Established Ivied Slope - Knowledgebase Question

Weehawken, NJ
Question by Bharper467
October 12, 1999
Can I plant vegetables and flowers on this slope and use the established ivy as a ground cover for the new plants? Or, should I remove the ground cover before planting new plants?

Answer from NGA
October 12, 1999


If you are talking about English ivy (Hedera helix) you will need to remove it in order to plant.When planting you need to prepare the soil, and that would be impossible to do with the ivy in place. Also, ivy of this type is grown as a ground cover and as such is a very aggressive spreader and would probably outcompete your other plants. An exception to this is trees and shrubs which are large enough to withstand it.

However, I am a bit concerned about planting on a slope. It may be that the ivy was originally planted as a substitute for lawn or flowers because the slope was too steep to mow, or for some other reason which made it difficult to grow other types of plants there. Undoubtedly the ivy is preventing soil erosion on the slope and may actually be a good choice for that location whereas vegetables and flowers might not be suitable. Vegetables for example are normally best grown in a level location with good soil and in full sun. You might want to think carefully before you remove it and disturb the area.

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