Is it permissible to plant grass during the shmita year?

As this question indicates, there is a machloket regarding planting non-fruit trees during shmita. If grass is like a tree, it would be subject to that (we pasken that it's assur). But if it's not a tree, we might be more meikel, and allow it (either l'chatchila or at least b'dieved).

  • Unclear what you're asking! The answers in the question you refer to clearly say that we don't pasken like the opinion - רשב"ג - who could possibly allow it. Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 7:13
  • @Danny But still, grass might not be subject to that at all if it isn't a tree.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 7:15
  • but why would grass be permitted if non-fruit trees are forbidden? (Unless you want a theoretical discussion as to what the opinion of רשב"ג would be.) IOW, Once we pasken that it's forbidden, the "other" opinion becomes theoretical/invalidated. and it's incorrect to call it a "machloket". (Unless you have a reliable Posek that contradicts the Rambam who "invalidated" the other opinion.) Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 7:19
  • Unless you mean that grass would be "even easier" than non-fruit trees? Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 7:21
  • Yes, grass might be permissible even if non-fruit-trees aren't, because they don't even resemble trees.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


According to a shmita gardening guide from the Israeli Religions Ministry, it seems that grass should be planted at least a month before shmita starts, as with a tree. They even recommend having it in before Tammuz, if i understand correctly. (See page 25 of linked document).

  • (1) How'd you find that guide? (2) Do you know what their sources for this are?
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 20:30
  • If i happen to find the answer, of course i'll come back and share it. I've done it before.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 20:31
  • 1) My mother found it actually, and she sent it to me. 2) I looked, but they didn't provide for that claim. Nonetheless, it has approbations from the chief rabbis, so i'm inclined to trust it.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 20:33
  • That's a good reason to trust it.
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 20:35

For further sources, R Yosef Tzvi Rimon in his (highly recommended) reference book on shmita adresses this question indirectly and writes (pp. 34-35)

Since the Sages permitted labors that are forbidden by rabbinic decree in cases of financial loss, it is permitted to water one's garden when necessary (but less frequently than usual) [...] Generally speaking, a private garden can be maintained even without performing any other labor, and therefore they are forbidden.

He holds that the prohibition of planting applies even to plants that do not bear fruit (p. 42 and 89) - see this other question for the background

He later writes (p. 44)

One may perform labors that are generally forbidden by rabbinic decrees only when failure to do so will cause the plants to die

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