any groundcover that can withstand mowing?

newskye(uk-8b)August 24, 2013

(I posted this in the groundcovers forum a few days ago but there's not so much activity there, so I'm reposting here)

Help me out, fellow gardeners! I'm looking for a groundcover which won't be killed off by being mowed 2 or 3 times a year. Would lysimachia work? Ajuga? Mint?

The situation is that my neighborhood has a number of public areas that are chock full of weeds and overgrown grass, which I want to plant nicer things in. Last year I planted nasturtiums in several places, which were growing and blooming until the local council workers mowed it all down, killed my flowering plants and left the grass and weeds to grow all over the place again. It was so disheartening. I still want to work on it though, so if I could find a groundcover that would keep off the grass and weeds then that would be a start.

Can anyone give me any advice here? I have a "Midnight Sun" lysimachia which is very nice, and 2 types of ajuga I could take pieces from. Would either of these stand up to mowing once in spring, once in summer, and once in early fall? Can you suggest anything that could work?

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    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:47AM
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I was going to suggest Ivy also. Not much will grow up through it as far as grass and weeds (but do I have some shrubs and perennials growing in mine) but a person needs to keep it in check or the ivy will creep out where it's not wanted.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Have you talked to the council about it? Basically you're talking about guerilla gardening. But if they know you're interested they might cooperate. Either by planting the area themselves or coordinating with you and letting you garden there. You might even shame them into maintaining the area better.

To resist regular mowing you'd need something perennial. Is the area sun or shade? Dry or damp?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:26PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

I would avoid ivy. If you plant something like liriope, it can be mown in early spring. If you plant carex or mondo grass, no need to mow at all. Maybe that would be welcomed.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Ivy is native to the UK and not a problem here. But it's not very exciting.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 4:56PM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

I have sedum groundcover here that gets mowed regularly and it's just fine. It's low enough to the ground it seems to not be affected

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:36AM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Achillea? I have no idea if it would work for your application, but here is an article that may be of interest to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Yarrow Lawn

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 12:43AM
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You need a low growing ground cover that will grow densely to shade out weeds, tolerate neglect, and be drought tolerant altho the latter may not be an issue in your damp climate.

One of my favorite ground covers that answers those requirements is Wooly Thyme. It grows well in my dry climate, requires no care once established and spreads well. In fact I have to cut or rip it back late spring and late summer or it would cover more of my patio than I want (it grows in spaces in my patio). Not only would it tolerate mowing, if the mower was set high it likely wouldn't even get cut altho any weeds growing thru would be.

The link below shows many groundcovers for your consideration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tough Ten groundcovers

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 12:08PM
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