The Q&A Archives: need a groundcover

Question: I need a groundcover for a large area of my backyard that surrounds my kids' play area. There is no watering system and no trees there yet, so it has to withstand full sun and be somewhat drought tolerant. I am considering using soaker hoses until I can afford to add the area to my sprinkler system. I plan to put stepping stones to the trampoline, play set, etc, so don't want it to grow very tall. Also, must be tough enough to handle being stepped on. Can you help? I live in Zone 6b.

Answer: Jonessa,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Those specifications you gave are pretty tough to fill with a living plant. Here's some ideas that should be as close as you can get:

Short grasses such as Buffalo and Texas Grama (Bouteloua rigidiseta) that are left to grow mostly unmowed as a mini-meadow. Other ideas are creeping germander (Teucrium cossonii), horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis), silver ponyfoot (Dichondra argentea), lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus) and oregano (Origamum vulgare). Check with your local sources on the hardiness of these in your area.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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