Groundcovers

Nice use of English ivy in a landscape

Q: I have been working on my yard for twenty years and have gone through a lot of trial and error. It is hilly and wooded and shaded. I’ve always had ivy for ground cover and have settled with azaleas,...

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Should I Shred My Leaf Pile

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot. I take the fallen leaves off my grass and move them into an area with mature oak trees. The piles are four feet high when I’m finished. Is it better to leave the...

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Wood Chips As Mulch

Q: I am having some trees removed and would like to have them chipped up and spread around my plants and flower beds. Is this a good idea?  A: Arborist wood chips are an excellent landscape mulch! Unlike other mulch...

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Cuttings, Perlite, And Peat Moss

Q: I have rooted several cuttings from an oak leaf hydrangea in a mixture of perlite and peat moss. I’m not sure what to do next.  A: In a sheltered spot outdoors dig a trench six inches deep and a...

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Should I Rake Ivy Litter Before Putting Pine Straw On Top?

Q: I am clearing ivy from my yard. Should I rake out the ivy litter before I put pine straw on top of it?  A: The leaf litter will be decomposed by soil-dwelling creatures and will thereby feed the shrubs...

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Replace Ivy On A Steep Shady Bank

Q: I want to remove ivy from a steep shady bank but don’t know a plant that will hold the soil. Also the ivy is a haven for copperheads.  A: I think you are asking the impossible when looking for...

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Will Roundup Affect My Liriope?

Q: I have recently planted six hundred liriope plants for groundcover. Some unwanted grasses, mimosa, and other weeds have sprouted in my planting. Can I spray Roundup on the unwanted plants or will that affect the liriope?  A: I can...

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Will A Vinegar And Salt Solution Kill Underbrush?

Q: Can you spread a vinegar and salt solution under big pine and oak trees to kill the underbrush below them?  A: Neither vinegar nor salt will kill the underbrush. Concentrated acetic acid, which smells like vinegar, might burn the...

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Filling In A Gully On A Sloping Yard

Q: I have a sloping yard that has developed a gully on one side that is hard to mow. I am having a tree removed and wonder if I can fill in with the chips, then cover with dirt and...

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What Can I Put Down Under A Backyard Tree Where My Dog Runs?

Q: What can I put down under a backyard tree where my dog runs. It’s a mud pit now.  A: It’s terribly hard to get plants to grow in shade when they are under constant assault by a dog running...

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Is Black Plastic Ground Cover Good For Flower Beds?

Q: Is black plastic ground cover a good thing or a bad thing for a flower bed? Crazy question I know but my hubby had it put down and it seems to be a barrier to planting annuals.  A: I...

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Creeping Jenny- Can I Kill The Oxalis In It?

Q: Oxalis is taking over our creeping jenny groundcover. I’ve tried pulling it out but we have so much of it and it is difficult to separate the two. Is there anything that will kill the clover but keep the...

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Moss – Growing

More than a few gardeners have decided to switch rather than fight. They’re purposely growing moss rather than trying to eliminate it from their landscape. There are hundreds of lawn lovers who can demonstrate how easy it is to grow...

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Liriope

Cold weather can leave liriope (commonly called monkey grass) in tatters. Flower bed edging and driveway borders can be come overgrown and unkempt if the liriope is not kept compact. The best time to trim monkey grass is January –...

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