A Guide to Installing Your Shade Tolerant Grasses

2013 04 10 11.00 If your yard’s natural grass doesn’t offer the attractive curb appeal you’ve always wanted, you aren’t stuck living with it as a fact of life. Instead, you can use sod to customize the appearance of your lawn and enjoy healthier, long-lasting ground cover.  Most Florida lawns are exposed to at least eight hours of strong sunshine per day, but if your property receives more shade than usual, certain shade tolerant sod types can still meet your needs.

The Best Shade Tolerant Sods For Your Lawn

St. Augustine sod – also known as Charleston grass in South Carolina – is the most popular choice for lawns throughout the southern United States and even displays a high shade tolerance when compared to other varieties of grass. Seville, Sapphire, Palmetto, and Bitter Blues are the most shade tolerant cultivated varieties of St. Augustine available.

Empire Zoysia also offers moderate shade tolerance. It still thrives in the sunshine, but can adapt to moderate shade better than typical Floratam St. Augustine or Bermuda varieties. Since Empire Zoysia is also chinch bug resistant and drought tolerant, it offers a wide range of benefits.

Timing The Installation of Your Shade Tolerant Sod

Autumn is the best time to install your shade tolerant sod because the decrease in humidity prevents disease problems that often develop in hotter weather. The fall also offers more of a reprieve from insects like cutworms and chinch bugs that love to target new sod. By hiring a professional sod company to install your sod during the fall season, you can avoid unwanted diseases and enjoy your vibrant, healthy sod for many years to come.

Maintaining Your Shade Tolerant Sod

Don’t overlook the fact that sod with high shade tolerance requires diligent maintenance. Use these tips to extend and strengthen the life of your shaded sod:

  • Avoid high foot traffic in areas with shade tolerant sod.
  • Increase mowing height to the highest recommended for your cultivar. This leaves more area on the grass blades to absorb the sun.
  • Trim the lowest branches on nearby trees to help your sod receive more soil, water, oxygen, and nutrients.

For more help selecting, installing, and maintaining a shade resistant sod, call Council Growers Sod in Tampa at (813) 633-8665.  The Council family has been growing sod for more than four generations, so they offer insightful grower knowledge to help you make the most of your sod purchase.