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Old 05-05-2023, 04:32 AM
 
17,603 posts, read 17,629,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
[QUOTE/] Front is getting patches. A tow behind would be the better choice. Have a 30” rear engine riding mower. Yard is big enough that a 42 inch cut would work but the ground isn’t flat and level. Had a 42” riding mower and the blades would chop into the soil on low spots. Went with 30” cut riding mower. Can make tighter turns, can get in between certain items in the yard, and since the engine is in the rear I don’t have the engine heat blasting in my face like with front engine mowers.
The mower blade is a lot cheaper, but it's real easy to wind up essentially rototilling your lawn to smitheereens with it....The rake, amortized over 20 yrs, is less than $20/yr. You can use it multiple times per year as you do the mowing. No extra work involved....I had one in the past, similar to the one sitned. It needed some bricks to weight it down so it didn't just bounce & skid along without accomplishig anything.[/quote]

Thanks for reminding me about the bricks. Our yard isnt flat and level so I would skip the blade. Would only use tow behind after cutting. Too many obstacles to mow around that it may hit.
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Old 05-05-2023, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Virginia
10,089 posts, read 6,420,662 times
Reputation: 27653
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It would likely thrive in there but it's very invasive and tenacious, it must be controlled. And it will NOT make your flower beds pop, it generally only flowers in the spring and the flowers are fairly small and inconspicuous. If you already have bushes growing there or want to put additional plants in the flower beds the vinca minor will strangle and choke them out and kill them - it will grow up stems and trunks into your bushes and strangle the bushes too. It will also grow up concrete or stone walls and under side-panelling and roof tiles of outdoor sheds if given half a chance.

If your vinca minor escapes from your property through underground runners and manages to spread its runners and vines into your neighbour's properties your neighbours will not be happy campers about it and will be annoyed with you. They might demand that you pay for damages to their properties. Once the plant's roots get well established anywhere in the ground it's next to impossible and costly to get rid of it. So I really don't recommend it for your flower beds or anywhere close to the house or outdoor sheds, workshops, greenhouses, childrens' playground areas, or near foot-paths because of the vines being a tripping hazard, etc.

However, vinca minor does have its good points as a ground cover in areas that need dense ground cover though or places where nothing else will grow and it does help prevent erosion in hilly area. It can tolerate a lot of shade so what most people use vinca minor for is as a creeping ground cover under deep shade trees where other decorative plants won't grow under dense shade. In such cases you may end up with bare, dry, sterile ground under the trees as a consequence. Then the vinca minor serves a good purpose as a protective ground cover on its own under big trees and it prevents soil erosion on slopes and helps retain moisture in the soil. It also helps to prevent the growth of weedy or thorny plants under trees.

There are many other plants that would be far more suitable for your flower beds. You can go start up a thread asking for suggestions in the Garden Forum. https://www.city-data.com/forum/garden/

.
It sounds as if you're describing Vinca major v minor above. The two have greatly different spreading habits. Vinca minor is much less aggressive and only spreads to about 18 in. Vinca major, on the other hand, is as invasive as you describe.
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Old 05-05-2023, 06:29 AM
 
3,934 posts, read 2,184,548 times
Reputation: 9996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It would likely thrive in there but it's very invasive and tenacious, it must be controlled. And it will NOT make your flower beds pop, it generally only flowers in the spring and the flowers are fairly small and inconspicuous. If you already have bushes growing there or want to put additional plants in the flower beds the vinca minor will strangle and choke them out and kill them - it will grow up stems and trunks into your bushes and strangle the bushes too. It will also grow up concrete or stone walls and under side-panelling and roof tiles of outdoor sheds if given half a chance.

If your vinca minor escapes from your property through underground runners and manages to spread its runners and vines into your neighbour's properties your neighbours will not be happy campers about it and will be annoyed with you. They might demand that you pay for damages to their properties. Once the plant's roots get well established anywhere in the ground it's next to impossible and costly to get rid of it. So I really don't recommend it for your flower beds or anywhere close to the house or outdoor sheds, workshops, greenhouses, childrens' playground areas, or near foot-paths because of the vines being a tripping hazard, etc.

However, vinca minor does have its good points as a ground cover in areas that need dense ground cover though or places where nothing else will grow and it does help prevent erosion in hilly area. It can tolerate a lot of shade so what most people use vinca minor for is as a creeping ground cover under deep shade trees where other decorative plants won't grow under dense shade. In such cases you may end up with bare, dry, sterile ground under the trees as a consequence. Then the vinca minor serves a good purpose as a protective ground cover on its own under big trees and it prevents soil erosion on slopes and helps retain moisture in the soil. It also helps to prevent the growth of weedy or thorny plants under trees.

