Ground cover

jim2k(mississippi)January 16, 2005

I need a good ground cover that can be walk on.I thought of Mother of thyme but am not sure if it will do well here. Anybody used it or know of something else. Thanks Jim

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I have dwarf mongo grass between stepping stones all along a path. Also between stones that make a patio. (still planting) It does get stepped on and seems to be alright, since it is not a lot of traffic, just a little.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 7:04PM
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chris_frink(z8b La.)

I was about to begin to ask this same question when I found this thread, maybe popping this to the top of the forum will spark more responses.

I am building a long 4-foot-wide path out of chucnks of old broken-up sidewalks and driveways (cheap but a ton of sweaty work). I looks great and will look even better when I plant ground cover in the wider gaps between the "stones."

I was enamoured of Corsican mint until I read that it needs shade. This path is sun blasted.

I want something that can tolerate the sun, grow low to the ground and (I hope) be fragrant. Some of the thymes seem to fit this bill.

Anybody have any experience with them as a high-traffic groundcover?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 4:05PM
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lisa455(z9 LA)

Chris - My thymes have not done well in the garden because of the high amount of rainfall and drainage issues. I have even tried growing them in raised beds to no avail. They are in a pot this year and are thriving. I really like ground covers as well. I have creeping jenny, lantana, ajuga, various mints, creeping fig, wintercreeper, strawberry begonias, goldenstar, oenanthe, and laurentia. My best performers in the bed up against my patio where they get baking sun are ajuga and the mints. I have pineapple, regular and chocolate. They do like good drainage. The laurentia is thriving in full hot sun as in the goldenstar. My best performing herb that has returned for four years straight and has spread is a low grower is majoram. I also have lots of ornamental sweet potato. It is perennial for me provided the drainage is good. The white and lavendar trailing lantana has returned for me for six years. Maybe asian star jasmine would work for you? Periwinkles and portulaca also like the conditions you describe. They are tender perennials but may return for you.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 11:00PM
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I have both the thyme and Mongo grass. The thyme has done better in the hot summers of zone 9, Fresno, CA than the Mongo. Both are good for "trailing" between the rock beds, as that is why I first used the thyme. The Mongo is far more hardy to foot traffic, but the summer full sun knocks it hard--into significant dieing off, only to return as the weather cools. I like the mongo to fill in edges and borders, but need to be more cognizant of sun exposure. However, during our rainy winter, about 5 years ago, I had some standing water on the thyme area. Thereafter, I began losing most of the thyme. So I guess it doesn't respond will to excessive water. I have another ground cover that I tried following this and I like it best. It is more heat tolerant. It's very dense and slow, slow growing. I'm sorry I can't find the name for it. Will try to get it from the nursery.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:52AM
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plan9fromposhmadison(8A Madison Mississippi)

'Ground Cover' can mean a great many things. And different plants are good for different conditions.

What is your climate zone? How much sunlight does the spot receive? Is this for a rock garden, the foundation plantings around your house, a woodland planting.... ???

In general, for most of Mississippi, Asiatic Jasmine is the best ground cover. Some people think it's overused. I don't.

The larger ("Giant") Liriopes work well. They are tall enough to shade-out the Bermuda Grass which eventually insinuates itself into the shorter varieties.

And various prostrate Junipers are fantastic for sunny applications.

English Ivy is good for shady areas, but takes years to become established.

In general, little things are not for Mississippi, unless you are able and willing to micromanage them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:54PM
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    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 9:07PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

For a full sun exposure, I would recommend Creeping phlox, also called thrift. It is tough, evergreen, drought tolerant, and spectacular when it blooms in the spring. If you can give it afternoon shade, the golden oregano is gorgeous, but it will scorch in afternoon sun. Mazus reptans would also qualify but it also needs a bit of shade.

All of these can take LIGHT traffic. If you have heavy traffic, go with grass.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 5:29PM
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