Q: I have a steep slope in my backyard that is covered with English ivy. What’s the best ground cover I can plant instead to avoid erosion of the slope? It’s pretty shady. We back up to a park where the ivy grows uncontrolled.
A: I know this upsets the native plant people, but in some situations English ivy is the only plant that can succeed in a shady slope. The only other plant that I can think of that can thrive in dense shade is liriope. Consider removing some of the smaller inconsequential shrubs on the slope so you can walk on it easily. It’s not terribly hard to maintain an ivy-free zone a couple of feet wide around the trees and shrubs you like. You can maintain an ivy-free strip between your property and the park property by spraying glyphosate (Roundup, etc) every couple of months.