The Q&A Archives: full sun embankment

Question: We have an embankment that runs along the side of our property in southern California. The soil looks kind of sandy and that side gets full sunlight. It appears that previous owners attempted to plant but it resulted in a bank with patches of different kinds of plants but nothing that actually covers. What is there grows of out of hand and requires weed whacking every week or 2? We need something that is agressive, can overtake a lawn (previously planted on the tapering side of the bank)and can overtake the previously planted

Answer: Two of my favorite groundcovers (for the reasons you cite) are Ajuga (carpet bugle) and ivy (Hedera). Of the two, I'd choose Ajuga because of the seasonal flowers and variegated leaf patterns. Ajuga can be mowed after flowering, it spreads well, and will cover your bank in a short time. It's about as disease resistant and drought tolerant as you can get. Be sure to prepare the soil well prior to planting so the roots have an opportunity to become well established before hot summer weather arrives. Best wishes with your landscape!

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