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Old 02-17-2019, 06:12 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,210 posts, read 10,414,004 times
Reputation: 12834

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I know there have been many threads on this, but I have specific questions pertaining to my (actually, my mother's) situation.

I have just about zero gardening experience. We're trying to find the right ground cover to prevent weeds. She has a small patio area, with a garden patch about 5 ft. x 10 ft. She just has a couple of tallish, vertical plants planted there, so it's mostly bare dirt. She used to have ground cover that kind of resembled clover, but with smaller leaves. It worked well for many years, but then tall, grass-like weeds took over. The weeds have been pulled, but I don't know what would be the best ground cover to put down. This is Southern California, it would get a lot of sun.

Also, I'm curious if there is roll-out ground cover, like they do with lawn turf.

I'd appreciate any help at all.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:16 PM
 
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lowes has a black tarp/blanket thing that you roll on top of ground, kills weed by blocking sunlight. put mulch/gravel over it to keep weeds from growing. mulch and gravel are loose, so easy to pull up weeds by root later if you see them
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:17 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,615 posts, read 6,171,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaOfGrass View Post
I know there have been many threads on this, but I have specific questions pertaining to my (actually, my mother's) situation.

I have just about zero gardening experience. We're trying to find the right ground cover to prevent weeds. She has a small patio area, with a garden patch about 5 ft. x 10 ft. She just has a couple of tallish, vertical plants planted there, so it's mostly bare dirt. She used to have ground cover that kind of resembled clover, but with smaller leaves. It worked well for many years, but then tall, grass-like weeds took over. The weeds have been pulled, but I don't know what would be the best ground cover to put down. This is Southern California, it would get a lot of sun.

Also, I'm curious if there is roll-out ground cover, like they do with lawn turf.

I'd appreciate any help at all.

There are roll-out ground cover kits you can get for grasses, mosses and for different kinds of flowers, they're called seed blankets or seed mats. The mats are biodegradable organic fabrics or paper impregnated with seeds. You cut to size and roll the mats out over the raked bare dirt, cover it evenly with a thin layer of sand or soil to weight it down, water lightly (follow the directions that comes with each kit), and the seeds germinate and grow through the fabric. The organic fabric breaks down into the soil over a short period of time. If you think something like that might be okay for such a small area you could do an online search for more information about the different kinds of seed mats available.

For example: https://www.google.ca/search?ei=kQJq...30.XPq5ZxtDVNY



If I wanted to put already started ground cover plants directly into the ground in a small area that gets lots of sun I'd go for red creeping thyme. It's a very low growing perennial creeper that suppresses weeds, it's soft and springy enough to walk on, smells nice, the leaves are very tiny and it gets little pale pink to violet to red flowers depending on the variety.

Pictures: https://www.google.ca/search?q=low+g...w=1344&bih=700


.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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I agree about thyme. It loves the sun, is pretty and smells good.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:54 AM
 
1,532 posts, read 837,801 times
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I would suggest the various kinds of "ice plants" a succulent with beautiful red, yellow, purple, or white flowers depending on variety. they are popular in SoCal for drought tolerance low maintenance once established, and year around good looks. that said, they are not for walking on (but that could be said for a number of other types of ground covers).
Zoisite's recommendation for thymes is also good---most especially for relatively small spaces.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:53 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,210 posts, read 10,414,004 times
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Thank you all for the responses! I'll relay these suggestions to my mom and see what she would prefer. Thanks again.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,418 posts, read 1,637,108 times
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Before you plant ANYTHING, make sure the weeds or unwanted grass is KILLED. Spray them dead with Round Up or similar product.

Maybe you previously had dichondra?

ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/TURFSPECIES/dichondra.html
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
23,836 posts, read 22,784,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougStark View Post
Before you plant ANYTHING, make sure the weeds or unwanted grass is KILLED. Spray them dead with Round Up or similar product.

Maybe you previously had dichondra?

ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/TURFSPECIES/dichondra.html
Yes. Kill the weeds, prepare the soil, and use a product like Preen which will stop weed seeds from sprouting. Reapply that as necessary. Mulch. It takes a while for groundcover to become established and block weeds.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
17,665 posts, read 21,754,779 times
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Consider aptenia - it's in the ice plant family, and is known also as baby sun rose. It's a succulent that a lot of people use as a ground cover in the San Jose area. It will cover an area and stay nice and green and has little hot pink flowers. It's shallow-rooted and doesn't need a lot of water. From a distance, it will look like a nice green lawn. It doesn't grow very tall, and spreads nicely.

Bees love it, too. It's great for attracting bees to your garden.

https://www.google.com/search?q=apte...w=1440&bih=748

Another popular option here is jasmine. For me, the scent is too strong, but a lot of people love it for it's scent:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C...30.wwDV4-KCrMQ

Another popular option is ivy. There are a lot of varieties:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C...30.GXhcgFO_b0A

Ivy can kind of take over, if you're not careful, though.
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Old Today, 04:36 PM
 
Location: So Cal
14,210 posts, read 10,414,004 times
Reputation: 12834
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougStark View Post
Before you plant ANYTHING, make sure the weeds or unwanted grass is KILLED. Spray them dead with Round Up or similar product.

Maybe you previously had dichondra?

ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/TURFSPECIES/dichondra.html
Yes, dichondra! I'm pretty sure that's what it was. Forgot what it was called.

I suppose I should have mentioned in my OP that, yes, we would like to be able to walk on the ground cover in order to trim the other plants/trees that are there.

I was at Home Depot and checked out what they had there. Haven't decided yet.
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