Forum home Garden design

HELP !!!!!what about ground cover plants- does it work?



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    I did type the B in bucket but it failed to work!

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    Berghill wrote (see)

    ...I have just spent an hour of more weeding a patch of  Geranium macrorhizum...

    There's a very wide range of hardy geraniums. I have several different ones, mainly because they grown well on clay soil.

    I did say...

    Gary Hobson wrote (see)
    ....I have some other varieties of hardy geranium that are not as vigourous, and not as successful....

    I'm not exactly sure what variety that one is, but it is far more aggressive and vigourous than any of the others. Most hardy geraniums that are sold in garden centres are the well behaved ones. I think I got it from a specialist geranium stand at Gardeners World Live a few years ago.

    Gary Hobson wrote (see)

    ....Alchemilla is worth a try too...

    Someone else has just started a thread about Alchemilla titled 'Ladys Mantle': Lady's Mantle

    They are complaining that the plant is taking over their garden, and want to know how they can get rid of it. One man's weed is another man's ground cover!

  • auntie bettyauntie betty Posts: 208

    My garden's on the edge of countryside, and my next door neighbour's garden is left completely wild, so I have a big problem with weed/wildflower seeds blowing in. I've tried everything to minimise this, but have to say the final solution has been a combination of spring hoeing before everything's come up too far and ground cover planting. Favourites in my garden are ajuga (purple or pale green variagated), wild violets which seed wildly but are so small and pretty and easy to pull and move that they're never a problem, persicaria (the little flat ones), sedums (same), hardy geraniums (some very short, some taller), lamium, epimediums, cotoneaster, bergenia, and heucheras at the front of a border. The violas, ajuga, persicaria and sedums are particularly useful deep into a border as they don't mind being heavily shaded later in the year as everything swamps them, but cover the ground from very early in the year, meaning weeds don't get the jump on them. Its also worth considering putting the odd bit of slab or something anywhere yu habitualy have to stand to prune or tie in larger stuff. Saves you standing on plants. Things like geranium phaeum flop over my paving and hide it - but I know its there and can kind of shuffle it aside when I want to get in there. I've also got several of my shrubs tightly clipped - things like golden spirea and potentillas work well. That stops light penetrating and keeps things weed free round their feet. Shows off the blowsier, freer herbaceous stuff in between better as well. Anyway, yeah, ground cover saved my life...

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252
    I wish the wild violets we have here were easy to remove. They snap off at the roots and then regrow and they seed themselves into every other plant in the garden and choke them.

    Mulching is a good way to reduce the problem, as long as the mulch is at least 2 inches deep and better 4 inches. then the weeds root into the mulch and are easier to remove. Trouble then is of course that you cannot use a hoe or you are mixing the mulch with the top soil.
  • auntie bettyauntie betty Posts: 208

    Yeah, perhaps I should've been more specific - ground cover is great if your problem is with annual weeds. If its perennials, you actually make life harder, because you can't spray them or dig them up easily. Get rid of them first with a herbicide, would be my advice. My violets don't bother me, Berghill, because the soil where I have them is an average-density loam, so they pull very easily. A heavier soil would obviously be more problematic...

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    Whatever you do don't plant Houttuuynia to use as ground cover I planted some cordata chameleon and it turned into a triffid - very pretty but very invasive !

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,252

    My soil is a peaty silt and fairly light in nature and too well drained for our liking.

    The answer to weeds is probably a combination of heavy mulch and ground cover and starting off with clean soil.

    I did notice though that even in places which have been gardened for a very long time, that there are perennial weeds. Check out the borders  near the Pin Factory at Bodnant Gardens, stuffed with Asters and Campanulas and Ground elder.

  • How about Mulch it's a good weed suppressant and is good for the soil ?

    Nicholas Kiely
    William Grace Ltd

  • auntie bettyauntie betty Posts: 208

    Again, it depends. I manure-mulch for feeding and moisture retention and tidiness. But it doesn't help my annual weeds - they just root in it. But thats because I have constant blow-in from my surrounds. Denying light through close planting and ground cover suits my situation better.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    auntie betty wrote (see)

    .. mulch doesn't help my annual weeds - they just root in it.... . Denying light through close planting and ground cover suits my situation better.

    I don't use mulch and have no experience of it, but my perception is that weeds - both annual and perennial - would eventually colonise mulch, unless the mulch is reapplied every year. For me, that's work and expense, and is not a sustainable solution. Using ground cover is a far more satisfactory answer.

Sign In or Register to comment.