Need help with backyard lawn landscaping ideas!

Bob Colburn
hace 3 años

Hello! First timer here. We are re-doing much of our landscaping and I need help! Home located in San Diego county, inland, Zone 10a.

We have a big backyard area with spotty, ugly grass. I'd like to resod or seed but make the grass area much smaller. The issue is that it is under several large trees and parts are in full shade. I'm worried that extensive soil prep will hurt the trees and I'm not convinced that grass will do well except for the middle area where the sun shines through. We also have three small kids who play outside all day and want to have a big open space for them.

Any ideas? Synthetic turf is not an option, too expensive and we will only be in this home for less than 5 years, not worth the investment. I would love to hear some design tips!

Thank you :)

Comentarios (5)

  • PRO
    Foch Family Landscape Architecture
    hace 3 años

    Hello Bob,

    Seems like you have a fun project on your hands. I can't speak much to the plant selection, as I am from all the way up in Canada, but I would recommend considering a rock garden for under the trees with some native shade tolerant plants and a focal element. The rockery would play nicely off of the existing concrete walkway, would be low maintenance for you and would fill in the space where it is hard for things to grown anyways. You could then utilized the pre-existing lawn for the children to play. If you are selling after that 5 years, this would add some curb appeal, would be nice for potential buyers and is easily altered if it is undesirable for them.

    However, this recommendation does not consider where the house is in relation to the yard and your desired 'flow' or usage for the space. Just food for thought.



  • Bob Colburn
    Autor original
    hace 3 años


  • Sigrid
    hace 3 años

    If your swings get used, put down mulch. If not, plant.

  • Kim in PL (SoCal zone 10/Sunset 24)
    hace 3 años

    Depending on the kind of trees, they may be laced to open up the crown and allow more sunlight to filter down to the ground. If the canopy is high enough and trees are spaced widely enough, it is possible to grow grass under trees. You can visit Balboa Park and see this in person. Perhaps you have more trees than you need, or they are too close together, or possibly a structure is also blocking light? Since we don't see the full picture including the trees, it's hard to advise specifically.

  • PRO
    Red Berm
    hace 3 años

    I have often had clients who wish to plant grass back where it died..If it naturally died in the shade..It will probably die again. Some of my client resod in the shade every year..and it last 6 months and then they do it again.. My suggestion is sod in the sun and add plants to shade with mulch ..or pea gravel under swing. It looks like maybe a patio next to the swing. Sometimes I create 'viewing gardens' for areas where you don't walk. Try matching colors like yellow flowers or blue leaves etc..

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