The Q&A Archives: landscape ideas for area with permanently dry hard packed soil

Question: I have a dirt area, about 15 x 15 under heavy trees, not much sun, that i'd like to cover. i don't have the means to amend the soil (tilling, composting, adding), can I cover it inexpensively with stones or something else? What can I use that can easily be cleaned up from falling tree leaves? is there such a thing as moss seed?

Answer: A groundcover will solve the problem of hiding falling leaves until they decompose. Choose a groundcover that is 6-12" tall. Here are a few suggestions for the dry shade beneath your tree: Galium odorata (Sweet woodruff), Lamium maculatum (Spotted dead nettle), Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' (Hall's Japanese honeysuckle), Vinca minor, Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria spp.), Bishop?s Cap (Epimedium grandiflora),
Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp). Moss doesn't come from readily available seeds but you can introduce some moss and it will eventually spread. Good luck with your project!

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