Ground Covers

There’s a long section of garden which needs a ground cover that will do well on a slope, is a good pollinator plant and even better – a host plant. It is near an irrigation line, so it can’t grow too tall and while it would be nice if it’s a good grower, I don’t want one that is invasive or takes a lot of maintenance.
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Outsidepride.com is a website which sells lots of ground cover seeds. Here is their response to an email I sent.

“The more ornamental ground covers, like sedums, creeping thymes, and aubrieta, are all very tiny seeds and slow to establish, so we never suggest starting them directly on a slope. The seeds wash away or even blow away if they dry out. So, if you’re interested in the ornamental groundcovers, you might consider starting the seeds in flats and then plugging out small plants in the latter part of spring. I think you would have much more success with that method. Also, many of the ground covers are hybridized, and unfortunately, when plants are hybridized they often breed the size, the flower color, bloom time, etc, but the pollinator attraction factor is often missed.

The most pollinator attractive plants are the wildlfowers, the clovers, and others that have not been hybridized. I have not grown all of the ground covers myself, but what I have grown, the thymes seem to be the most pollinator attractive.

Miniclover is a seed that can be planted on a slope – and the reason is that it establishes much faster than the ornamentals. I have Miniclover, and it is buzzing with activity all spring, summer and into the fall. It may get over 6 inches but not by much – I’m able to mow mine a few times during the growing season, and it stays more at about 3 – 4 inches.
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Here’s a list of possible trials.

  • Ajuga – MAF – hummers like this. I have had this die out on me after a few years.
  • Ajuga – Chocolate Chip – shade _
  • ‘Blue Star Creeper’
  • Creeping Phlox – 1
  • Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum Mother of Thyme) – outsidepride.com
  • Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum Magic Carpet – outsidepride.com
  • Creeping Jenny – too aggressive?
  • Mazus reptans ‘Purple’
  • Potentilla – Steppables – Potentilla Neumanianna – Cinquefoil
  • Outside Pride.com – sells seeds
  • Pussy Toes Red – Antennaria Dioica Rubra – outsidepride.com
  • Rock Cress Cascading (Aubrieta Hybrida Superbissima Cascade Mix) – outsidepride.com
  • Sedum Sedum (Spurium Coccineum) Dragons Blood – outsidepride.com
  • Sedum sarmentosum – recommended by MAF.
  • Sedum kamtschaticum var. ellacombeanum – I have this around the pond
  • Sedum – Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop – grows fast
  • Stepables – has 99 different plants.
  • Thymus serpyllum – Mother of Thyme
  • Red Creeping thyme –
  • Stepables – Elfin thyme
  • Creeping Phlox – phlox subulata
  • Veronica Liwanensis – 1
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