Ask a Question forum: Ground cover for outdoor cattery in zone 9a/b shaded

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Name: Melissa C
Mascotte, FL (Zone 9b)
goldenfire
Mar 25, 2016 5:57 PM CST
I am looking for options for a 16' x 24' outdoor cattery that will take "paw traffic" and grow in a moist shady area. I have a dedicated potty area so they will only be walking, playing and lounging on the area I need to cover.

I have been looking at the possibility of Irish moss, Paddys Wig and Moss Agate as possibilities. I currently have typical St Augustine mixed with weeds in the area. It is a heavy clay soil with only minimal sunlight. Any advice is greatly appreciated. All of the plants must be non-toxic of course.

The photo provided was during construction in April of 2015. Currently I have Confederate Jasmine climbing on the cattery walls for shade.

Thumb of 2016-03-25/goldenfire/c07bd2
Thumb of 2016-03-25/goldenfire/bf1e8f

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 25, 2016 6:14 PM CST
My cat would like to come visit your cats. Lovey dubby
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 25, 2016 6:34 PM CST
I have dwarf Monkey Grass growing in shaded areas where my St. Augustine refused to grow. Like you, we have some clay to deal with but mostly hard compact soil because of the trees' roots sucking up moisture. This doesn't seem to bother the Monkey Grass. It seems to grow in all places, albeit slowly except right up next to a tree root. I douse it 2 times a year with bags of Miracle Gro Garden Soil and it seems to love the boots. I mean boost. hahaha No it doesn't like constant boots on it. It seems to pout when I roll over it with a wheelbarrow getting to and from my projects. But it bounces back and forgives me. I don't think it would be bothered by a few kitties rolling on it?

I bought 1 gallon size and separated it. I planted them about 3" apart to let them grow together. It takes awhile. I would plant larger clumps closer together if I were to do it all over again.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 25, 2016 7:22 PM CST
A ground cover that does very well here is horseherb (Cryptocarpus vialis). It thrives in shade or sun, is not picky about the soil, tolerates traffic, and can be mowed.
Porkpal
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 25, 2016 7:41 PM CST
I agree The dwarf monkey grass sounds like a good idea. Thumbs up

I did some research and hope none of these will be harmful for the cats. Some could be considered invasive or at least aggressive. A few of these may be too tall, or will be until the cats get comfortable rolling around and flatten them a bit.

I once saw a blog where the person was testing plants for a chicken coop and she planted each type of plant in a flat, moved the flats around to get the best location for each, removed the plants which did not work before planting in-ground.

Callirhoe involucrata/Purple Poppy Mallow


Dichondra carolinensis/Pony Foot

(No photo in our database but there is another called Silver Pony Foot)

Glandularia bipinnatifida/Showy Verbena


Hydrocotyle umbellata/Manyflower Marsh Pennywort (It's good old Dollar Weed )


Oeonothera speciosa/Pink Evening Primrose


Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. macrocarpa/Big Fruit Evening Primrose


Phlox divaricata/Wild Blue Phlox


Phlox drummondii/Annual Phlox


Phlox pilosa/Downy Phlox


Phyla nodiflora/Frog Fruit aka Turkey Tangle Frog Fruit


Salvia roemeriana
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb
Planet Earth, Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Ferns Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Mar 25, 2016 8:36 PM CST
Wow, I've never heard of the term 'cattery' although it was immediately clear what it was. Do you have a lot of predators? But, back to the question: How about wheat grass? The cats could snack on it.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 25, 2016 10:47 PM CST
Some of the variegated jasmine ground covers would make a beautiful and carefree ground cover.There are yellow, white, and pink variegations and I have one that is known as 'Tricolor' because the new leaves are pink, fade to white then develop nice green sections. My cat loves to tramp around and curl up amongst the leaves.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Mar 25, 2016 11:00 PM CST
You may find something you like here also. (Dry Shade)

http://www.stepables.com/scrip...
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia Plant Identifier Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers
Critters Allowed Composter Rabbit Keeper Herbs Region: United States of America Dog Lover
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greene
Mar 26, 2016 10:25 AM CST
Wow, I just thought of something. We have not suggested Catnip. It should do alright if it gets a bit of sun part of the day.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 26, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Only if Goldenfire wants to live with a bunch of stoned cats. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 26, 2016 12:57 PM CST
Was thinking the same thing - maybe plant some catnip outside the fence, and just give them some once in a while?

As I recall from my daughter's garden, it gets quite tall so not really a groundcover. Her cats used to nibble the leaves (it grew as a weed in her garden) but once it got taller, they were indifferent to it unless we were weeding it out, and laid it on the ground where they could get the tender young leaves. Then lay about looking mellow for the rest of the day . . . Blinking
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 26, 2016 1:05 PM CST
I second the suggestion of Frogfruit. A landscape architect friend of ours had a lovely garden in which one area of lawn was all frogfruit. It was lovely!
Porkpal

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