Ask a Question forum: Shade tolerant Ground cover for erosion control

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Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
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SCurtis
Mar 23, 2015 1:11 PM CST
hey guys!

I have a spot in my yard that is eroding, no grass really grows here and it's quite steep. Also, no sun hits it except for a few afternoon hours. Because it's a pretty big spot I was thinking of putting hydrangeas in the sunniest of areas but was wanting to put something underneath to help keep the soil from washing away. I don't want something that will take over the yard. What suggestions do you guys have? I don't even need to keep the hydrangea idea just some sort of big bush to line the house then some ground cover.
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 23, 2015 3:01 PM CST
The top of the slope might be too dry for hydrangeas since moisture would want to drain downhill. They might even want afternoon shade in your area. You might look into shrubs that are a more drought tolerant and interplant a few varieties that bloom at different times. Their roots might be just enough to hold your hillside together depending on how many you plant. You could mulch any bare spots with shredded leaves or shredded hardwood mulch. To me, ground covers almost always mean thugs or invasives.
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 23, 2015 3:16 PM CST
How about ferns, hellebores, and heuchera? I've never tried to grow any but saw those are pretty hardy. I was also thinking hostas instead of hydrangeas. I haven't noticed if the top of the hill is dry or not but I know below is pretty much damp all the time.
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 23, 2015 3:25 PM CST
Have you considered something like Polygonatum/Solomon's Seal; it's not a ground hugger but it would spread and it loves the shade.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 23, 2015 4:24 PM CST
Brunnera macrophylla likes the shade very much, maybe you can try that too.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 23, 2015 7:01 PM CST
We have a shady back yard where no lawn will grow. We planted Dwarf Monkey Grass. It works. Evergreen, never needs mowing, about 3" tall. You can pull it out where you don't want it. Edge it. Hedge it. I have seen where it was mowed and it looks like dark green lawn. But it is not as soft. It is a slow grower. Plant them in clumps close together. The roots are not deep so you can plant over it with other things, like Hostas or other shade lovers.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 23, 2015 7:30 PM CST
Ironically Cheryl, my mom told me to put in monkey grass too. I was thinking about it but didn't know if it'd spread past our border. The brunnera and polygatum are both very pretty! I looked on some of the sites and didn't see any. I'm going to go check the nursery this week.
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 23, 2015 7:49 PM CST
Regular Monkey Grass is tough to control. But I find that the dwarf variety is so slow growing, it is much easier to keep out of wherever it wanders. I don't see it going under rock borders as I do the standard mondo grass.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 23, 2015 9:12 PM CST
Clivia miniata likes the shade very much too. I often find them under the trees and it blooms even in the shade. Just check though how it will go during winter.
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 24, 2015 9:47 AM CST
Those are very pretty Tarev! But sadly not hardy to my area Sad
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 24, 2015 10:02 AM CST
Maybe you can also try Astilbe Smiling
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Mar 24, 2015 10:08 AM CST
My neighbor gave me a type of short Astilbe that creeps. It looks attractive all year round. Sadly, she did not know the cultivar.
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 24, 2015 1:56 PM CST
I didn't even think of astilbe, I bet that'd be very pretty in front of something Smiling
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 30, 2015 10:04 AM CST
Well I worked on it this weekend. I went out there and figured out that I think the top of the hill gets more sun than I originally thought. But the top of the hill is definitely dry. I went to Lowe's and they literally had nothing that was on my list to put in there. I finally settled on some gardenias seeing that it does get more sun on the top of the hill. I know they're a little more high maintenance than was I was hoping, but I have a rain barrel a few feet away so I can probably hook up a drip system to water them so I don't need to think about it. I also already have to cover my front bushes every winter so why not add the side bushes! lol. I also have everything to bring the ph down because I grow blueberries.

I also put in some hellebores and some shade sedum, I didn't even know sedum varieties tolerated shade! I' m still looking for a solomon's seal Greene. Looks like I'll sadly have to order some seeds or plants online. Sad

I'm planning on putting in some monkey grass but trying to find some that is easily controlled. This spot is real close to my neighbor's yard and I know she won't like monkey grass taking over her nice grass, (I probably wouldn't care on my side because it'd look better than dirt, that's all I have growing lol!) But, I thought I'd show you the progress so far.

Thumb of 2015-03-30/SCurtis/015a52


Thumb of 2015-03-30/SCurtis/f2e885

Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 30, 2015 3:41 PM CST
You could make a post in the trading forum to say you are looking for plants. Before you mail order something, why not ask the ATP members?

Regarding the Monkey grass. I know others have said it will take over but I have not have that experience. I planted some in a tight grid pattern through holes in landscape fabric and placed a length of landscape lumber along the property line. Almost 6 years later and the Monkey grass is still only on my side of the line and has not ventured over into "Mr Crabby's" yard.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Mar 31, 2015 3:27 PM (+)]
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Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Mar 30, 2015 8:16 PM CST
Thanks for the thought Greene! Didn't even think about the trading forum Smiling . The people that lived here before tried the landscapers fabric and no dirt seems to stick to it, I think that was the main reason for all the dirt and erosion patches, you think I'll have the same problem for if I use it for the monkey grass?
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 31, 2015 3:27 PM CST
Good luck; hope you find lots of new plants from the ATP members.

Not sure I understand the question about dirt sticking. The landscape fabric goes over the soil. After planting through holes in the landscape fabric, mulch is applied on top of the landscape fabric.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
SCurtis
Mar 31, 2015 9:04 PM CST
Ah, I'm used to it being under, instead of using something compostable a lot of people at least around here put it down then dump dirt on top. At least that's what I'm running into around here a lot. Many places all over my yard previous owners did it that way. I personally use something that'll disintegrate. Thanks for the thoughts Greene. Smiling
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss

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