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Which Grass Seed is Best for Complete Shade?

Posts: 1
Location: Nebraska
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Hello, this is my first time posting on this forum!  Thank you for providing such helpful and informative articles!

My mom and I have a small yard with five large Ash trees, sandy soil with a very high water table (water collects under our house most of the time and we have to pump it out); moss grows in our front yard.  We live in zone 5a. 

There are two or three places that receive a tiny bit of dappled sun for a couple of hours, but mostly our yard is completely shaded; in fact, the only thing that grows there are dandelions and a few other weeds, no grass.  I'm going to till the entire yard this Fall and sow from scratch because our ground is so uneven.

I know that you suggest Tall Fescue and said that it "tolerates" shade, but I had to ask if it would be able to thrive in such a shady environment?  Our local garden center has a blend called "Shady Place Mixture" and I wondered if that mightn't be better.  It has Chewings Fescue (Shadow II), Creeping Red Fescue, Hard Fescue, Bluegrass and Ryegrass.  Also, in our area they have a "Native Wonder Mix" with Buffalo Grass (Bowie) and Blue Grama.

Which way do you thing think we should go?

Thank you for your help!
Posts: 32879
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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My impression is that tall fescue is more shade tolerant than any of the grass varieties mentioned in the seed mix you mention.  I would stick to tall fescue.

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At least half my yard is shaded by large pecan trees and fescue is all that we can grow there. Some of it even survives the dogs!
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