The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover

Question: We are in the Laurentian Mountains and I would like to find a ground covering to cover a large area. Is there something that does not grow to high ,just a couple of inches, that I can start from seed? It is not important if it flowers or not, either would be fine.

Answer: For sunny areas, you can sow seed of low-growing legumes such as Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) or white clover (Trifolium repens). You can find seed for these at many farm supply outlets. The latter also does well in light shade, and is the shorter of the two. If you live in a wooded area that is very shady, look to native plants for clues of what would make a suitable groundcover. In our Vermont woods, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) and Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoroatum) enjoy the understory, as long as there is adequate moisture. I can't find sources of seed for these latter plants, but if you take care of a few choice transplants, they will eventually fill in the desired area. Good luck!

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