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How to Transplant Mondo Grass

grass image by Thomas Quinlan from

Mondo grass—which is technically not a grass but a member of the lilac family—is a warm weather grass that is easy to transplant and takes over a yard relatively quickly, crowding out all other grasses and weeds. Unlike most other grasses, mondo grass is shade tolerant, which makes it an ideal grass for lawns shaded most of the day by trees or buildings. It is also drought-tolerant, as well as disease- and insect-resistant. Mondo grass grows best in hardiness zones 7 through 10.

Prepare the location to receive the mondo grass transplant. Water the area thoroughly every other day for 6 days to encourage the growth of weeds and other vegetation.

Spray the area with a nonselective herbicide (such as Roundup) on the seventh day. Do not spray if it is windy or if rain is expected within the following 24 hours. Be careful not to spray any plants that you do not wish to kill.

Rake the area with a hard steel rake 7 days after spraying with the nonselective herbicide to remove dead weeds and other vegetation.

Spread 1/2 inch of organic manure onto the area and rototill it into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. Break up the ground well.

Rake again to remove any vegetation that has been turned up by the rototilling and to remove stones and other debris. Level the area with your rake.

Water the mondo grass that you will be transplanting to soften the soil.

Use a spade to dig straight down 4 inches, then shove the spade horizontally under the grass, lifting out a section of turf with as many roots as possible. Divide these sections of turf into squares approximately 4 inches across. Do not worry if the tufts of grass are not perfect squares.

Lay the tufts of grass that you have dug up onto your prepared site. The tufts should be 6 to 8 inches apart. Press them down gently with your foot to ensure good root contact with the soil below.

Water well. Keep the area moist, but not soggy, for 21 days or until you see evidence of your transplanted mondo grass beginning to fill in the spaces between the tufts. Within 2 to 3 seasons, your mondo grass will have filled in the spaces completely, forming a deep, thick lawn.

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