Dear Mr. Smarty Plants
I live in Panama City Florida and am having great difficulty growing a lawn. I would prefer no lawn as grass, it seems a pointless use of resources but my husband requires green. I refuse to put more zoysia, augustine, centipede down as our soil is surrounded with overhead oak trees, composed mostly of quartz and is continually registering 7 to 8 on the Ph scale (we live very near the gulf of Mexico). I use organic humus and peat moss for the majority of my amendments but for the most part - I pick native plants. Please help in suggesting some type of grassy ground covering that will not only survive but indeed add to this harsh environment.
First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants commends you for getting rid of the water-hungry non-native grasses! Here are a couple of native grasses that don't grow too high and would be attractive groundcovers. Also, there are a couple of shrubs and small herbaceous plants that are good groundcovers. Perhaps you could combine the grasses with the low shrubs and herbaceous plants and create a very interesting yard.
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) is also a low-growing shrub (less than 1 foot) and makes a great groundcover. However, it does like acid soils (pH<6.8) so it would take considerable supplement to grow in your soil. Here are more photos.
Ground cover for a clay/shale bank in PA April 06, 2010 - We have a 200ft x 30ft bank in front of our house (PA)
the soil is made up with clay and shale.
what ground cover will grow fast
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Evergreen ground covers and low plants for Dallas area May 25, 2010 - Would like a list of low growing (24" or less) evergreen plants including ground covers, scrubs, etc-flowering and non-flowering that are hardy and require low maintenance in the Dallas area. So ofte... view the full question and answer