The Q&A Archives: Super Hardy Ground Cover

Question: I am looking for a super hardy ground cover that won't grow very high. I am renting a duplex that has NO grass or ground cover. The soil is very rocky and mostly shady. And I have a large dog who will be running about. Since I am renting, I don't want to spend alot of effort (or tons of money) on this project. I am in zone 4.

Answer: Although there are groundcovers that will work in your climate and soil, there are few that will hold up well to traffic, especially a dog. By far the toughest groundcover that will tolerate traffic is plain old grass. There are many dwarf fescues on the market that take very little care, including infrequent mowing. Here are a few other suggestions to get you started. Hope this helps!

Woody (these will be more expensive but more "dog-tolerant"):
Creeping cotoneaster
Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus'
Hall's honeysuckle
Creeping thyme
Indiancurrant coralberry

Wild ginger
Lily of the valley
Geranium (true geranium)
Low Japanese fleeceflower
Creeping potentilla
Barren strawberry

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