Shade – Defining Levels of

Q: Last week you gave tips for growing lawn grass in the shade. I see grass growing in some shady spots but not others. How do I know if I have too much shade for grass to grow?

A: Georgia Master Gardener coordinator, Bob Westerfield, says he defines shade like this:

Light Shade the area is completely shaded for only two to four hours during the heat of the day.

Filtered Shade the area may be completely shaded all day, but shafts of sunlight squeeze through the tree branches or the arbor. Even though the area seems fully shaded, enough sunlight gets through that the area actually is shaded for only two to four hours of the day.

Partial Shade means an area receives around four to five hours of shade.

Full Shade lasts all day. It’s the dark shade you find under a group of trees having a multi story canopy or under a building overhang. Fully shaded areas receive some light from reflected sunny areas.

Dense Shade is the darkest day long shade. No reflected light reaches these areas. You will find dense shade under a very dense, low branched tree, like a magnolia, or in a dense grove of trees.