Ground covers

Debbie51(Big Isle Hawaii)May 28, 2004

I have an area in my garden which is completely bare soil. I had intended to leave it this way (as I have planted various fruit trees and Plumeria) and wait for the trees to grow and beautify it. It is approximately 1/5 acre in size.

However, I am finding that during hard rains, the topsoil is running off (did I forget to mention that we leave on a steep hillside??). What groundcover (other than grass) could someone suggest that is:

tolerant to full sun now and partial shade later (when the trees are larger);

relatively inexpensive to plant; and

pretty?

I have been considering false heather and, maybe, hearts and flowers.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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KonaPhil(Hawaii)

Hearts and Flowers is an excellent choice. Fast, low maintenance, low water requirements and neat appearance. Takes sun or shade. It will grow faster in full sun.

False Heather (cuphea) is a good choice but would be a little large to harvest fruit around.

Spanish Shawl (heterocentron elegans) Pretty aggressive but easy to control.

Wedelia Very aggressive and harder to control after complete covererage. Other wise known as Weed ail-ia.

Mondo grass is very good but slow coverage.

Thyme is supposed to be good but I can never get a good start of it.

Carpet bugle (Ajuga reptens) slugs and snails love it.

Star Jasmine (trachelospermum) a vine with a sweet smell. Slow growing.

That's a start.

Let me know if you want more.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 1:21AM
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tammie12(Hawaii)

What's Hearts and Flowers? I've been considering Golden Glory because it won't climb up the plants. Thanks! Tammie

    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 9:40PM
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KonaPhil(Hawaii)

Hearts & Flowers are(aptenia cordifolia) a succulent in the mesembryanthemum family.

Golden Glory (arachis pintoi) is an excellent choice for the tropics. Used in Australia as a legume cover crop and livestock feed. An excellent neat ground cover. Slow to cover from seed. I had to put little fences around my coffee trees, where I planted Arachis pintoi, to keep the turkeys, chickens and birds from eating the seeds. Once extablished, it has a deep root and will last thru dry spells while the weeds die. The plants are available at some nurseries now. When I started in 1995 no one knew what I was talking about. I found a farm supply in Wiamea that had the seeds on order for an article in the paper from the Univ extension service.

Good luck Tammie. By the way hearts and flowers won't grow up the plants either. I use both plants

good luck
Phil

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 3:46AM
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tammie12(Hawaii)

Thanks Phil! Have a wonderful Memorial day! Tammie

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 5:55PM
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Debbie51(Big Isle Hawaii)

Thanks, Phil, for the info.

I do have hearts and flowers in other places and they do grown like mad!!

I was looking for something a little lower to the ground. Do you know anything about grasses, such as Zoyia (I think I am probably mis-spelling it). I have seen in used in medians in various places around town, but don't want something that you have to mow all the time. Does this grass need mowing??? Or does it stay low to the ground??

Thanks,
Deb

    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 2:59PM
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