If you’ve ever tried growing grass or any plant under your pine tree, your efforts might have been frustrating as grass doesn’t grow easily under pine trees due to various reasons.
Pine trees can form a lot of shade, preventing grass from growing or even maturing under low sunlight.
However, with great care and strategy, it is possible to have grass grow under your plant and achieve that landscape you dream of getting.
How Can You Grow Grass Under Pine Trees?
To grow grass under pine trees, the process involves clearing the area of pine needles, tilling the soil well, testing the pH of the ground, pruning pine tree limbs, selecting the type of grass to grow under your pine trees, and caring for the grass as it grows.
How to Grow Grass Under Your Pine Tree in 5 Simple Steps
Grass is a wonderful green and environmentally friendly alternative to stones, bricks, artificial decorations, and rubber shields for decorating the space under your pine tree.
Grass increases the dynamism of your garden.
Below is the process of growing grass under your pine trees:
1. Clear the Ground Cover
The ground under pine trees is normally filled with pine needles which break down from the tree and cover the ground.
The branches act as mulching, but they could cover the ground and prevent plants from sprouting from the ground. The setting could also be having weeds that should be cleared.
2. Prune Low Hanging Tree Limbs
Pruning tree branches and limbs will help more sunlight to reach your grass. The first precedence should be given to wounded and abnormal branches.
Cut adequately so that the tree is also not left bald.
3. Choose the Type of Grass to Grow
The type of grass to grow determines how much fertilizer and lime you will apply to balance the soil pH, determines what you buy from the local gardening store (whether grass seeds or premade lawns), and determines how deep the ground can be tilled to plant the grass.
It is advisable to select grass that grows well in acidic soil, such as Zoysia and centipede grass. Centipede grass thrives in a 5-6 soil pH level, while Zoysia grass loves a 5.8-6.5 soil pH.
You could also select shade-tolerant grass such as St. Augustine grass.
3. Till the Land
The next step is tilling the land using common farm tools to prepare for the grass planting.
4. Measure the Soil pH and Apply a Balancing Agent Adequately
After tilling the land, measure the soil pH to determine that the pH is according to the specific grass growing conditions.
You could use a commercial pH tester or even use household items such as vinegar, baking soda, or red cabbage for testing.
Use lime or ashwood to balance an acidic soil.
5. Plant and Care for the Grass
The final step involves planting the grass in the land you prepared under the pine trees. Care for the grass by regularly trimming and watering.
Add nutrients in case you see signs of lack.
Grass is an important land cover and can give you a lovely aesthetic when combined with pine trees. Growing grass under pine trees can be quite a challenge, but it certainly is an exciting task.
We hope with these tips, and you will now manage growing your grass under your pine tree to get the best landscape possible.
Conditions Under Pine Trees
The environmental conditions under pine trees will determine the care needed for you to grow grass under the tree successfully.
The following are some factors around pine tree areas:
- The soil is acidic. The acidity can be high or low, depending on your soil type.
- Sunlight levels are low, making the area a partial or full shade. Sunlight levels are controlled by the amount and density of foliage of the tree.
- The tree and plants roots may compete for resources, namely, nutrients and water.
- Pine needles may cover the ground, prevent sunlight from reaching the ground plants, cause diseases, act as mulching, and become nutritious once consumed by bacteria. Pine straw is also flammable.
Factors That Favor Grass Growth
When you plant grass under your pine tree, you would, of course, want the grass to thrive on a beautiful green lawn.
For this to occur, you need to provide the most optimum conditions that favor grass growth under the pine tree.
These factors include:
Grass grows steadily when temperatures at 4 inches (10 cm) depths reach above 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).
At this temperature, plant-soil moisture absorption increases, increasing the uptake of nutrients and growth rate.
Sunlight and water
Light and water are essential components of plant photosynthesis that provide growth energy for the grass. The more sunlight accessed by the grass, the faster it’ll grow.
Excess water means that plant growth will slow down and jumpstart root rotting, killing the grass. Too little water and your grass ends up dying with the leaves becoming maltreated.
Lime and fertilizers
Lime helps control soil pH, which is necessary for speedy grass growth. Fertilizers provide nutrients such as Phosphorus, Potassium, and Nitrogen, which enhance plant growth and leaf formation.
The type of grass will determine how fast or how slow the grass will grow.
Pros and Cons of Growing Grass Under Pine Trees
The following are some of the benefits of growing grass under your pine tree.
- Increases your general landscape aesthetics and visual appeal
- Grass will improve flood control
- Grass will be absorbing excess moisture, which could have otherwise damaged the pine tree.
- The grass may also help in the absorption of excess fertilizer and the breakdown of different organic compounds.
- Grass also increases water infiltration to the soil
- The grass traps runoff water sediments
- Grass could help control temperatures through evapotranspiration
- Green plants, including lawns, help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while giving back oxygen through photosynthesis, increasing air quality.
- Grass could help reduce noise pollution
- Appealing lawns are therapeutic
- Taking care of the grass could become a wonderful hobby.
- Grass can be a habitat for some pests and diseases
- The grass may compete for nutrients with the pine
- Grass needs to be maintained regularly through cutting, feeding, and watering
- Requires time, effort, and money investment
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Grow Grass Under Pine Trees
What other plants can I plant to cover the ground under my pine tree?
You could plant flowers such as bleeding heart, foxglove, bergenia, camellia, hosta, lily of the valley, astilbe, and shrubs such as gardenia, itea, holly, azaleas, and ferns.
What happens if the grass is not growing?
Check the soil pH, which is a common determinant for grass growth. Also, control your watering schedules to avoid underwatering or overwatering.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.