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Use Monkey Grass To Fill in the Blanks

by Brett Freeman, All About Lawns Columnist

Has this ever happened to you? You spend the first few weeks of spring digging, chopping, and hacking up sod and weeds and ugly plants that have just always been there. You churn the soil and create the perfect borders, and you are left with a blank canvas upon which to create the perfect backyard. You go to the nursery, fill the trunk and back seat of your car with flowers, spend another weekend planting and...the canvas is still mostly blank, with a few splashes of color here and there. The truth is that flowers are like a painting's foreground. Without a decent background, they just float in space.

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Get into the Monkey Business

Trees, bushes, and your lawn can provide much of the visual background for your yard, but they also leave gaps, particularly in planting beds and on steep slopes or in shady areas where grass doesn't grow well. Monkey grass makes an ideal filler for these areas for several reasons. It can take a beating and continue to thrive--in intense heat and drought, and can even survive dogs as yard-mates. And if you have little ones, they can trample on the monkey grass and it looks like new within a day or two.

Easy Monkey

Monkey grass is also easy to maintain; cut it way down in early spring and let it grow. Dozens of varieties of monkey grass are available; some grow well in shade, and most do well on ridges or slopes where turf grasses struggle. Lower-growing varieties make good borders around paths and beds, while "creeping" types of monkey grass are ideally suited as ground cover. Larger varieties can serve as low maintenance shrubs. If you've got lots of empty spaces in your yard, monkey grass can fill them all.

About the Author
Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company, and he used to own a bar/live music venue.

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