The Q&A Archives: Grass In My Bathroom

Question: I have recently designed my master bath to include a 24"x24" area to plent some type of grass...the idea is that when I step out of the shower I step on a grass "mat." I had a sky light installed directly over this area. So...the question is what type of grass or herb do I plant and how do I maintain it. I do not want bugs swarming about. My "trough" for planting is 5 inches deep. I look forward to your input. By the way, everyone thinks this is crazy and it will never work. Please help me prove them wrong. I'm not giving up.

Answer: I admire your creativity! The biggest problem will be light, as most grasses require 6-8 hours of full sun. The next problem will be maintaining appropriate moisture. You didn't mention what, if any, drainage is provided. Root systems need adequate drainage as they also require oxygen to thrive. In other words, they can't sit in wet soil constantly. You will need to water enough to keep the plants somewhat moist, but not wet. The top inch or so should just barely dry out between waterings. (If kept overly wet you will probably have a problem with fungus gnats, also called fruit flies, that thrive in wet soil and are difficult to get rid of once they take hold.) Also, most grasses need at least 8-10 inches for root depth. And then, of course, if the grass really does grow it will need to be mowed...

Having said all that, you might try dichondra or a moss, both of which can take lower light levels and are low-growing. Finding moss to plant in Phoenix will be a challenge, although the dichondra is available. You might check with Baker Nursery. They sometimes have some unusual small grass/groundcover type plants. A nursery in Flagstaff or Payson might have moss, but I can't remember having seen any. There are thymes that are used as groundcovers (not outdoors in Phoenix, however) but it's not really soft enough to step on with barefeet, in my opinion. Good luck! Let us know how it works out!

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