The Q&A Archives: Ferns

Question: Would it be possible to grow ferns under the pine trees (in an area of sandy acid soil)? Or should I just mulch it and forget about it? Does anything do well in sandy acid soil?? I have one area that has very poor soil and gets sun for most of the day. What type of ground cover does well with partial sun? I haven't given up on the groundcover. I will try to put in groundcover under the silver maples instead of shrubs, but some areas get partial sun. Thanks for your help. Lynda Kaylor Westford, MA

Answer: Ferns prefer a rich, humusy soil, and so would probably not thrive in your sandy soil. A few ground covers to try are: ajuga reptans (sun or partial shade), bearberry (sun), Cerastium tomentosum (also called snow-in-summer) (full-sun), bird's foot trefoil. You might also try daylilies, creeping juniper, or yarrow. You can also try to improve your soil by adding lime and lots of organic matter--compost, leaves, grass clippings, etc. You can either apply these as mulch or till in.

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