Help - I need ground cover in my city backyard!

anabananany(new york city)April 25, 2010

I have an area that is about 14' by 18' that is bare dirt right now with raised beds for planting along the edges of my brooklyn back yard. off to the side is a silver maple which has a lot of roots at or close to the surface of the ground.

The center area will be a play area for my kids and I'm debating what to put down. Several people in the neighborhood have used synlawn or other similar artificial turf which looks nice and safe for the kids.

Wood chips is out because when I had that it was the local cats' toilet.

Pea gravel is an option, but not my favorite.

My question is - is there anything that I can grow in the center area that can withstand some playing, the maple tree and part shade?? I don't need or want a perfect green lawn, just something natural that will grow and suvive there.

Thank you!!

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Pachysandra terminalis is the only thing that I have found that will grown under my maple, period. It flourishes and eats up leafs and requires no watering or fertilization. I doubt it can take foot traffic especially children playing. My suggestion is an area of pachysandra set into a definte constrained area with a six inch or more heavy duty edging, Roundup sprayed one or twice a year on the rhizomes that will eventually work their way under the edging and peastone or artificial grass for the kids.

The pachysandra, when constrained, will fill in very thick and will earn its nickname "green mulch". Left to wander it will look unkept and straggly.
That's my suggestion, good luck whatever you decide.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:10AM
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anabananany(new york city)

Thank you Jon - I have a lot of pachysandra near the tree already, it's doing great - of course ;)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:49AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

If you take down the maple your options can expand to include grass. You could plant a better tree, one that can share.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 1:08PM
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