Aggressive Ground Cover - Knowledgebase Question

Lyons, IN
Avatar for travsmiths
Question by travsmiths
February 27, 2000
I need a ground cover that will cover 1 acre in a season, (which probably will require seeding). It needs to be hardy, (able to withstand some foot traffic and extended freezing in winter), able to grow in partial to full shade, grow in poor to average soil, (I can fertilize),choke out weed growth, be less than 6 inches tall. PLEASE recommend whatever variety comes closest and where I can find the seeds. THANK-YOU so much. My husband will be so glad he doesn't have to mow.

Answer from NGA
February 27, 2000
I am unable to think of a plant that will do everything you want and can be started from seed. The best option I can think of is to use one of the faster growing evergreen groundcovers that cab withstand shade and poor growing conditions such as creeping myrtle (Vinca minor) or English ivy (Hedera helix). These can be started from inexpensive small plants in the spring and will spread to cover quite a large area. You can plant them up to two feet apart. As with any other planting, you will need to control weeds first, improve the soil by adding organic matter, apply mulch between the plants to help keep down weeds and maintain soil moisture, and water when it is dry. You might try starting a slightly smaller area and then encourage that to naturally spread further across the area in subsequent years, or you can certainly propagate additional plants yourself if cost is an issue. Good luck with your project!

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