lazy way to cover ground...a bad idea?

Mindyw3(5)February 12, 2012

I have mature crab apple at the corner of the front lawn. It has a wooden fence along its east side, sidewalk along the north and lawn west and south. The previous owners severely neglected the area underneath of it. It was full of suckers, creeping charlie and various other weeds. This past fall we cleaned it out down to bare dirt but im sure it will begin to fill back in with weeds the second the weather warms up. I have so much else to do this spring that i am seriously considering dumping a bag of wildflowers, evening primrose and blue bonnets on it as soon as we get a period with no snow on the ground. This area almostnever gets eatered and is far from any hoses! Im hoping the mix could help smother out weeds, smell nice and look somewhat improved. My concerns are that the eeeds will just over take and ikl have a weedy mess with an occasional flower and that especially the primrose could possibly spread under the neighbors fence or into their strip if lawn that goes up to the trees dripline/ bed border. What do you guys think?

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Evening primrose will be a nightmare. Lovely, but is a thug that takes over. How about putting down newspaper and mulching (but not up against the trunk!)?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:20PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Place flattened cardboard boxes or cheap roofing paper and cover with deep bulch.

In the link scroll down to about the 6 or so post dated Mon, Apr 12, 10 at 21:14
Read my "soap box" info and view the pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: paper & mulch

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:29PM
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I'd use newspaper/cardboard and mulch too. That will get that area under control for you.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 8:42PM
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Corrugated cardboard topped w/4 inches of bark mulch (not up against tree trunk). Overlap edges of the cardboard--weeds will find any gaps.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I had a wildflower area in the center of my backyard, it looked good some of the time but looked "ratty" alot of the time, so I removed it and made a rose garden. Looks great now. I agree with the mulching. Also, wildflowers typically need sun, and under the tree might not do well, anyway. When you have time, if ever, or are so inclined, you could later plant something there.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:33AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I did this once, because I could not afford mulch but I had a packet of wildflower seeds. It was in light shade under a recently pruned California Pepper tree, and everything bloomed. It was magical for a few months.

It was a lot of work, though, after the bloom, because all of those tall, dead flower stalks had to be uprooted and thrown out- I did not want the seeds all through the garden so I didn't put them in the compost pile. I didn't do it the following year.

If you do it, don't disturb the soil any more, because more weeds will come up. And take photos!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:40PM
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bev2009(6 IN)

Just a ground cover is a possibility if you didn't want to do much with the area, or hosta if it is shady. If you search for xeriscape ground cover, you'll find lots of possible ground covers. You can choose based on the sunlight the area receives. Since you are busy this year, you can just leave the cardboard and mulch and then either buy or grow the plants you want for next year. You'd have lots of time to decide. If you are looking to save money, you can grow hosta from seeds from friends' plants or exchanges online. You won't know what they will look like for sure, but they do seed easily (if you do it correctly.)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:16PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

I must be missing something, since no one else has mentioned it...but under a tree, rarely watered, far from hoses? I'd definitely go with paper covered with mulch. I think you would have a difficult time getting anything established there.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:25PM
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