En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Wednesday - September 02, 2009

From: Modesto, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Native groundcover for central California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

In Modesto, CA. Hot summers, cold winters. Need a low ground cover for area next to driveway approx. 5ft X 14ft. that stays green all year round. I did have grass there but neigbors lawn is loaded with crabgrass and it was impossible to keep this out. I need a solution, please

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita has a wonderful website with excellent information about native California plants.  They have a groundcover page that divides the ground covers into three categories—less than one foot high, one to two feet high and two feet and higher.  Here are a few from the 'less than one foot high' category:

Symphoricarpos mollis (creeping snowberry)

Clinopodium douglasii (yerba buena) [syn. = Satureja douglasii]

Fragaria vesca ssp. californica (woodland strawberry) [syn. = Fragaria californica]

I can't guarantee that these will keep the crab grass out, but they certainly would be attractive in your site.  You can look at the others on the Las Pilitas page for suitability for your site.  You can learn more about most of them by searching in our Native Plant Database using their botanical name.


Symphoricarpos mollis

Fragaria vesca

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for under oak in Plano, Texas
May 15, 2009 - I live in Plano Texas USA. I have a huge live oak tree in my front yard and a large Cape Myrtle as well under these trees no grass will grow so we have dirt or mud when it rains. Fact is the front y...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for heavily traveled walkway from Redondo Beach CA
April 23, 2013 - I am looking for a drought resistant ground cover that you can walk on. I live on a south facing, sunny corner lot, 2 blocks from the beach where people park and need to cross over to get to the sidew...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a sunny location
April 20, 2011 - Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for slippery slope
May 20, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a ground cover for a slippery slope. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow between concrete pavers on the patio in Rock Hill, SC..
December 31, 2014 - I have a patio of concrete pavers, about 2 feet by 2 feet each. It gets very little sun. No morning sun at all. The zoysia grass we have between the pavers now does not grow well at all. Do you ha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center