Ground cover you can walk on

brandles(7 NE OK)April 15, 2010

Hi all,

I want to plant some ground cover around my daughters play set. We are getting tired of weed eating every year. Please suggest plants that will grow well without much watering in mostly full sun and poorly drained heavy clay soil. Crossing my fingers there is a variety out there that fits the bill. :)

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jessaka

thyme? i am just guessing. if i am wrong i hope others will let me know. i planted time but it is mostly in the shade but growing anyway, and i can walk on it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:40AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I was so glad when our kids outgrew their swingset. I hated mowing around that thing. I can understand why you're asking.

I haven't planted thyme so I don't know how tough it is. The ground gets a lot of wear and tear underneath a playset though. I think it might be hard to keep something going where the kids walk the most. Maybe you could kill the grass and plant something like thyme right around the posts where it's hardest to mow, then leave the rest in grass. Or put a circle of mulch around the posts. Would that help?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:33AM
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brandles(7 NE OK)

There is more to the reason I want ground cover instead of grass... Here's some background info first. We moved in to our home last summer and the back yard was a blank slate. The only thing back there is a trampoline and a playset. We have one child who is 4. We are going to build out a covered patio and while we are at it I want to do some landscaping. Even if we aren't ambitious enough to finish it in one season I want to have a plan. Part of the plan is to create a defined play area. I want to install the trampoline in ground and plant ground cover around the trampoline and the playset. I realize there may be some negative space where a path is worn but that's okay because if it's necessary I will lay some mulch or pea gravel in those areas. I want to save money and the future trouble of getting rid of whatever material I use to define that space. Not only that, it would be nice to save DH some work by decreasing the area he needs to mow so I can order up a longer honey do list. :) I know it's kind of a tall order finding a plant that can tolerate some abuse and not get too tall or create a trip hazard, but I have to try. :) I'm even open to plants that might be considered weeds by some. My daughter would love something flowering.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 12:50PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I don't think thyme is very tough and I think it likes good drainage.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 2:58PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

I've seen pea gravel on playgrounds. At a preschool that my twins went to, they had a sandbox filled with pea gravel for the kids to play in with dump trucks, shovels and such. Not as messy as sand. Your daughter might like that to dig in, bury toys etc. You would need to use landscape timbers or something to keep it separate from the grass.

I think it would be difficult to keep weeds out of a big area of ground cover but honestly haven't tried it so I can't say. There is a website called Stepables.com that might be helpful to you but don't forget they're trying to sell something. You could try just doing part of the area and see how it goes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stepables.com

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 3:39PM
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