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jon h.
user 18342491
Portland, ME
Post #: 7
I am wondering what people use for ground covers in your gardens. I particularly want to plant something in amongst my crop plants that will compete with the natural weeds. Any thoughts?

jon
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 352
I'm really impressed with my lemon thyme. It forms an attractive shallow rooted weed suppressing mat, but my taller herbatious clumps seem to be doing fine with it around them. Of coarse you only need so much lemon thyme so I'm always looking for other low growers.
Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 46
I like white(dutch) clover in my garden paths, around my trees, and in some of my more open garden beds. It spreads with runners that can easily be transplanted, and I open up spots where I want to put in seeds or starts.
It competes well with quack grass, which is my #1 weed, and does it's n-fixing thing to improve soil quality. If it starts getting too happy and lush, I can pull or mow it and it's relished by my chickens and hogs.
Another one I've been using the is purslane, I've got a native one that grows really low and 'Goldberger' which grows higher and has bigger leaves. Similar growth habit to the dutch clover; low with runners. Weeds out easily where I want to eliminate, and is a very nice salad green/ critter feed with omega-3 fatty acids.
David H.
PostCarbonDesign
Oxford, ME
Post #: 445
be careful with ground covers... if you are creating a catch crop make sure that other plants can be planted or germinate ahead of the catch crop. i.e planting buckwheat well before a white clover catch crop.
In creating a polyculture, remember the placement of runners ( ground covers) around clumpers.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 353
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 355
Jesse, does the wild purslane block weeds well in semi-shade? In sun? Somehow it's one weed I've never been able to keep??? I don't have it and when it's come in with something else I bring in it never has stayed for me. Go figure.
I'm really looking for ground covers that make great cooking greens and can grow in semi to full shade. I have ramps and hostas that fit that bill, but they are both clumpers. Anyone have any suggestions for something that's a runner (or aggressive self seeder) to fill in areas, while ideally not being too tall...say 1' or shorter? I've tried a few ground cover campanulas, but they definitely weren't breed for eating! I have a wild quick spreading violet that's good, but the leaves are quite small...more of a garden-side nibble. I'm playing with siberian purslane...good salad addition with nice beet flavor and good shade lover, but not sure yet how well it can handle competition. I like the flavor of manchurian violet, but very unsure how it will behave as I only started with it this year. Variegated Bishop's weed isn't super tasty and is maybe too aggressive. Really want some thickly filling in quick spreaders that are a shoe in for spinach in cooking. Does this exist or do we need to breed it?
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 889
Purslane only likes hot soil and lots of sun. It won't work in shade.

David
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,189
As posted on another thread, I'm experimenting with birdsfoot trefoil which is a perennial N2 fixer, clumping groundcover. Under 1' in height and faster to establish, it seems, than white clover. I like white clover too and may look at initial plantings of the trefoil to succeed into clover over time. Neither are native but neither seem invasive either.

If you are a safe distance from moving water and surface water, you can also try water celery which creates a really lovely, edible and effective ground cover (10-12") full sun or partial shade. Maybe full shade, too. I cook with it and feed to chooks/ducks, etc. It's a runner by rhizome. Nice little flowers late summer and fall for pollinators. You can scythe or sickle it down for harvesting of the overstorey if needed.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 360
nice purslane article I stumbled across:
http://www.pennilessp...­
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,194
Jackson, I'd want to be several hundred feet away from surface water to do anything at all with water celery. The more the better. I'm sure there's an official answer something the lines of "if you have to think about it, then don't plant it," but....
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