minimise damage, and will try reseeding this spring to see if I have any luck. I think along with treading of muddy footprints into the grass recently, the fallen leaves from the tree didn't help. It started snowing in Edinburgh before I had a chance to clear the leaves and so they hibernated there for quite a while under deep snow and then the rains came. The area gets some dappled shade in the summer so maybe it'll come good if I give it a chance to grow again? I obviously need to devote more time to grass maintenance! Thanks all, Vg

18 Feb, 2011


Nice photos, I can see why you don't want to change the shape of the border under the tree. If you left those leaves under the snow, that would explain why its so bad now, so yes, go ahead and reseed with shade seed. Can't really see that walking on it is a problem - surely it doesn't get walked on more than any other part of the garden, and that's all fine, isn't it. You could try trimming off the branches at the front overhanging the lawn, that might help a bit too, but it is critical to get the leaves off it, as I'm sure you know.

18 Feb, 2011

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