Has anyone ever tried starting a ground cover from seed?
March 12, 2007 6:14pm CST
I just wonder if this is a cheaper alternative to buying flats if I have a large area to cover; thanks.
12 Mar 07
It depends on the kind of ground cover, and where you are. Some ground covers can be sparse by nature, and commercially bought seeds are never 100% fertile. Suggest you try a self seeding ground cover. It will be opportunistic, and self regenerating, to a large degree. If an area remains bare, there might be some problem with the soil, or some leak or contaminant. One of the great things about plants is that they can map out problem areas and tell you what the soil can and can't do. ****Note: It is quite possible to expect too much out of ground covers, and create a life's work for yourself out of patch jobs. Anything other than a putting green can be more work than it's worth. The most likely return on effort is a strained back. Some ground covers become a natural mix of plants, and are perfectly manageable that way. If you get things like dandelions covering bare areas, they're a lot more benign than some of the other possibilties. When mown, they return copper to the soil, and make good green mulch. Things like clover and oxalis are also within the tolerance range, and far less destructive than invasive weeds.
• United States
13 Mar 07
I should have intially put that I am in Zone 5. There's an area on the side of the house and the neighbors fence that I want to put in plants. There is presently grass there which I would like to kill and replace with certain plants and then a ground cover to keep the grass from coming back while still providing color.
14 Mar 07
"Near neighbor's fence" is a very relevant description. Some groundcovers can be disastrous. The really significant physical risk with groundcovers is that they're dominant plants. They can be invasive, and wipe out other plants. The aesthetic risk is that they can be too successful, drowning out everything in a monoculture effect. Some groundcovers can be very like high explosives, like lantana. A whiff of fertilizer or a drop of rain will set them off. A small-plant form of groundcover which is a steady grower is safest. They never get big, and whatever they do happens relatively slowly. Safest bet is using plants native/well acclimatized to your area with seasonal growth habit. Suggest you have a look at local groundcovers, and see what looks like it will work without those negative results. It gives you some known factors to work with. The best option is a ground cover that doesn't conflict with whatever else you're doing in the garden. One thing, from the landscaping perspective: you retain all your choices, doing it this way. You're not over-committed to a particular use of the land which might become a nuisance later. Any mistakes or problems will be trivial at worst, and easily fixed.
• United States
12 Mar 07
I have tried from seed and from plugs and I still have bare spots I need to do something with My son went with the flats for his he said it was cheaper for him for he has a large area too. and birds eat the seeds up about as fast as ya put them down