Growing grass in the shade can be tricky, whether it's underneath trees, in the shadow of buildings, or some other location where the sun just doesn't shine like it usually does. There's no easy answer as to why grass won't grow in the shade, it could be many things and not always something obvious.
When attempting to grow grass in a shady area it is important to start with a grass species that can tolerate shade. Various fescue blends are available for shade planting and will succeed as long as other factors are in place.
If trying to grow grass under a tree, remember that the new grass will be in direct competition with the trees for water and nutrients. The grass will likely need help by way of extra watering and fertilizing. It would also help if the tree or trees could be thinned out by pruning to allow as much available sunlight as possible to penetrate the canopy.
Sometimes, the reason grass doesn't want to grow in a shady area is because it wasn't meant to. It might be necessary to think outside the box when dealing with shady areas. If grass doesn't seem to grow under a tree, perhaps a mulched bed could be an option. Ground covers like pachysandra also make acceptable alternatives to planting grass.
Shade Grass Seed Reviews:
photo © Kelly Burke