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Planting ajuga to replace lawn

Posted by anitje Massachusetts zone 6 (My Page) on
Wed, May 29, 13 at 20:42

I bought a tray of 30 ajuga reptans plants as an experiment to plant in a mixed shade/sun area with the ultimate goal of possibly replacing my entire lawn.

At the nursery where I bought them, I was told it is unnecessary to remove the existing grass (which is spotty)...just put the plants in every two feet or so and they will ultimately kill the grass around them and spread.

Every two feet seems pretty spread out.

Any thoughts? Do I need to remove the grass around the ajuga? Should I plant it closer?

Thanks in advance,


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

I'm also planting the majority of my shady yard with ajuga reptans. We have too much shade for a healthy lawn and it's always been a struggle to get grass growing there. Just got tired of sodding every sprint only to watch the St Augustine wither away.

That's about the right spacing, it really spreads given enough moisture. I am still pulling out errant grass and weeds, but it's not too big of a job to pull them out or even mow over them. Eventually the ajuga will smother them out. I started with 3 ajuga plants 3 years ago and have plenty from those plants to plug an area 60' wide and 25' deep.

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

Thanks, pk! That's just what I wanted to hear. I planted today in 90 degree heat...hopefully they will take. I hope you are enjoying your ajuga!!f

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

It's just a showstopper when it blooms in the spring...a sea of blue! I know you'll love it!

Yikes, it's only 92 here. Isn't it early for Massachusetts to have 90? Stay hydrated :-)

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

94 today in MA. You just never know here. A few days ago it snowed in VT. Anyway, thanks for the advice!!!

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

I'm curious to see how this works out for you. I have a strip between our horseshoe (well, more of a coffee cup handle) driveway where I am planning to plant some ajuga to take over the current poa annua which likes that spot.

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

I have had ajuga in my gardens for many years now. You can see some of it here in the front of the bed. It is beautiful in the spring when blooming. Mine tends to die way back every couple of years. It regenerates itself with in the summer..but be ready for muddy springs some years. I really hate ripping grass out from among my plants. It seems there are always a few stray hairs. I hope your plan to let the ajuga kill the grass works for you.

RE: Planting ajuga to replace lawn

I don't think it will work in Massachusetts, especially if you don't get rid of the grass first and mulch. Have you ever seen an Ajuga lawn in your state? Has your nursery? Ask em'. I have visited Massachusetts several times from Boston Harbor to Stockbridge. Lovely state!
I haven't seen an Ajuga lawn even here in the Pacific NW. If so, it would be a maintenance nightmare. Ajuga isn't vigorous enough to do the job without a lot of work. A lot of work.

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