How to Get Grass to Grow Under Oak Trees

By Contributing Writer

A beautiful lawn is a must have for any yard, but sometimes it seems like nature is just not on your side. Got that patch under your oak tree that just won’t grow grass? Trees (especially oak) like to hog all the sun and water so it's difficult to get anything green to grow in their shade. Not to worry though!

Go out and buy the right type of seeds for your region. You can also take this chance to ask if they can recommend any other special grass mixtures (such as Miracle Grass).

Rake the area gently. You don’t want to disturb the roots of the tree; just loosen a layer of dirt at the top for the grass to take hold.

Sprinkle the seeds! Carefully read and follow the instructions on the bag on planting and watering in the first couple of weeks.

Water for longer periods of time (2 to 3 times longer), but less often. You need to take into account the amount of moisture the tree will soak up before the grass even gets a chance at its share! However, since the area is also shaded, more moisture will also be retained and you don’t want the area to become waterlogged.

Tip

Keep the grass longer by over an inch than the rest of your lawn so that it can take full advantage of the tiny amount of sunlight that it does receive everyday.

Avoid walking in the area as much as you can -- even after the grass has filled in! Remember the grass here is very sensitive since they’re getting less sunlight than what they normally need to grow strong.

Keep the area free of leaves and acorns by gently raking it every fall. This will also help aerate the ground so the grass roots can grow stronger.

If all else fails, cover the area with mulch and a bench! Ivy or other types of low-cover shrubs are also great alternatives to grass.

Warning

Resist the urge to completely cover the area with a thick new layer of dirt as this will prevent the tree from getting enough water to grow!

Whatever new type of shade-resistant grass you decide to plant will most likely be different from the type of grass you have already for other parts of your lawn. So don’t be surprised when the grass comes out looking different from what you expected!