Maintenance free cover for road ditches

deviantnicSeptember 13, 2012

Hello,

I am seeking a maintenance free or such ground cover for two road ditches that line the front of my property against the road. I would like them to be drought tolerant, be able to handle walking on, keep weeds out, and of course accept a surplus amount of water if we ever get rain again...

I'm not sure what the best method will be considering I don't want it to take over the front yard. I just don't want to have to mow the ditches with a weed-eater...and the county frowns upon leveling the ditch so it could be easily mowed. I have heard about a series called "steppables" but am not aware if they work for my zone (5). I would also like the ground cover to not be too tall where it looks trashy.

Thank you

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gardengal48

Sorry to report that there is no such thing as a maintenance-free plant.......unless you are talking plastic :-) And the combination of qualities you are asking for is a very tough one to acheive. It is not common to find a drought tolerant plant that will also tolerate significant water as well.

"Steppables" is just a marketing name for a particular company that sells groundcovers. A great many different types of groundcovers can take foot traffic in varying degrees, usually the flatter, mat-forming species better than larger or woody based choices. Weed suppression is a big variable as well but few groundcovers will completely eliminate weeds. And once weeds take hold, they need to be addressed before they take over.

Check out the link for Nebraska groundcovers. The one choice that seems to meet most of your requirements are the GC junipers - tough, low growing, evergreen and drought tolerant. Won't take a LOT of foot traffice but some. And not happy with very wet conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nebraska groundcovers

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 3:54PM
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poaky1

Look up the specifics. I see Crownvetch used by the crews that fill in areas near store parking lots. After the lots are built they seed the areas with Crownvetch to hold the soil and it doesn't need mowed. This is for well drained areas only.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 6:44AM
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ken_mce(zone 4, NY)

Tiger lilies, although they are not really walkable.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:47PM
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edlincoln(6A)

Ferns, though they aren't very walkable.

River Oats, though they are tall and could invade your yard.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:50PM
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