The Q&A Archives: Dichondra in Boston?

Question: How far north would you dare grow dichondra as a ground cover? Park Seeds says zone 7 (somewhat south of me, but I might take a chance) whereas most sources daren't go farther north than zone 9 or 10. I have a weedy, fully sunny patch between the sidewalk and the street. I'd like a maintenance-free alternative to grass. If not dichondra, what would you think of crownvetch (penngrift) or a type of ajuga?

Answer: I don't believe dichondra would survive for you. To be honest, crown vetch is not usually recommended for small areas in part due to its somewhat rank growth habit. Ajuga might work for you if you are able to water it in times of hot dry weather. If foot traffic is not an issue, I would suggest a ground-hugging or carpet-type juniper for your spot as the solution requiring the least maintenance in the long run. Remember that this "green belt" area may be technically the property of the city, so you might check with local authorities to make sure they're not planning any major work there.

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