Zone 4 groundcovers

Discussion in 'Groundcovers' started by maide53, May 27, 2009.

  1. maide53

    maide53 Member

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    Location:
    St. Paul, Mn Ramsey
    I would like to plant a very hardy prolific groundcover up the center of my driveway. It will need to be salt hardy for the salt that drips off my car in winter and kills the lawn under the car. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member

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    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    Doesn't seem as if there would be any. Back in my former province of Nova Scotia, Canada, I used to see two side-by-side paved pathways for the wheelbase of a car, used for driveways, but these soon gave over to totally paved driveways. That's what I think you'll have to do. We had a pressed crushed-gravel driveway which wasn't too bad, there... hard for snow removal, though, unless fine and packed down.
     
  3. maide53

    maide53 Member

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    St. Paul, Mn Ramsey
    I have come across something called an ice plant that is zone 4 and is supposedly salt hardy and I may try that. Has anyone planted ice plants in zone 4?
     
  4. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member

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    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    I've been reading about it too, and I've seen samples in nurseries in the early spring, and I'd like to know about it as well.

    How long is your driveway? If very long, I wouldn't plant anything there... too much trouble. Fill the center with finely crushed packed gravel, or a row of attractive old bricks, even broken bricks... I doubt if even the ice plant would survive in Minnesota winters depending on how the driveway is treated -- snow removal scraping, salt [I doubt winter salting is what is meant by salt tolerant, I am guessing ok near the sea -- but I don't know], and drippings from auto exhaust, antifreeze, etc.
     
  5. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Calgary, AB
    I don't know how the amount of road salt used varies between here and there, but the following low-ish groundcover plants (among various others) have been very successful in my boulevard planting (no lawn) against the street, and would be low enough for the use you describe, if you wanted to try:
    - various thymes (sometimes available very cheaply as plugs at the big box stores in spring)
    - Saponaria ocymoides
    - fescue grasses
    - various sempervivums
    - Silene zawadskii, Silene uniflora
    Note that the more spreading of these will eventually (soon?) grow into the driving lanes in your plan where they would get run over.
    Personally, I'd just go with the gravel option and save the plants for the sides of the driveway.
     
  6. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Anacortes, Washington, USA
    I don't know about growing it where you are.

    Take a look here - http://www.ehow.com/info_8572797_ice-plant-varieties-california.html

    and here - http://www.ehow.com/info_7991919_ice-plant.html

    Ice plant has several different sizes and grades of chunky, to more lacy as I remember
    The large chunky one that grows wild on california beaches and freeway centers - not to pretty
    The mid-sized one that much less chunky and more decorative - mesembryanthemum
    and a pretty,tiny one that I remember growing all over Pacific Grove CA. Have fun. barb
     
  7. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    I wouldn't count on either Mesembryanthemum spp. or Delosperma spp. (both referred to by the common name "ice plant") to be hardy enough for your purposes, from accounts I've read on other forums about growing these in your area. Delosperma would be a good experimental choice for special plantings, though.
     
  8. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Years ago my Grandmother visited me in San Jose, CA. She found Iceplant and we went to a nursery to show her all the types and colors. She wanted to buy a 4" pot of every color they had. People usually buy flats for mass plantings. The clerk looked at her odly and asked what she was going to do with it. She said "take it home and plant it". He asked where's home and she said Seattle, WA. At first he refused to sell it to her saying it would just die - too cold. He finally relented and she went home, happy with her new finds. She had that ice plant for years. She'd put it out in the spring after the frosts and take it into her green house during the winter. Alot of work, but she is the only one I've ever seen that grew ice plant that far north. I wish she was still around today to answer my questions. barb
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  9. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Well, it's not too surprising that "ice plant" (not knowing what genus or species) would be hardy in zone 8, but hardiness of plants tends to be very poorly researched and publicized and, I guess, very poorly understood.
     

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