When planning your perfect lawn oasis, grass is only one consideration. Landscaping, patios, porches, trees and bushes and other natural features are major considerations in the design and plant selection of your lawn.

If you’re selecting a turfgrass variety for your lawn, keep in mind that other features may compromise your grass health. Any plant or structure that casts shade on grass can prevent full, healthy turf growth.

Turf requires sunlight to supply energy to support photosynthesis. In shaded areas, photosynthesis can be reduced, which can cause decreased growth rates or thinning. One very important step in choosing the right species and cultivar is understanding sunlight requirements and shade tolerance levels. Fine Fescue (cool season) and St. Augustine and zoysiagrass (warm season) provide the highest shade tolerance.

Some practical ways to help protect grass in shady areas are: mow on the upper end of the recommended height range; reduce nitrogen applications; limit traffic; consider using PGRs.