Shade is one of the most important factors affecting turfgrass growth for home lawns. It affects both shoot and root growth and the overall quality of the turf stand. A study was initiated to investigate the effects of shade on growth and quality of St. Augustinegrass (“Bitterblue”, “Delmar”, “Floratam”, “Palmetto”, “Raleigh”, “Seville”, and“TR-610”) and two cultivars of zoysiagrass (“Empire” and “Empress”) were planted in both the shade and sun to study the effects on growth and quality. Quality measurements were taken for color, texture, density, uniformity, and overall quality on a monthly basis. Growth parameters were taken for internode length , stolon width, leaf width, and leaf length during initial, middle, and final stages of the study period.
“TR-610” was the best cultivar under shade for its outstanding quality in color, density, uniformity, and overall quality. “Delmar”, “Palmetto”, and “Raleigh” performed relatively better in shade compared to other cultivars. “Empire” and “Empress” zoysiagrasses had good quality until the middle of the study period but quality decreased toward the end of the study. The quality of “Empire” was relatively better compared to “Empress” at the end of the study period. “Bitterblue” and “Floratam” did not perform well in the shade.
“TR-610” showed shade tolerance by performing similarly in both shade and sun for all the growth parameters. “Bitterblue” had poor shade tolerance compared to the other cultivars. It had longer internodes, thicker stolons, and wider leaf blades in shade during the study period. “Floratam” was relatively better compared to “Bitterblue”. Reduced internode length, optimum stolon and leaf width, and increased leaf lengths were identified as the shade tolerant characters.