Ground cover in dry soil - Knowledgebase Question

Gainesville, Ge
Question by cherisk1
April 20, 2010
I have a boarder where there have been aunt hills. The grass is gone and the clay is dry. Do I treat for ants before they apear? Is there a good ground cover that would work there. I'm in northeast Georgia.

Answer from NGA
April 20, 2010


Although ants are annoying to people, they usually don't cause too many problems for plants. I think once you plant something it the bed and water it periodically, the ants will go elsewhere. Before planting I would dig up the soil and amend it with some compost. This will loosen the soil and help it hold moisture for the roots of your new plants. The following plants are sun and drought tolerant, but they will need to be watered regularly until they can establish a deep root system. Some plants to try include:
Juniper: There are a number of low-growing, spreading junipers, ranging in needle color from yellow to dark green to blue-green. Some of the most common varieties include Juniperus chinensis procumbens, Japanese garden juniper, H. horizontalis ?Wiltonii?, blue rug creeping juniper, or Juniperus sabina ?Tamariscifolia,? Tamarix juniper.

Cotoneaster: Low-growing, trailing types good for ground cover. Cotoneaster adpressus praecox is deciduous and grows 1-1/2 feet tall. C. dammeri, bearberry cotoneaster is evergreen in our region and grows 3 to 12 inches tall.

Thrift (Armeria maritima): This old-fashioned ground cover turns hillsides bright pink in early spring. This is an excellent choice for a colorful carpet.

Sedum: Many different types of sedums are used as drought-tolerant ground covers. These are not suitable for areas where they would be stepped on. Try leafy sedum (Sedum dasyphyllum) or Sedum acre.

Many low-growing annuals and perennials are used as ground covers in sunny areas. Try portulaca, candytuft, lamb?s ear or daylilies.

Best wishes with your garden.

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