Trees and shrubs add shade, visual interest, and depth to the landscape, creating a lush, eye-catching yard with vibrant curb appeal. But for many Americans, there’s no beating the pristine look of a well-tended lawn. Private ornamental lawns originated among wealthy French and English landowners during the late Renaissance, and today turfgrass is the largest crop produced in the U.S. But can homeowners have a thriving lawn and a diverse landscape?
Can Trees and Grass Grow in Harmony?
The short answer: yes. The long answer: with a whole lotta TLC. Turfgrass and trees compete for many of the same resources, including water, nutrients, and sunlight. And many landscapers neglect one in favor of maintaining the other. But with a little planning, trees and turf can live together in harmony. Here are our best tips for how to grow grass beneath a tree:
- Choose a turfgrass variety that’s adapted to shade (such as fescue)
- Plant healthy sod and keep it well-watered
- Water more deeply and less frequently
- Fertilize the lawn at a slightly higher rate than typically required (this will fertilize the trees as well)
- Prune low tree branches to allow sunlight to filter through the canopy (but take care not to over prune)
- Make sure the soil has adequate drainage
- Cut grass under tree canopies higher than grass in full sunlight
- Be vigilant about weed control, since weeds provide more competition for nutrients
- Consider other types of groundcover instead of turfgrass (native plants are a good choice)
For more tips on how to cultivate a healthy landscape, call 3am Growers.