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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 02, 2008

From: Diamond, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Low ground cover for steep bank in Ohio
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We have a 3/4 acre pond that has several places along the bank too steep to mow. We would like to plant some type of ground cover in those areas that would keep the weeds out. The planting would need to be low-growing. We don't want anything that would be invasive and grow into the water. The areas get half and half sun/shade. We've looked at some grasses, but they grow very tall. We would appreciate your help.

ANSWER:

We think the best choice for the tough location you've described may be one or more species of sedge (Carex spp.).  Any number of species are native to Ohio and many stay relatively short.  However, Because you likely have wet areas and dry areas, shady areas and sunny areas, it would be a trial-and-error process to find which species would work best.  Once established, sedges usually need very little to no maintenance.

 

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