Planting grass in yard with big trees...

I run the aerator, through out the seed and fertilizer and try to grow grass in my yard but it really grows sparsely. Is there really a kind of grass that thrives in a yard with lots of big trees and a heavy canopy over the yard with lots of shade...
Bill
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What part of the country are you in Bill? That's got to be considered as well. Here, where I live in the hot humid south, centipede grows OK under these conditions.

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I'm in the center of the Carolinas, it gets pretty hot and humid around here too!

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Fescue is your best bet for a shade grass in your part of the country. There is a blend that is made for the Southern part of the Fescue zone called Rebel III or Rebel Excedia. Home Depot carries it. I've also had good luck with the Scotts blend. I wouldn't get just plain Kentucky 31 as it is pretty course and tends to form clumps. We are just about ready to start planting Fescue here in north Alabama. I'll probably start planting around the second week in September. You want to plant early enough to get a good stand of grass with some root establishment before your first freeze but if you plant too early and it is still hot and dry your seed either won't come up or the heat will kill it. I like to wait till highs are in the 78 ~ 82 degree range. Water a couple of times a day if you can (you can get a timer at Home Depot or Lowes that will make this easy). Ideally you want to keep every thing damp so that it never really dries out. Several light watering a day are better than one long watering session for this purpose. I like to either throw some straw (wheat straw with little or no seeds, definitely not hay) or even better you can go to your local Lesco and get a big bag of cellulose (the green dyed stuff they use for hydro-seeding). Walmart sells a little bag of this stuff for like $3 ~ $4 but if you go Lesco you can a very large bag for about $7. The hydro-seeding people have a machine that sprays the seed, cellulose mulch and water out and you can do big areas really fast but you can also just throw the stuff out by hand if you are just doing your yard. Both the straw and the cellulose help hold in the moisture and help keep the seed damp. Scratch up the ground with a stiff rake or better yet a small tiller before throwing out the seed. Once you get the seed down go over it with some starter fertilizer and then put down the straw or cellulose. When the seeds germinate and you have a couple of inches of grass you can cut back on the water. Don't be tempted to cut the grass too soon. Wait till the grass blades thicken up (at first it will look like fine green hair). Cutting too soon can over stress the immature grass and kill it. Keep in mind that Fescue will do well in shade but doesn't do well in full sun in your part of the country (unless you have a irrigation system and use it daily during the summer)
Good Luck.
Bill wrote:

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wrote:

I'm covered in trees around here. Check the PH in your soil.
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Shade is almost always tough on grass. Bermuda will not tolerate any shade, and zoysia will tolerate only a limited amount. Try Chewings fescue, hard red fescue, fine fescue or sheep fescue. Stay away from turf-type tall fescue.
Bill wrote:

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