Will A Shade Sail Kill Grass

Will A Shade Sail Kill Grass?

I will soon be moving into a property where there isn’t much shade or any forms of shade ports or protected areas against the sun. I plan to put up a section to provide shade and cover, but I am unsure what materials to use. As I don’t want to affect my lawn, I am curious will a shade sail kill my grass?

If the shade sail covers a lawn, it can be damaged if it is completely shaded and doesn’t receive the amount of sunlight it needs to stay healthy and thrive. When sunlight is kept from your grass, the grass will start to get thin. Even shade-tolerant grass will start to get thin within 2-5 years.

I started doing my homework on the type of shade port that I would want to put up. When researching and speaking with professionals in this department, I began thinking of the best method of shade and cover without harming or damaging the grass.

Will A Shade Sail Kill Grass

Can Shade Sails Be Harmful To Grass Or Kill Grass?

Shade sails were created to protect you and your car against the UV rays of the sun. But what does this mean for your lawn? Will A Shade Sail Kill Grass?

When I started looking into a form of protection against the sun to help provide some shade in the yard, someone asked me if I had considered a shade sail before. It wasn’t something I thought of, so I started to look into this idea and do more research.

According to lawn and grass experts, shade sails shouldn’t be too damaging to your grass, but you should remember that too much shade or permanent shade can harm your grass, so it is better to put a shade sail where there isn’t any grass. If you want to add a shade sail, there are ways to keep your grass in good shape.

Shade sails can work over the areas where you grow grass; make sure your lawn will still have sunlight access, as the grass is important to grow. But if the shade sail completely overshadows your grass permanently, the grass will die.

You can also look at installing a retractable shade sail so that when you are not actively using the sail, it can be disabled so your grass can still get the sunlight it will need to prosper and grow. It’s the best way to get the best of both.

What Is A Shade Sail Made Of?

There are different designs of shade sails, and they are made from different materials. They are mainly manufactured in 3 design shapes: a rectangular form, triangle, or square form.

The most popular shade sails are made from tightly woven high-density polyethylene fabric, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and nylon. Shade sails are fitted by stretching their fabric and using tension to connect the corners of the shade sail to a strong and stable structure.

The triangular design of the shade sail is the form that most buyers prefer. Square shade sails are believed to bow in the middle of the sail from a buildup of water when it rains, which causes the sail to incur damage and wear thin.

Are Shade Sails Weather Resistant?

They are manufactured to protect your skin and eyes against the sun’s dangerous rays. Other than the UV protection that shade sails offer. Shade sails are strong to withstand light to severe weather conditions, especially strong winds and rains.

How Are Shade Sails Installed

Professionals can install a shade sail, or you can tackle it in a DIY project to save on expenses. When you decide to have a shade sail fitted, measure the outdoor space correctly where you plan to fit the shade sail.

Leave a perimeter of around 1.5 – 2 feet around the area you want to be shaded for the turnbuckles. That will attach the shade sail to your roof or an elevated structure. A shade sail is measured from the edge of the D-rings, which are fitted to each corner of the shade sail for the hanging purpose.

If you want to do the installation as a DIY project, you will need to purchase a hardware kit for the installation along with the shade sail. Be sure to attach the hardware to a structurally sound area like the roof of your house. Both triangle and rectangular shade sails are installed at a slant angle to prevent rainwater from pooling on the sail.

Will a shade sail kill grass

What To Do If A Shade Sail Causes Damage To Your Grass

Grass growing in shaded areas are always at a risk of dying as grass also needs sunlight to grow. But there are some ideas to help your grass grow in shade areas. Grass in shady areas must be mowed slightly higher on your lawn mower than usually recommended.

It will allow the leaf blades of your grass to grow longer and therefore allow the grass to absorb what little sunlight is available to produce food through photosynthesis.

You can manicure your lawn and add fertilizers to your grass, but remember not to overdo the fertilizers as this can burn and damage your grass. It is also helpful to water your grass regularly and give it extra care.

Although grass grows harder in shaded areas, having nice lawns in the shade is not entirely impossible. But if you struggle with your grass in shaded areas, you can also consider planting Rye grasses and fescues as they are known to prosper in the shade. 

What Alternatives Can You Use Instead Of A Shade Sail

Depending on your taste and the reason you want a shade sail, here are other ideas available to get the shade you need without compromising your grass. Maybe you want to have your patio or decking area covered with shade or maybe an area in your garden or lawn to relax.

Ideas Other Than A Shade Sail:

  • Gazebos are known to be a good idea for outdoor areas.
  • Pergolas are also an idea to consider, and if you like, you can allow climbing plants to grow on and above the pergola for extra shade and have that natural feeling.
  • You can install a retractable awning for when you want shade on some days or just protection against rain and sun on other days.

We have loads of information and articles on shading your outdoor space, while a search will help checking out the articles linked below is also a good way to start.


The grass is at risk of dying or being killed in any area that has too much shade. But there are ideas to work around this issue, as mentioned in this article. But if a shade sail is something you want, maybe you can have the area you want to be shaded paved, or you can lay a concrete patio.

If you want to use a shade sail on your lawn, remember that if your grass doesn’t get the required sunlight, you must take extra care of your lawn and manicure it regularly so it has the best chance of growing properly.


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