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Grass Seed Will Not Grow

I have 80 square metres of lawn to sow. There used to be a lawn of sorts with a couple of beds, but being in shade for most of the day, nothing really grew and there was more moss than grass on the lawn.

So I decided to take it all out and sow with shady grass seed. Over a period of about 8 months:

  1.  Plants dug from beds and successfully repotted. Flowers for first time in years!
  2.  Hand dug entire 80 square metres.
  3.  Rotivated and levelled.
  4.  Left to settle with occasional re-levelling.
  5.  Spread with 3200 litres of commercial rotted manure and rotivated.
  6.  Left to settle for 4 weeks
  7.  Rotivated again to seed bed standard, levelled and seed sown
  8.  6 weeks later ... nothing.
  9.  Rotivated and levelled again and seeded again.
10.  Result! 

But there's the problem, a great big bare patch! It is under a tree but the bare patch is not all the way round the tree. In the bare patch there are a few tufts of grass. I have reseeded this again but still nothing!

Help please, any ideas?


  • Greg4Greg4 Posts: 88
    By all accounts you did a good job in preparation, I would say it's a watering issue. Grass seeds need to be kept moist until germination and at the moment where I live it's very dry. What seed mix did you use? The tree and hedges will be sucking up any spare moisture in the ground. If I were you I would re-seed in September or when conditions are more favorable, or use turf, but again you would need to water frequently until rooted.
  • Greg4Greg4 Posts: 88
    It's also possible the seed washed away from that area when watering or heavy rainfall.
  • geoff.savagegeoff.savage Posts: 2
    edited 13 July
    Thanks for the reply @Greg4

    I have used Johnsons Shady Place seed, a fresh new box!

    You may be right, a combination of tree and hedge and dry weather may be it although I have watered it every day since sowing. And we're on a water meter! I must be mad.

    I didn't want to use turf as I couldn't find a "shady place" turf. I have experimented with the shady seed in another area of the garden and that has worked brilliantly.

    The seed hasn't washed away, it's still quite visibly there.

    I think you're idea of waiting until September is top at this point in time.

    Who'd have a garden? Tch!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,618
    If you don't get the grass to grow under the tree from an autumn sowing, it might be better to make that corner around the two trees into a bed for plants that will do OK in the shadier conditions.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 1,943
    Yes sometimes grass just will not grow under a tree roots take away all the moisture
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