The Q&A Archives: Ground cover

Question: I have a preschool here in San Diego. On our playground we have a 1,000 square foot, 45 degree slope that has very loose soil due to bulldozing. The result is a very loose soil that seems to be sandy and rocky. We are looking for a ground cover that will help with soil retention because we have grass planted at the bottom of the slope. We are looking for something that is attractive and does not attract a lot of bees due to the children. The slope will receive water for 5 minutes each morning (It is a commercial building and I tied into the existing sprinkler system and cannot change the watering time, however I can hand water more often initially if necessary). I have had the following suggested - Lonicera halliana, white trailing ice plant, african daisy, gazanas, money wort, ivy, mia porum and more. I am confused and seem to get different answers from different people. What do you suggest?

Answer: The site you describe will make it difficult for any groundcover plant to become established, but here are a few of the most hardy and tolerant of such conditions: Pink Panda Strawberry, Lantana, Acacia redolens, Helianthemum nummularium (Sunrose), Gazania, Dwarf Rosemary, and Malephora (Ice Plant). All of these plants bloom, and as such will attract bees. Good luck with your project!

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