From:River Grove, IL Region: Midwest Topic: Groundcovers Title: Possible ground covers under pine trees in Illinois Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus
Have pine trees in front of house. No luck with the lawn around them....was told it's because of ground acidity. Any tips on how to get a lawn to grow there? If not, can you suggest some ground cover that would grow there and look good without needing to be mowed often ? Thank you.
If it really is an acidity issue, adding lime to the soil should help. You can have your soil pH tested. Your Cook County agent from the University Of Illinois Extension Service should be able to help you with the testing. They often provide a kit and will test for a nominal fee. The more likely cause is lack of sunlight through the canopy of the trees. While pines usually provide a fine, filtered sunlight, they can often create a fairly dense shade in which all grass will struggle to grow. Here are a few suggestions for native plants that grow in the shade in Illinois that could provide ground cover under your pines:
Addtionally, many grass and grass-like natives will grow in partial shade. You can see those that do so in Illinois by doing a Combination Search in the Native Plants Database and selecting "Grass/Grass-like", "Shade" and "Illinois" from the options on the Advanced Search page.
You can look for suppliers of native plants in your area in the National Suppliers Directory on our webpage. A nursery in your area specializing in native plants and your Agricultural Extension Agent might have other recommendations for appropriate native ground covers.
More Groundcovers Questions
Controlling slugs in a Pacific Northwest strawberry patch February 04, 2013 - Would love to plant various varieties of strawberries on a bank for erosion control and ground cover. How can we keep the slugs at bay? We are in the the Pacific Northwest view the full question and answer
Groundcover called Jumping Jacks August 19, 2009 - My neighbor has a beautiful ground cover and she doesn't know the name and I have searched the nurseries and internet and can not find it. She says it spreads like crazy and when she was young they c... view the full question and answer
Groundcover for clay soil in Southern California August 08, 2012 - I live in Southern California and have hard packed clay soil in my yard. Could you recommend ground cover that would be green, low to the ground, require little water and survive in clay? I can't a... view the full question and answer
Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX March 19, 2007 - I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank... view the full question and answer
Native ground cover for Houston March 02, 2009 - I'm interested in finding native ground cover, either perennials or grasses, that would help control erosion on a steep slope along Soldiers Creek. Currently there is Jasmine, ivy, prairie spiderwort... view the full question and answer