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Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Posted by woliver none (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 11:23

Does anyone have any recommendations on a groundcover that will withstand light traffic that will grow with low water requirements and will spread quickly? I'm at 6800 ft just south of Monument.
Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I sure do!

My favorite nursery, Echters, carries a line of ground covers called Stepables.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Stepables


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

The genera Thymus, Veronica have several.

Dan


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

  • Posted by dsieber z5 Lakewood CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 22:07

Good info. When I saw the original post I thought good luck might as well ask for a cure for cancer. Are there any other plants that fit the bill?


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Hi Woliver,

Both creeping thyme and creeping veronica are good possibilities, but I have some questions!

How much sun does the area get, and is it pretty much the same all over? How big is the area, and is this between stepping stones of some sort or just an open area? Is it sloped, or pretty much level? What kind of foot traffic are you talking about? Like, is there going to be a dog(s) that take the same route every time they're there, kids playing there, you just needing to walk on it occasionally? What do you consider low water requirements? Do you plan to water/are you willing to water once a week, once a month, more or less than either of those two? How do you plan to water the area --in-ground system, sprinkler on a hose, hand held hose? Is there anything growing in the area now? Do you know if you're considered zone 5 or 4 where you are?

I may have some other possibilities when I know more about your conditions and what you have in mind.

Welcome to RMG!

Skybird


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

  • Posted by dsieber z5 Lakewood CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 19, 11 at 23:40

Skybird you raise some good questions. I looked more into the postings of "Stepables " Whenever I see a R trademark I wonder.....I think Dan Staley's posting of The genera Thymus, Veronica have several. Is a better starting point than "Stepables"


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I see 6800' S of Monument as being mostly sunny unless on an E or NE slope. "Stepables" is a marketing term for maybe ~20-ish ground covers, most of them Thymus, Veronica. Some Sedum, some others.

Dan


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I think Stepables is mostly a marketing tool. I hadn't been to their site for a couple years so I checked it out again today. Put some parameters into their search, and didn't at all come up with some things I had expected to--and got some things I never would have considered to be either a groundcover OR "stepable!" When it didn't suggest woolly thyme for one of my searches, I looked for it separately---and they consider it zone 6! Huh? It's EASILY zone 5, and probably zone 4 with the right conditions. Not trying to dis you at all, B2, but I'd trust the opinion of a real live person at Echter's a lot more than something that's recommended just because it's a Stepable Brand. ("Stepables" are the same plants everybody carries, just with a "Stepable" tag in the pot. I've never priced them, but my guess is that you're gonna pay more for a woolly thyme with a Stepable tag than you would for one without the tag! It's kind of like the Hardy Boy plants here in DEN! 98% of all customers believe they're better--more "hardy"---petunias???---but it's really just an excellent marketing plan by Welby's!)

I agree that most areas down that way would be sunny, Dan, but there are some wooded areas down there too. Just need to know if there are a bunch of trees where it's gonna be planted, or next to a building or something.

Skybird


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

One thing I like about stepables is that they offer a checklist for your growing conditions, and then give the right plants for your conditions.

And veronica was #1 on the list :)

Here is a link that might be useful: questionnaire for the right plant


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Yeah, B2, that's the search I used, when I was totally surprised with some of the things they came up with for the parameters I put in. Some of them didn't make any sense at all. Some of them did. Armeria was one of the things they "recommended" for "in cracks" in a sunny area with low water requirements. If Armeria is xeric, I sure never heard about it, and I can't imagine growing it in cracks--or walking on it! And the time I put in the info where woolly thyme absolutely, positively should have come up in the result, it didn't. It looks to me like you might come up with the best choices, but you might not too. I'd count on person-to-person advice more than I would on their search engine.

Skybird


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I'd count on person-to-person advice more than I would on their search engine.

Or the High Country Gardens catalog, which is my default for neighbors. I've taken to keeping old ones around to give away.

Dan


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Oh I see, skybird!

Thanks for the info!

Betty

P.S. ---Skybird, are you a master gardener? How did you learn so much about gardening? I'm very impressed.


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I've had a problem with my wooly thyme ground cover. It's a "steppable" and I have it planted in a part sun/part shade area that gets watered over the summer, but in winter, like the dry one we just had, or over a particularly cold winter, I get so much die back I almost have to completely replant. The place it grows is completely shaded all winter, one of my colder microclimates. Any suggestions? Oh, I'm zone 5a.


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Any suggestions?

Plant in some sun, even in winter.

Dan


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Well then, what will survive the intense shade with some sun during the summer?


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

Wow, great info, thanks everyone! I will check out the creeping thyme and creeping veronica.

The area is large ~80' x 20' and is sunny almost all day. I'm willing to water a few times per month with our sprinkler system. It will get mild foot traffic/playing from our 3 year old, portions would just be the groundcover and other portions would be the groundcover between other plantings and stepping stones. I'm not sure if I'm zone 4 or 5, I'm in Gleneagle if anyone happens to know what zone that is.

Thank you!
Wendy


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I love creeping veronica and want to try some as well. I have thyme between flagstone pavers and while it is drought tolerant, smells great when you step on it, and takes heavy traffic (dogs, lawn mower, kids riding their bikes over it daily), I hate how it leaves obvious dead patches from the previous year's growth and it tends to overgrow (and creep) more than I'd like. It's okay, I'm just not crazy about it and don't love the color when in bloom either. I have a few different varieties and don't go crazy over any of them.

I prefer the areas where we planted creeping jenny (moneywart). Some areas get more shade than others, but they're all thriving and withstand foot traffic really well. I've also heard good things about pussytoes, so you might check them out.


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

  • Posted by jnfr z5b CO (My Page) on
    Mon, May 23, 11 at 12:05

For shade you might try woodruff.


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RE: Aggressive spreading walkable drought tolerant groundcover?

I garden in Iowa and at my son's home near Denver. I removed all the grass in the Iowa home & tried a variety of groundcovers. The absolute winner (after three years) is the creeping potentilla. It's gotten plenty of rain water (but I think it could do with less).

I love the way the thymes grow in Colorado, but they don't seem to be as aggressive as the potentilla.

You should probably do what I did and plant six different ones and see what happens.]
Good luck
Susan


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