My lawn (Kentucky Blue grass 70% and the rest is something else) is not
growing very well on sides of my house. Both sides do not receive
enough sunlight (maximum 1-2 hour/day). As a result I do have very thin
lawn and one area is recently attacked by white powdery stuff ( I think
it is mildew). I have decided to come up with a plan to fix my lawn
problem once and for all. There are some options that I like to have
1- Use gravel on both sides, and kiss goodbye the lawn on both sides.
2- Use shade tolerant grass. This needs reseeding the grass.
I'd rather to have lush grass on both sides, however I am not sure if
shade tolerant grass will give me thick lawn. If not, then I would take
the first option.
Please advise me of your suggestion.
FYI, I am living in zone 3 in Canada.
My experience with shady lawn mixtures (Rye-red Fescue-Tall Fescue from
Oregon) has not been viable here in Hawaii, zone 11.
Then, my experience with a ground cover that was billed as "almost fool
proof" also was plowed under just this week.
I went the gravel route, but wished I had used bark instead.
The grass was from Wal-Mart, the cover was from a mail order catalogue. My
suggestion would be to lurk in a local~ garden shop.
I had a problem area on the east side of my house. Not only was it on the
east, but there is another house pretty close and some trees. I removed all
the grass and replaced it with a walkway and plants. The walkway bisects
the area and is flanked with shrubs and perennials. There are many great
shade perennials and a smaller number of shrubs that can grow in shade. The
walkway can be as simple as mulch or gravel or as grand as pavers,
flagstone, or decorative concrete. I can't give you any good ideas for
plants for zone 3, but you can see some pictures of the area I converted
from grass to garden here:
Thanks! Strangely, many of my immediate neighbors are pretty nasty and
ridicule me for my enthusiasm. There are others who stop by on their walks
from other streets who say they plan their route so they can go past my
house. I guess you can't please everyone so I just try to do what I think
While I've near heard of gardeners being outright RIDICULED for going
overboard on a hobby, certainly a part of the population is envirophobic &
regards any fondness of the living world to be eccentric. I have gardened
the streetside so walking along the sidewalk in front of my place requires
pedestrians to pass between two gardens & for a few moments it will feel
like they're in the woods. Most people obviously halove that & will
saunter more slowly & occasionally bend to smell flowers, very
occasionally to steal one. But there are a couple people I've seen
repeatedly walk out into the street to avoid being "trapped" between the
plants. Nor do they ever look up from their feet. Even gardeners have
nature-phobic streaks such as in their deathly horror of chipmunks or
moles or ants or weeds, so imagine how horrified of nature someone can be
who doesn't even garden or understand the urge to garden.
From the photos looks like some pretty nice landscaping halfway between
cottage/woodland & formal.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
Thanks. The landscaping just evolves. I try to make it more formal near
the house and gradually get less formal towards the woods. I'm pretty new to
this, so I have a lot of setbacks -- lots of trial and error. I'm starting
to learn the value of structure and the difficulty of trying to grow things
in dry shade.
I like to pick things up from the "hospital" table at nurseries -- the odd
shrub for $5 that is past blooming that no one wants. I start some things
from seed and cuttings, I always take donations from other gardeners even
when I don't have a place to put the plant. I shop clearance sales from
places like Spring Hill Nursery when they put everything that doesn't sell
out in their catalog on sale for 50 cents or a dollar.
I know what you mean about people being phobic about insects. The neighbors
are always dousing things with chemicals. I don't have the time or money
for that and I have found that there are fewer problems when you don't use
pesticides. I do use the occasional insecticidal soap or dormant oil
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