Grass Substitute Under Tree

(Question)

M front yard is small and has a huge, beautiful tree that prevents grass from growing healthy. It face south. I would like to substitute the lawn for MOSS or DWARF MONDO. I am open for suggestions. Your assistance is much appreciated.
Fatima

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto.

We receive numerous requiests for lawn alternatives. The following is from one of our earlier posts “When choosing a ground cover there are many factors to consider. Some ground covers are used to minimize weeds in a space and are not suitable for walking on while others are lawn replacements and designed for foot traffic. Very different plants are used in each situation. The next factor to be considered is the location. What is the soil like? Is there good drainage in the spot? How much sun is the area exposed to? What zone is the groundcover growing in; is it exposed to harsh winter conditions or sheltered? How much rain does the area receive? Without this information it is difficult to make a specific recommendation.”

I have included a links below from our library and from Guelph University which discuss many different choices for ground cover that are viable in Toronto.

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/ground-cover-for-between-flagstone/

http://torontomastergardeners.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Lawn-Alternatives1.pdf

http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/HealthyLandscapes_Groundcovers_Lawn_Alternatives.pdf

You may also be interested in some of our other archived posts: Groundcovers

You never mention where your garden is located. Depending on which website you reference Mondo grass is stated to be hardy in USDA zone 6-11 (equivalwnt to our zone (7-12) or in USDA zone 5 which is equivalent to our zone 6. Depending upon where you live, this grass might not be hardy enough for your area. If you do decide to try growing Mondo grass it prefers to be planted in part to full shade. This plant will tolerate full sun, however the intense sunlight during summer afternoons can burn the plant’s foliage. It should be noted that if it is planted in full shade, Mondo Grass will become quite leggy. Growing Mondo Grass provides information on its care.

Inorder for moss to be utilized as a lawn substitude it is necessary to meet the following conditions. Firstly, moss requires an acidic environment, it needs to be planted in semi-shade andprotected from the hot afternoon sun. It also requires consistent moisture. Moss as a Lawn Substitude discusses how to grow a moss lawn.

Happy Planting!