Frequently, we are asked “Why is my grass so thin under my trees?” or “What can I do about the bare spots under my trees?”
This decline is caused by a lack of sunshine, either because your trees (or your neighbor’s trees) are growing larger and causing more shade areas in your lawn, or turf was sodded in an area without enough sun to sustain it. Bermuda is a full sun grass, and while Zoysia or St. Augustine can take some shade, it cannot survive heavy shade.
We have some suggestions for this condition:
Plant a shade grass like fescue in these areas in the fall.
Plant some shade-tolerant ground cover.
Make a shade garden.
Note: If you have visible surface trees roots, don’t dump a foot of dirt over them! Do make a map of where they are so that when you are planting, you can avoid those areas. Your plants will grow larger and cover the blank places, so it won’t look funny. Or, you can place decorative rocks in those areas so you know not to dig there in the future.
Do something else.
When choosing any grass or plants, make sure they are hardy for the zone you live in. All our service areas are in zones 6b-7b, as follows, as defined by the USDA.
6b – Memphis, TN, and Tulsa, OK
7a – Ft. Smith, AR, & northwest Arkansas
7b – Little Rock & Conway, AR, and Birmingham & Huntsville, AL
See the zone map.