When we choose a lawn alternative such as Mondo Grass or Liriope we are not actually choosing a different type of lawn. We are replacing a grass lawn with a lawn alternative, and in this case we are using some great ground hugging plants instead of a grass.
It's because we are using plants, that the maintenance and care for these lawn areas will be far different than the maintenance required for a grass lawn. Best of all, Liriope and Mondo Grass both require far less care than lawns do.
The first rule of using Mondo and Liriope is that it is often more generally spread out at the planting stage, over time these plants will naturally spread out further and fill into the area which is being covered.
These plants should be mowed over once a year, which is generally just before Spring arrives, and when first signs of new growth in the plants are appearing. This way, the plants will be in an active growing cycle and will most quickly repair from the lawn mowing process. However, if they are mowed at a time of year when the plants aren't actively growing, they will not repair and may look untidy for a while until the plants begin growing again.
Mow Liriope and Mondo grass at the highest settings on the lawn mower, and it will soon recover to an expected overall height of around 15 - 30 cm.
As a note: Mondo and Liriope lawns should not be mowed in the Summer.
Fertilising only need be done once a year with Liriope and Mondo when they are being used as lawn alternatives. This is also best done in the Spring after mowing has been completed with a long term slow release plant fertiliser.
These plants are extremely waterwise when compared to their grass lawn alternatives. There is no need to include the Mondo and Liriope lawn on any reticulation watering cycles. Simply monitor the area for signs of leaf wilting or deterioration, and give it another long deep drink of water. This can either be done with the sprinkler, or the more relaxing method of hand watering on a Sunday morning.
Weed control may not always be an easy task, these plants generally do not tolerate weed sprays which the homeowner can purchase. So best to speak to a professional weed sprayer who may have a solution if spraying is necessary.
Therefore the best alternatives will include:
Early Hand Pulling
Pull any weeds and grass invaders as soon as possible, this is especially true if the area is being invaded by Couch grass which is one of the worst grass invaders to remove from garden areas.
The invading weeds or grasses can be "painted" with Glyphosate weed killer using a small paintbrush. Just be careful not to spill any Glyphosate on any other plant as this will kill any plant it comes into contact with.
The only other maintenance required for Mondo Grass and Liriopes as lawns is when it comes to thinning out some of the spreading outshoots, this also includes when the plants begin spreading into surrounding garden beds.
Like with all other plant and lawns care, it's best to do this early and before they become more established in the garden beds, which would of course mean more work to take them out.