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 Post subject: Ground Cover Suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:28 am
Posts: 2
Background:
Currently, I have a stone retaining wall at the back of my yard that is 5' high. It is very difficult to get my mower up there to mow the bermuda grass. The top is about 8' deep by 50' across and I have 2 small red tip photenas centered up there.

Question:
I want to get rid of the bermuda so I do not have to mow up top but I am not sure where to start. Can someone please recommend how to get rid of the grass, how to prepare the ground, and what a type of ground cover would work well to cover the entire 8' x 50' area?

Thanks,
Gil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 11:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
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Location: Garland, Texas
I have used and currently have Asian Jasmine and Purple Jew. I must clarify that the bulk of the growth is under a Red Oak. So only part of the growth is subjected to direct sunlight as it sounds yours may be.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2003 6:37 am
Posts: 37
Location: Central Texas
Gil I'm also wondering how much shade you have in that large area? Do you have many trees and what zone are you in? Some ground covers will take over and root out your Bermuda grass and you wouldn't even have to take the grass out. It may take a while but it will work. You can do a search on ground covers and get lots of ideas in accordance with your heat zone. I have plain English Ivy that totally encircles one of our huge oak trees which looks very good and it didn't take it long to cover. I also have Star Jasmine and Asian Jasmine that is very pretty and also flowers and is fragrant. Good luck!!

Dancey
South Central Texas
Zone 8b


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:28 am
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Thanks Dancey, I live in Fort Worth. I'm not sure what zone that is. My house faces east (front) to west (back) and their is no shade over the retaining wall. It gets direct sunlight most of the day.

The English Ivy sounds nice but does it require shade, like your oak tree provides?

Thanks,
Gil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
If you don't mind the work, digging by hand is the best way to really get rid of bermuda, but you have to make sure you get all of it, roots, runners, etc. Now for a ground cover, I don't know what effect you are trying for on your property, but I have found that the plain old sedum is a very tough plant as a ground cover that tolerates the heat, sun, and low water very well. To me, it's pretty, but is kind of desert-looking. It spreads fast, and holds up well as long as there is not foot traffic on it. I have some in a rock garden that is probably some of the poorest soil in Parker County, and it just keeps on growing. I'll see if I can find the species name. It's the one that is in Howard's book "Plants of the Metroplex" on page 68. It has small yellow flowers in Summer that really aren't spectacular, but to me, it's a great plant. I have some growing on a slope here that I got from my parent' home about 13 years ago that I've never watered or fertilized. You just can't hardly hurt it except by walking on it. Doesn't seem to have any pest problems either.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:30 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Allen
How about an herb like common thyme or lemon thyme. Also, creeping thyme is a bit lower to the ground, but you can walk on it. The lemon thyme smells so good when I walk on it in my garden. I also have that sedum that dragonfly is talking about and it is very easy to grow and fills in quickly. If a piece of it breaks off, just push it into the soil and it will start a new plant. Wouldn't it be pretty in the spring to have some creeping phlox draping over the stone wall? You could also plant some calylophus (lemon yellow low growing native) and it blooms later in the spring. Just some ideas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Bermuda cannot take any shade at all. If you planted any ground cover that likes to be taller than 3 inches, the bermuda will go away by itself without any chemicals, hoeing, digging, mulching or anything.

I like Asiatic jasmine. You can do anything you want with that stuff. You can mow it weekly at 2 inches and it looks good. Or you can let it get 15 inches high and it looks good with a monthly edging. We've had ours for 10 years and have never watered it, so that's a plus.

One issue that will go away is this:

First year it sleeps.
Second year it creeps.
Third year is LEAPS!

It takes at least three years to establish.

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