|I AM BUILDING A HOUSE IN SOUTH JERSEY, NEAR THE PA. BORDER. AS I AM HANDICAPPED, I NEED A GROUND COVER THAT WOULD SPREAD EASILY AND TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. I AM NOT ABLE TO MOW THE LAWN. AND I NEED A GROUND COVER TO BE MAINTENENCE FREE. THE LAND HAS ONE SMALL TREE WITH PINKISH BLOOMS. THE REST OF THE LAND IS CLEAR. I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH SUN IT GETS, I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? THX FOR YOUR HELP. JAN
|Based on your description, unfortunately I am not able to make specific suggestions. When selecting a groundcover that you hope will become virtually maintenance free, you need to carefully evaluate the growing conditions and select something that is well suited to them. This would include what soil type(s) you have, testing the soil for pH and fertility, figuring out the normal moisture levels, wind exposure, sun exposure, and so on. I would suggest you work with your local county extension and local professionally trained nurseryman to analyze the site and identify plants that would thrive there, then select the ones you like best. They will be able to tell you what needs to be done to the soil to prepare for planting, as well as help you devise a care plan for the planting. Please also keep in mind that the initial few years after planting will involve ongoing care until the groundcover becomes established. You will need to water in dry spells and weed and mulch in between the plants until they form a covering. Once established, there will be maintenance in terms of monitoring it to make sure nothing unusual is happening to it and possibly an annual cutting back or raking and watering in times of extended drought. Even the easiest groundcovers are not quite maintenance free although they are far less work than lawn once established. All the best with your new home!