ground covers

lisa252(8)April 2, 2013

I am hoping someone can help me with a problem. I have always been VERY intimidated by gardening because my house is on a steep slope and I always get overwhelmed and give up. Consequently, my yard has turned into mostly dirt. I was planning on sodding but then I read about using ground covers for a lawn-no mow and less maintenance. This really appeals to me but I am so lost as to what ground covers to try. The more I read the more intimidated I get. My yard is part shade, part sun and, since you never know if you will have a drought or a monsoon season here, it has to be hardy for pretty much all occasions.. Has anyone in the middle ga area tried using ground covers for a lawn and if so, with how much success? What plants fared best in shade? sun? I would appreciate any help you can offer. thanks

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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

@lisa252--It would greatly help to know where you are in middle Georgia. Being near Macon is different than being near Savannah or Columbus.

Other than that, are parts of your yard always in sun and parts always in shade?

Best Wishes--Carl
NE Atlanta ITP

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I am in Macon and yes, half is always in sun, half in shade. I'd appreciate any help. thanks

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:16PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)


I had a fairly extensive list made up for you last night, but it did not post when I submitted it and was lost. I'll work on it again tonight if I get out of the office at a reasonable time. Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thank you so much Carl! That is so sweet of you to go to so much trouble:)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:01PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

Let's try this again--

With one exception, which I have noted, all the groundcovers listed below will need only periodic watering once established. Also, with one noted exception (the same plant), all are rated to be hardy well south of your area (the exception is rated only through your area--zone 8). None of those listed, to the best of my knowledge, are invasive. Other notes have been added as appropriate.


Spotted Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis)
Lily Turf (Liriope muscari)--best as a border
Periwinkle (Vinca)--large (major) or small (minor)
Phlox (Phlox subulata)

FOR USE IN SUN OR SHADE--Good for areas that will be in both

Blue Lungwort (Pulmonaria augustifolia)--this is the one rated through Zone 8, Once established, it needs very little periodic watering.
Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus)
Brass Buttons (Leptinella squalida)
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogan japonicus)--Best as a border


Phlox (Phlox subulata)
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosis)
Woolly Yarrow (Achillea tomentosa)

There are others that will grow in your area I am sure.

My suggestion is to research these, decide what you may want to use, then post on the "Groundcovers" part of this forum a statement that goes something like "I'm in zone 8 near Macon, GA and I'm thinking about planting XXX in the sunny parts of my yard and YYY in the shady parts. What do you think?" You'll probably get a lot of responses.

One final thing--DO NOT plant English Ivy. Trust me on this.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

This post was edited by ApprenticeGardener on Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 21:06

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 7:40PM
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thank you so much Carl. don't worry about the ivy-I detest it. I appreciate your help!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:07PM
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Carl--I have enjoyed looking at your landscaping and the progress you are making. You have sooooo much ivy. Are you sure you don't like it? ;c)

You should be able to give us a tutorial on how to get rid of it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:20PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)


I've had success in the past with partial uprooting and Roundup and with mowing (in areas where the mowed particles will fall into Ivy and not on other plantings)and Roundup. Since I have so much, I'm going to try these and some other methods to see what works best.

Thanks for the kind comments on the landscaping so far.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Carl, how do I see your landscaping pics too?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:52AM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

@lisa 252

They are in another post on this part (Georgia Gardener) of the forum entitled "A Once and Future Georgia Garden". Thanks for your interest.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:35AM
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