I'm wondering if anyone has ever landscaped an entire yard just with dwarf mondo grass? It only grows about 2" tall and never needs to be mowed. I have a heavily shaded backyard, where St. Augustine just will not grow, so I'm thinking of planting this grass. I know it will be expensive and that it is a slow grower, but after trying to sod 3 times and all the tree trimming bills, it is starting to make sense? Any thoughts or ideas would be welcome? My area is about 20' x 30'. The rest of my Japanese is rock, gravel, and ornamentals, so I really would like to have some grass. Thanks.
Solid sod dwarf monkey grass doesn't sound like a good idea to me, Steve. It is summer dormant (green, but not growing), doesn't stand up to traffic at all, has a shallow root system, doesn't like full sun in Texas. If you want a turf lawn, you need to apply chainsaw at ground level, or do some heavy pruning to provide enough light.
If you have so much shade, why not put in a Japanese garden? ;D
Steve, There are nurserys in the northwest that grow ground covers called steppables that tey claim you can walk on with out damage. Maybe a combination of these would work. I do not know if they will work in your climate. How about these Don , will they work in texas? David
Not familiar with that term. Can you find out what they are referring to?
In Portland, Oregon, Dwarf mondo grass does very well for me. I found on line from dealer in Calif. Was shipped bare root from grower in Georgia 10 yrs ago. Planted in improved soil prepared bed 1 leaf by 1 leaf about 1.5 inch spacing. Took about 1 season to begin to fill in and has stayed in same area without much lateral growth over the 10 years. Stays green the year around and I just leaf rake it clean a few times per year. It gets no direct sun, but is not really shaded either.
Does anyone know who sells dwarf mondo grass at a good price? Does anyone have a photo or know of any links with good photos of a large area of mondo grass? My area is about 20' x 30' in shade. BTW, Calloways Nursery is offering free soil test test through February.
Steve, have you been to Ft Worth's Japanese garden?
Yes I have been there many times, but it has been awhile. My students used to perform martial art demos. and my good friend Stan Richardson plays shakuhachi out there yearly. But, I would still like to see a photo large area of dwarf mondo grass.
For the quantities you need I would contact your local John Deere Wholesale Nurseryman. Color Spots used to grow dwarf mondo in 2" cell liners. They are easy to plug in. The dwarf variety grows very slowly so plant close and tight. Water well until established and keep clean of leaves and debris to prevent rotting out. You may need to increase the organic mater to counter tanic acid in the soil beneath oaks to get dwarf mondo to esteablish quickly.
Little Prince Nursery of Oregon is the originator of Stepables. http://littleprinceoforegon.com/webapps/jsp/Static/index.jsp
(paste in your browser address bar) Little Prince will contract grow quantities.
Thanks for the information.
There two kind of dwraf mondo grass. One is regular dwarf mondo grass, other is called super dwarf mondo grass which is 1/2 to 1/3 size of regular dwraf mondo grass, John Deere buy from growers and sell it. normaly cost 30~ 40 % more than growers.
Classic ground cover, Tidewell nusery sell mondo grass, Both nurseies locate in Georgia.
Steve, just got back from visiting the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego, it looks like they are doing what you are questioning, perhaps someone out there could help you....scott
You can use growit.com to find local venders in the Gulf States that grow/sell mondo grass. Look under botanic name Ophiopogon japonicus near the bottom of the page the following link will take you to.
Thanks for the information Gini.
Steve, I saw a program on HGTV and they had a large lawn that was all mondo grass. The gentleman that had the garden said it was expensive but for him worth it because it grew well never needed mowing and was soft to walk on. I record a lot of the Gardeners Diary shows and I think that is the program it was on. I will do some checking and find out what the guy's name was and where he was from. The lawn was beautiful and I think he used the super dwarf variety and was extremely pleased with the results.
Steve it was Jim Lewis of Atlanta Ga. the mondo man! I watched the show again and he planted it in a shady area of his lawn, but he did say it got plenty of water and it did look great. He claimed it liked to be walked on and never regretted doing it.
I'd love to see his mondo.
Here is a link to an article about him. http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/mondo-man/index.html
Mondo grass goes semidormant in the summer in Texas, so absolutely no fertilizer in the hot months. This means slow release too as it may still be working when the heat hits. It can also not dry out too much summer and winter.
I saw that, too bad it didn't have a photo of his dwarf mondo lawn.
Another consideration you might look at is Dwarf Korean Grass (zoysia tenafolia) - it never needs mowing; is a couple of inches in height (does grow onto itself sometimes and makes larger clumps - just cut them out and transplant them); stays green throughout the year. We use this here in the Phoenix, AZ area where we would like to have moss - but since moss isn't too practical here - we adjust. The material is available here at some nurseries and last known, was around $28 per flat. Expensive - yes - but I think that topic has already been addressed and for no mowing and the texture and undulation of the grass - it is really good. Can be planted 8"-10" OC or as you like - at this - it will fill in within a year - so you can adjust that accordingly. This grass fits really well in Japanese-Style landscapes. Mike
Mike, thanks for the idea. I don't know of a dwarf Korean grass? Where do you buy it at? It sounds interesting, but I have never seen it used or for sale?
Hi June and Steve
Dwaf mondo grass often come with 4" pot, some time #1(1gal) pot. some pot called "cheater" because the pot is not full 1 gal pot :-\.
some grower sell mondo grass in "liner" or bare root dwarf mondo grass which is take time to fill space but less cost. dwarf mondo in pot can be divided to few. New planting need to feed lightly and often. in the third year , ground is coverd fully. check nematoda population time to time and check soil moist often untill dwarf mondo grass are established.
Steve, it is Zoysia grass. I posted a photo of Zoysia "Emerald" elsewhere, the one I use and the one in Kumamoto En. It can be cut to 1/4" and can look a lot like moss,or let go to mounds & knots, then sheared and topdressed in late February to take off the excess growth after winter kill.
Here in Sydney, in the Sutherland Shire, they got a small comemorative japanese garden. It was a gift from the Japanese Government! It is surrounded by walls, it has a wood bridge over gravel, rock and where it is suposed to have moss it has 'dwarf mondo grass' forming a dark green carpet. Rocks and steping stones! It looks great. I have planted some "dwarf mondo grass" near the steping stones leading to the water basin and after a year, it begun to form this "carpet" feeling. I'm also using a native ground cover which brings up another green tone to the design, 'dichondra repens'.
In the begining I only wanted traditional japanese plants, but after reading about a japanese gentlemen who design japanese gardens in Adelaide SA, I opened my mind to experiment with other plants that can put up with the australian summer.
Go for the mondo grass! Where people use the place for walking, place some steping stones and some rocks. Add liriope around some places...
Cheers, Vince. PS. don't be symetrical!