I got a call from a friend yesterday and he was asking me to clarify some conflicting advise he received about what sod to put under his oak tree.
Apparently a “Lawn Care Professional” told him his best bet would be to plant Emerald Zoysia under his oak tree in his front yard. The area he is referring to is very shady and so is the advise he was given.
Let me clarify. Yes, Zoysia tolerates more shade than Bermuda, but not near as much as most people think. Zoysia is not the answer to heavily shaded areas. When you install it, it will look great for a few years, but eventually it will go into decline getting thinner and thinner each year. I don’t know where the idea that Zoysia is the answer to shade problems got started, but it is just plain wrong.
The only turf grass we can grow that will tolerate a lot of shade is St. Augustine and it is not without it’s own problems. St. Augustine tolerates much more shade than any other sod we have here, but it has issues with insects and frost damage. You will no doubt notice people having problems with damage to their St. Augustine this year due to the cold winter we have had.
The only sure fire way to tackle a shady area is to create a bed there and plant some shade loving plants like Azaleas or Vinca. It’s also a great place to put a swing and enjoy a glass of tea. Sorry, but that’s just how it is.
Look at it this way, more Azaleas, means less time on the mower. 🙂