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Old 09-22-2018, 01:01 PM
 
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Our back yard has lot of pine trees, and our lawn is not growing. I don't know what type of grass we currently have. The moss is taking over our back yard. After the rain the backyard is so mash not sure if the french drain we have are all clogged. To be on the safe side we will just replace the corrugated pipes. Who knows they may be full of roots etc and not draining at all. The lawn not growing is causing the soil to wash away. We are planning on taking our soil to be tested.

We wanted to buy grass seeds instead of sod.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:21 PM
 
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Because of the pine needles the trees drop, it's very hard to grow grass near pine trees. I'd look for something else. If you still want grass, google "shade grass" and read. What works varies by climate.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:11 PM
 
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Also, it's not just the shade or needles / leaves that makes it hard to grow grass under trees. You may need an irrigation system because the trees will drink a lot of water, not leaving much for grass.

Edit - to answer the question, for NC one might use fescue under trees. However, one might also explore the use of groundcovers.

Last edited by Reactionary; 09-22-2018 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
Also, it's not just the shade or needles / leaves that makes it hard to grow grass under trees. You may need an irrigation system because the trees will drink a lot of water, not leaving much for grass.

Edit - to answer the question, for NC one might use fescue under trees. However, one might also explore the use of groundcovers.

We have irrigation system.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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If it’s deep shade, you just might not be able to get grasses to grow there. We’ve had no luck under trees between our house and one neighbor. There’s just very little light gets there. Our yard lamp light sensor is mounted on the outside of the house near that area and the yard light is still on sometimes near noon, even with the sun shining.

We have found a ground cover that thrives in that same place. It’s slow growing and not suitable if there’s foot traffic because it has kind of woody stems. It’s been a carefree plant for us. “Arctostaphylos uva-ursi” is the name.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:16 AM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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OP, I have to agree with the advice others have given you. Most types of grasses and other plants can't grow well, if at all, under pine trees.

Pine roots acidify the soil (grasses hate acid, it kills them) they drop needles that further acidify and smother the grasses and grass roots, the pines prevent water from getting to the roots of grasses from both above and below, and they cast too much shade to allow for good growth.

You need plants that thrive in highly acidic soil, are drought tolerant, shade tolerant and tolerant of pine needles dropping on them. Your best bet might be to let your mosses take over and spread and maybe even cultivate more of other types of mosses. Or you could go for a low lying ground covering vine or mat that grows well in those conditions and will spread across the ground to prevent erosion.

The bearberry (uva-ursi ) mentioned above is an excellent choice of attractive, short, spreading shrub that grows well in your type of conditions and prevents erosion, but you can't walk on it without breaking it. Probably the easiest, most practical and utilitarian plant for you would be the flowering ground cover vine commonly called periwinkle (vinca). It grows well and fast in your conditions, is an attractive and naturally even spaced spreader, it is evergreen, has pretty flowers, covers the ground thickly enough to prevent erosion and it is of short height, pliable, soft and can be safely, comfortably walked or played on without damaging it.

The one drawback to vinca is that you would likely have to keep it mowed or trimmed back twice a year to prevent it from spreading too far out from under the trees and invading into your gardens (if you have gardens) or onto your neighbour's property.

Pictures of vinca:
https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=62&ajaxhist=0


.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:36 AM
 
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Ack! Not periwinkle (vinca), as it is invasive!

Quote:
Ecological Threat
Vinca minor has escaped cultivation and is invading natural areas throughout the eastern U.S. It inhabits open to shady sites including forests and often escapes from old homesites. Vinca minor grows vigorously and forms dense and extensive mats along the forest floor, displacing native herbaceous and woody plant species. Vinca minor was first introduced into North America in the 1700s as an ornamental. It is still commonly sold as an ornamental ground cover.
https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/s....html?sub=3081

Zoisite - since you are a west coaster, I bolded part of the passage above. While most of the advice you provide is excellent, it is disappointing that you seem to ignore / minimize the problem with invasives. I don't think you realize that the South is pretty much like a greenhouse much of the year, and that trying to 'control' (mowing / trimming twice a year) the plant is difficult, especially for those who may be novice gardeners.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
5,965 posts, read 5,757,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reactionary View Post
Ack! Not periwinkle (vinca), as it is invasive!



https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/s....html?sub=3081

Zoisite - since you are a west coaster, I bolded part of the passage above. While most of the advice you provide is excellent, it is disappointing that you seem to ignore / minimize the problem with invasives. I don't think you realize that the South is pretty much like a greenhouse much of the year, and that trying to 'control' (mowing / trimming twice a year) the plant is difficult, especially for those who may be novice gardeners.

Thanks Reactionary for the compliment about my usual advice, but I think you've missed something. If you read enough of my posts you'll notice that I have a few times mentioned the invasive properties and difficulties associated with vinca, and that I don't ever minimize any kinds of invasives.

In my particular location I too live in a lush, fertile, year round, mild greenhouse climate area and I have to deal year round with evergreen vinca, English ivy, Virginia creeper, kudzu, wicked, wicked Himalayan blackberry brambles and bindweed, not to mention numerous other perennial and annual invasives, that all became naturalized on the property and gardens here long before they came under my care. I can tell you that in my experience of them all (which, btw, would all grow well in OP's conditions) the vinca is the one that is the very easiest and the least destructive one of these invasives to control and cut back when needed. It's also easier to kill than all the others.

I'd be interested in your ground cover suggestions for the OP's situation other than the fescue you already suggested, because I know that fescue, like most grasses, doesn't do well in acid conditions and it's next to impossible to keep it constantly raked clear of dropped pine needles that cover it. I personally feel that the OP has a much bigger problem to deal with than occasionally trimming back vinca, that being the erosion that he has described, and he needs something that takes the place of grasses and a lawn as a ground cover that will prevent erosion.

If enough erosion occurs the OP is at greater risk of having his pine trees topple over and come crashing down in the near future of ever increasing and more violent storms that we must all plan ahead for because of climate change. I think it's very important for everyone to take climate change extremes into consideration for future plantings. Of course, he could solve the whole problem right now by cutting down the majority of his pine trees and then amending his soil and replanting all of it. Not seeing pictures of his property to judge it more effectively, apparently the OP's back yard doesn't have any native herbaceous and woody plant species (or anything else) that are at risk of being displaced by vinca. I don't know what else to suggest (well I do, but I don't think the OP would be open to them) but I don't think he's going to have any success with planting any grasses under his pines.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 09-23-2018 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:06 PM
 
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Zoisite - I mentioned fescue because it's the 'goto' grass in the South for shady areas (even pines), especially with irrigation. Personally, I prefer groundcovers / perennials, such as ferns, heuchera, hosta, ajuga, and other well-behaved shady plants (some of which may be native to the area).

I noted that you mention the downsides of some invasives, but for most people the effort to control them may be too great. IMO the kindest course of action is not to suggest them at all.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:29 PM
 
193 posts, read 102,515 times
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Someone told me to try Zoysia grass.
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