The Q&A Archives: Monkey Grass/Lime

Question: When should you cut back monkey grass? I have usually done this in early spring. However, we recently moved and I noticed that my new neighbor cut hers back this week. Who is correct? Or does it matter? Which do you prefer?

Second question. My yard has a lot of old trees that offer plenty of shade in the summer. Do I need to lime my yard heavily as one person has suggested? If so, how much should I add and when is the best time to do this (i.e. now, spring, etc.)

Answer: Monkey Grass is a landscape ornamental that's not actually a grass; it's a member of the lily family. But, it is tough and aggressive, and it has it's place in the right envrionment. Your Monkey Grass (Liriope) should be cut back in the spring, just as new growth begins. If cold weather kills the tops back, they will lay over the crowns of the plants and protect them from becoming waterlogged in winter rains. If the tops remain alive, they will be attractive throughout the winter months. Either way, cut the foliage back early in the spring to promote new growth.

Lime is a soil amendment that helps correct acidity. If you need to adjust the soil's pH, lime will help raise the pH of an acidic soil. If you have alkaline soil, lime will make it even more alkaline. Why not test, or have your soil tested, before adding lime? The test results will indicate whether or not theres a need for lime. If the soil test indicates a need for lime, it should be applied in the fall to allow it to dissolve in winter rains and mellow the soil over the next few months. Your test will indicate how much lime to apply.

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