annuals as groundcover

marthacr(z5 Me)March 9, 2010

This year I want to try to use some annuals as groundcover amongst my perrenials. The wave petunias will be too large and vigorous. I am going to use alyssum but looking for suggestions for others. I would like something that I can direct sow either by broadcasting or by mixing seed into compost that I spread in the early spring. I am also considering the small white Zinnia (angustafolia?) and a low annual clover.

Any suggestions?

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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Is the area sunny? What is the moisture content of the soil (moist vs. drier)?

A great full-sun annual for normal to drier conditions is Vinca catharanthus - annual Vinca. Foliage is outstanding all season, flowers are lovely and never out of bloom, don't need dead-heading or trimming back (as petunias do) - really a low-maintenance workhorse annual. They will not tolerate moister soil well, though (issues with stems rotting). There are some cultivars that get around 8-12", seems like that would fit the bill nicely. :0)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:34PM
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marthacr(z5 Me)

I don't believe I have ever seen catharanthus rosea growing here. I did look at it, but unless there is a variety that is shorter than 8" it will be too tall.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that most of the beds are full sun and well drained. And as far as height, about four inches of foliage. Something like Dianthus deltoides (zing rose) would work except that of course is perennial.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Maybe Golden Fleece (Thymophylla tenuiloba), some of the shorter kinds of Rose Moss (Portulaca grandiflora), Signet Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia), Trailing Lobelia (Lobelia erinus), 'Prince John' or 'King Henry' Viola (Viola tricolor), or Dwarf Candytuft (Iberis umbellata)?

Kevin : )

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Portulaca, purslane, sanvitalia, mesembrianthemum,

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:15PM
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In addition to the Portulacas (Moss Rose) that have already been suggested, I would suggest Phlox drummondii. There are several good cultivars, but I have a personal preference for Twinkle. I have never grown Tapestry Mix, but it looks good in the pictures. I have grown Phlox of Sheep (cute name) and they do have a range of soft pastels. Watercolor Memories has some nice colors, too.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:38AM
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I love alyssum! I usually grow the 'Easter Bonnet Mix'.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:09AM
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Calendula and forget-me-nots---They are not ground covers but they can be planted as soon as you can work the soil outside. Both will take mild frosts and like to germinate in cool weather and soil

So does portulaca which can be a ground cover. The bonus is that all these will drop seeds and come again the next year

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:24AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Limnanthes douglasii? aka Poached Egg Flower. Loves sun and attracts beneficials.

Here is a link that might be useful: Limnanthes douglasii

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:16PM
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I use all colors of alyssum in my vegetable beds as ground cover to keep the weeds down and attract beneficial insects :)

The low growing phlox and lobelia would be pretty too!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 2:55PM
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franeli(z4 NH)

How about some nasturtiums?
Some are mounding,some trailing...all kinds of colors,too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 8:03AM
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