Need some advice for rocky ground.

adidas(6/7)May 10, 2013

I'm in a rocky area of the Appalachians (VA). Land in front of house is undisturbed woodland. The ground was solid rock and was blasted to build the house. The previous owners cut all large trees in the back and it looks as if they covered the 2 acres w/dirt covering all or most of the blasted chunks of rock. They then tossed a ton of hay over it and it was quickly overrun by wineberry, thistle and assortment of noxious weeds. Every now and then I come across a bloodroot or mayapple out in the blazing sun and there's rue everywhere. Everywhere I dig to plant something there's rock under the soil. So my plan is to re-introduce bushes (same species of bushes that are naturally growing in the front) and to dig up as much of the rock as I can and lay it on top as I was hoping the rocks would cut down the space available for weeds and hay, which has sprouted. Has anyone else had a similar experience? My question is: Will digging the rocks up and placing them on top really cut the weeds down OR will it just make things more difficult if the weeds start rooting under the rock? Any input would be appreciated. Also, do you know of any native (non-invasive) groundcover or fern that doesn't mind blazing sun?

Thanks for reading!

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You didn't tell us the soil type nor the altitude, but I have fallen in love with Leiophyllum buxifolium, sand myrtle, which grows on rocks here in NC. It needs acid soil and good drainage and moist.

Anything in the Ericaceae group may fit your needs. We find these plants on rocks in the mountains here.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Thanks for your input. We're on a smallish mtn at about 1600-1700 ft. Soil has pretty good drainage (I'm going by the rest of the flora around)...I think it would be on the acidic side...lot of moss...though I know some moss can like it alkaline...haven't tested soil so I really don't know the pH. I would describe the area as a rich cove forest. A friend of mine lives in the western NC mtns and she has all kinds of plants in the Ericacae family but it seems as though most of those prefer shade....arbutus, azaleas, rhodies etc. I haven't seen any of those species growing in this area though I did nick a few seeds and hope to plant them around when/if they ever get big enough...they are TINY! Anyway, I'll check out the sand myrtle...sounds interesting!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Erica and Calluna easily tolerates full sun

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:57AM
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