Growing Grass Under Your Trees

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The old saying I think is that grass grows greener on the other side.

Well, that may be all well and good on one side of your lawn, but grass doesn't grow well on the other side especially under that tree in your lawn. There are reasons why grass has a hard time growing under the tree canopy. It all has to do with the roots of not only the tree, but your grass roots.

As for the tree, 90% of their grass roots are in the top 3 inch layer of the soil. As for the grass roots, they are in the top 2 inches of the soil. As you might guess, there is a war going on under the tree between the grass and tree roots for valuable soil nutrients and water.

Guess who is going to win?

No contest, the tree roots will dominate the absorption of the nutrients at the expense of the grass roots. That's why you more often than not see a sparse stand of green under the tree and most of that green is weeds or moss. What happens is that when there is a poor stand of grass, then there is no competition for weeds and the unwanted vegetation takes over. The solution of a sparse stand of grass under a tree is to try and feed for "two." Make sure you provide a little more fertilizer under the tree and make sure to water more under the tree especially during drought conditions. Many people think that the soil needs lime when moss pokes its ugly head out of your lawn, especially under trees. However, the problem is all those factors that make it difficult for grass to develop a dark green stand of quality grass like, water, fertilizer, grass variety, soil acidity and even mowing techniques.


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