Help with ground cover

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by wild-rose-43, May 4, 2006.

  1. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    I have a slope above the leach field for our septic that I want to plant some sort of ground cover on. I would like it to be something that will help hold the hill in place but at the same time not have a terribly invasive root system because of the leach field. It can be flowering or not but I would prefer something that either flowers or has variegated foliage.

    Can anyone recommend a good ground cover for me? I live in northeastern Washington state near Spokane. Our winters can get fairly cold, we're in zone 5 in most of the seed catalog zone maps.
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi Wild Rose,

    The only thing you didn't mention was the sun conditions. I'd love to see you be able to use native plants, but that isn't always an option. Take a look at these sites for some ideas.
    http://stepables.com/
    http://classygroundcovers.com/

    Have you considered shrubs? Maybe you don't have the room for them, but these sites have shrubs that can be grown on a leach field.
    http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/CountyDpt/Health/WebPDF/Trees.pdf
    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-617/426-617.html

    Newt
     
  3. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Thanks for the sites Newt! The area is shaded by big trees part of the day but gets plenty of sun for just about anything I think. I'll see what I can find on the sites you provided. I'd rather have a low growing ground cover rather than shrubs, I just think in the area I'm looking at it would look nicer.
     
  4. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Rose, you are very welcome! Since it's full sun you might want to consider one of the creeping thymes. They aren't overly aggressive and are easy to control. I don't think I'd use more then 3 diferent kinds or it might look too busy. You could even plant spring bulbs that could come up throught it.
    http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/groundcovers/directory/thyme.html

    Sedum is another that wouldn't be overly aggressive and is easy to root so you can propagate it easily. Many different creeping ones.
    http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/groundcovers/directory/sedum.html
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050807/news_lz1hs07cover.html

    Cotoneaster would also be good and low maintenance.
    http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=cotoneaster&btnG=Search

    Don't hesitate to ask if you find one and want to know if it's invasive.
    Newt
     
  5. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Thanks again Newt, what great ideas, now I have too many choices!! LOL
     
  6. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Uh oh!! I've done it now! LOL

    Newt
     
  7. Raakel

    Raakel Active Member

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    Hello,

    At the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens they use Gallium odoratum (sweet woodruff) a great deal. It grows beautifully in shaded conditions. It was not planted on a leach field, however, it is has a fibrous shallow root system, and so it should be tolerant of those conditions while not causing any problems.

    Raakel
     
  8. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Thanks Raakel, I'll look into that one too. :)
     

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