The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover

Question: I live in the country, where there are wild pigs that root up lawns. Very costly to find this out. Am looking for a ground cover that will work in the country that is low lying,so you can walk on it, and low maintance. Can survive from 15 degrees in the winter to up to 110 in the summer. The area in which this will be planted is approximently 1/2 of an acre. Soil is good, as it was able to produce a beautiful lawn. Until the pigs arrived. By the time the pigs had finished their evening snack, for many evenings, it looked as though a rototiller had gone through my beautiful lawn. There is a sprinkler system in place. This time around, I would like low maintenance and low water if possible. If I had to choose one over the other, I would pick low maintenance. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Answer: How disappointing to have uninvited guests with manners like pigs! I can't promise the suggestions for groundcovers will be pig-proof, but they probably won't be quite as appealing as tender turf. Consider growing Arctostaphylos (Manzanita), Artemisia stellerana, Baccharis pilularis (Dwarf Coyote Brush), Houttuynia cordata, Lysimachia nummularia, Thymus praecox or Vinca minor (periwinkle). All but the Vinca will take light foot traffic. Good luck with your new landscape!

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