How to Grow Grass Under a Pine Tree
You have tried growing grass under a pine tree. You have watered, mowed, and applied natural fertilizers on the turf.
Now, why doesn’t the grass grow as you’ve expected? What’s the best option? How to have a dark green lawn? Read on for further details!
Reasons Why Grass Doesn’t Grow Under the Pine Trees
Pine trees are stunning. They are more aesthetic with vibrant turf under, but it’s easier said than done. What are the triggering factors? Here are a few of them:
Acidic Soil – Pine trees love acidic soil. Grass, however, is a different case. You just have to balance the soil. To get started, rake up the pine needles on the soil, hoe any dirt particles, and mix them with lime. Then, take advantage of a rototiller.
Shade – Different types of trees can kill off the grass. The shade is the culprit. What’s the secret? Shade-tolerant grasses should be on top of your list. Also, get a quality blend of shade-loving turf. It’s worth the effort and cost.
Water – Homeowners believe that grass underneath trees need less water because of the shade. The truth is that the lawn requires regular watering. Spray some water on a daily basis.
Root Competition – Grass competes for water and other essential nutrients under a pine tree. Well-established pine roots absorb a high amount of nutrients, making the soil depleted. So, feeding the turf with a natural fertilizer is a great idea.
What’s the Best Grass to Consider?
Most grass types don’t do well under a pine tree. Apart from the heavy shade, they need to cope with acidic soils. Tree roots, on the other hand, divert nutrients from grassroots.
Good news! Some shade-tolerant grasses can withstand these conditions. Careful and professional upkeep can also play an important role.
It is also necessary to test the soil PH and use fertilizers.
Grasses for the Cool Season and Mild Summer
It’s tricky to keep the grass healthy under a pine tree. But it has never been more convenient with Fescues.
The best option for shady areas? The grass that doesn’t require extensive maintenance? Fescues are perfect. They can also blend into an aesthetic landscape and colorful flowers.
Another great option is rough bluegrass or bent grass. Make sure to seed them early in the fall before the winter season.
Grasses for the Warm Season
For those who live in an area with mild winters and hot summers, zoysia and St. Augustine are ideal. Plant them in late spring to withstand the frost.
Steps in Growing Grass Underneath Pine Trees
You’ve chosen Fescues, St. Augustine, or Zoysia. Now, what’s next? Your job does not stop there. While dealing with the pine needles, acidic soil, sunlight, and other elements, you can follow the simple steps below:
Get Rid of Needles
Before seeding St Augustine or Fescues, get rid of the needles, debris, and other dirt particles on the area to expose the soil. Use a sturdy rake and other quality materials. Cleaning the specific areas is good exercise, too.
Till the Soil
Tilling the soil under a pine tree can seem a simple task. Unfortunately, the process is overwhelming for less experienced gardeners.
When tilling the soil, make sure you get it done 6 inches deep. But be careful not to damage the tree roots. Instead of a large rototiller, dig the soil by hand. Yes, the process takes time. The results, however, are worth the effort.
Test the Soil
After tilling, it’s time to test the soil. The pH level is represented from 0 to 10. The neutral point is around 7.0. Any number above 7 indicates an alkaline soil. The lower the number, the higher the soil acidity.
To increase the PH level, apply lime as it is loaded with calcium carbonate, magnesium, and other special components. It is also the fastest way to improve the soil’s PH. Quicklime and hydrated lime are a great solution as well.
Bone meal, another source of calcium, compost, and wood ash are an excellent alternative. Compost, on the contrary, is a long-term solution for highly acidic soil. While it provides the area with nutrients, it improves the quality of the soil over time. For the wood ash, avoid burning treated black walnut and woods because they are toxic.
Remove the Tree Limbs
The soil’s PV level is already normal. Then, get rid of tree limbs. What’s the practical way to remove them? It is ideal for pruning or thinning them. This increases the available sunlight in the long run.
Use Fescue or St. Augustine Seed
It’s tempting to plant the typical grass underneath pine trees. Don’t think that way. Invest in the right solution like the fescue seed. Other solutions include centipede, Bermuda, and zoysia grasses.
Effective and Experts-Recommended Tips
Growing grass in the shade is no easy task. It requires extra care and constant attention. It needs some lime. To enjoy the desired PH level, you have to wait for two years. It is also essential to keep the area free of needles. Dead needles make the spots more acidic, and they block the sunlight. To compensate for the competition from roots, additional watering is key.
Other Plants to Pick
Did you know that there are plants that can withstand the conditions under pine trees? Yes, you heard it right! Popular options include bearberry, Hosta, wild geranium, azalea, Jacob’s ladder, heuchera, sweet woodruff, ivory sedge, woodland sunflower, and lily.
If you love ferns, royal, oak, lady, and maidenhair are good to go.
Work with a Professional!
A DIY gardening is fun and challenging. You need to have prior experience and necessary materials. The process requires so much effort, and it’s not perfect for those who have a hectic schedule. It’s a bright idea to hire a professional. A reputable expert has the expertise and equipment. A trusted company also comes with a versatile and skilled team that can accommodate all your unique requirements.
Let a reliable professional handle your gardening needs today! They can make a huge difference throughout the process!