Daylilies forum→Cover crops between rows

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Name: Dan
Springfield, MO (Zone 6b)
docpaps
Aug 9, 2020 11:37 AM CST
Hello!

I've only been growing daylilies for a few years, and implemented a new weed control system this year. It did not work well. I put down biodegradable plastic with the intention of killing off perennial weeds, and intended to mulch and use preemergent in the fall to prevent new emergence. The biodegradeable stuff tore easily and got wickedly slick with any rain.

For next season, I'm thinking of trying to mulch immediately next to my daylilies, and plant ground cover (clover and short native grasses) in between rows. Has anyone tried this or something similar? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Aug 9, 2020 12:39 PM CST
I have found mulching to work pretty well without the ground cover. I don't want to have to deal with mowing clover and grass plus clover tends to get rust here and looks unsightly. Mulching doesn't work 100 per cent for me, but I don't apply it as often as I should. When the mulch gets thin allowing the ground to show that is when the weeds start to sprout. Even then when I am deadheading and collecting seed pods I have been able to pull weeds as I go and keep them under control, this way there is never a large number of weeds.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Aug 9, 2020 2:29 PM CST
I find a good layer of mulch keeps things under control, too. The odd wee sprouts, but I just pull them when I am deadheading, or just admiring the blooms.
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Name: Mary Anne Jay
Wentworth, NS, Canada (Zone 4a)
Region: Canadian Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Raven
Sep 11, 2020 9:11 AM CST
I also mulch heavily. My mulch is free since I collect leaves in the fall, store over the winter and spread in the spring once daylily leaves are big enough to hold them in place. Also, a few years ago, I edged all my beds with plastic edging sunk in the ground. That keeps creepers and grass from moving into my beds. Certainly a work/time saver. I find my mulch does not really help with water retention but certainly keeps weeds down. Of course, I do a big weeding before laying the mulch.
Name: Nancy
Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5b)
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nancyindg
Sep 11, 2020 12:55 PM CST
I have a sad mulch tale. I planted dozens of daylilies in the last few months, all in newly created spaces that I reclaimed after removing shrubs. In preparation for the daylilies the soil was turned over and loosened extensively as I took out as many left over roots as possible. After I got the daylilies planted I spread quite a few bags of hardwood mulch. Oh, I should mention a key point in this anecdote - as I dug the soil I came upon many, many cicadas nymphs and felt bad about disrupting/killing them so I sometimes reburied them. Within days of having spread the mulch I noticed that just about every morning there was evidence that something was digging in the beds, probably in the hunt for whatever they thought was edible beneath the surface. My guess is they were after the abundant cicada nymphs. Over the course of a few days most of the mulch disappeared and the beds almost looked like I'd never put down any at all. The mulch had gotten redistributed below level and when I moved soil back to cover critter dug holes I exacerbated the problem. Luckily no daylilies were harmed in the digging process, although one was uprooted but I replanted it in the morning. I didn't know if a skunk or raccoon was doing the dirty work but after several nights of really bad digging I put out a Havahart trap. I was surprised that within a couple of hours I had an opposum. Not surprised that they are in the neighborhood but hadn't considered them as the culprit. On subsequent nights I have had the trap again ready for visitors but haven't had any action. I never leave traps open all night so perhaps I'd have better luck if I did that but that's not my style.
Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Sep 11, 2020 6:09 PM CST
Nancy, I have a raccoon that digs around my newly planted plants, I assume for grubs and bugs. It has dug up plants completely, but put them off to the side undamaged. I now put bricks or something beside the plant. It worked all but once.

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