Q: I want an alternative to grass for an area of my lawn that is very shady. I need it to prevent soil erosion. Maybe some type of ivy?
A: Don’t plant English ivy! Before you know it this vine will be climbing up nearby trees and damaging them. Try mondo grass instead. I classify this monkey grass relative in three sizes. “Regular” mondo grass grows 5 -7 inches tall. “Dwarf “mondo grass grows 3 – 5 inches tall. “Tiny” mondo grass is only an inch tall. Of the three, I recommend the dwarf size. It spreads reasonably quickly from small tufts planted six inches apart. You can buy it from a nursery but the best source is a neighbor who has it growing in their landscape. You can harvest hundreds of plants from a small plot, doing little damage to it but giving you plenty of starts for your shady area.