There are many other plants that would be far more suitable for your flower beds. You can go start up a thread asking for suggestions in the Garden Forum. https://www.city-data.com/forum/garden/

.
Don’t forget: low growing ground covers like vinca or English ivy is called “rat’s hotel” for a reason - it gives them safe cover.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:50 AM
 
3,183 posts, read 1,654,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
When we lived in WV we didn’t have to water and feed our lawn. It just grew. No harm no foul.

Here in Montana it’s advised (where we live) to have green lawn or non- combustible space 30ft outward from the house for fire mitigation purposes. Since we have dogs and acreage- grass it is. Ever try picking up dog crap on stone?

Try it and see which route you’d take.
Grass is the most abundant plant, it will survive. We do not need to spend thousands a year just to make it look ideal.
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Old 05-05-2023, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Canada
14,735 posts, read 15,016,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
It sounds as if you're describing Vinca major v minor above. The two have greatly different spreading habits. Vinca minor is much less aggressive and only spreads to about 18 in. Vinca major, on the other hand, is as invasive as you describe.
Speaking as a gardener and landscaper I'm talking about my observations and experiences with vinca minor in northwest gardens. I haven't had the dubious pleasure of working with vinca major (yet - and hopefully never) but I think growing locations and climate conditions are a huge factor as well in the behaviour of opportunistic invasives. The majority of plant species that produce vines or long trailing creepers are opportunistic and aggressive.

If you live in climate conditions that are not conducive to fast, thick, lush growth then the impacts of the opportunistic species of plants likely wouldn't be too pronounced. Put vinca minor in a dry desert condition like in southern California or Nevada or Texas and it can be more easily controlled, but put it in humid rainforest climate conditions like the Pacific northwest or Quiet Life's Poconos in the northeast for example and it will thrive and try to take off all over the place like gang-busters.

.
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Old 05-05-2023, 03:48 PM
 
17,874 posts, read 15,929,380 times
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But green lawns produce oxygen for humans to breathe. And if you live in the NEC, you just let the rain, and snow supply the water. You just have to mow down to meet municipal standards.
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Old 05-05-2023, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,656 posts, read 13,964,967 times
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Well, a side of this coin or that.

First, grass isn't totally useless because it provides erosion control. Cover for animals. So it may be something that we allow grow and others may think it provides nothing.....but it does have some use.

Then we get into another aspect that if we allow it to grow wild with flowers and dandilions, we are providing for the pollinators. The downside to this is that eventually, it has to be cut for otherwise the mice move in.......and the snakes.

Me, I rather think I have the best of both worlds, sort of. I have the footprint of the house mowed but past that, all those other 8 acres, I let it grow wild. I don't water at all, I let it grow in nature as it is, where the water from the sky (and the recharge zone) falls.

But, to each their own. A neighbor on one side has relatively cleared land, not many trees, roaming planes. I don't know about him but other ranch owners in this region, I have seen out there with rider mowers. My ranch is forest and hope to keep it that way and a riding mower is not in my buying future.

Finally, to each their own. There are a number of ranches on my drive home that are more junkier than "beautiful" but I am not to concern because, after all, it is their land. It helps, of course, that there are other ranches inbetween, that there forests and changes in elevation and imagination (when I see another house breaking the tree line, I impose my imagination to say it is castle ruins), to not see them, not think about them.

And if ever should come the time when I can no longer do that? What plant grows fast and tall?
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Washington state
7,027 posts, read 4,887,277 times
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They always say to plant what grows naturally in your area. What grows naturally in the PNW is blackberry vines and Scotch broom. No no and no. They both spread like wildfire and the roots of both must go down 10 feet or more.

So on the back half and along the sides of my little half acre (after I have it scraped clean), I'm throwing out orchard grass and wildflower seed. The area up front will be lawn and also contain all my raised beds for vegetables. When I can afford it, I'm going to plant around the perimeter of the yard as well. So maybe the yard gets done this spring and then next year a fence goes around it so I can keep out the deer and actually have plants that don't get eaten. At any rate, I intend to end up with about a quarter acre of lawn and clover and that's because I do like to see a lawn. I do not plan to put down any fertilizer or cut more than once a month. If the lawn survives, great. If not, I'll find something else. Maybe more orchard grass.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
It would likely thrive in there but it's very invasive and tenacious, it must be controlled.
Amen. I planted a few of those when I lived in San Jose and it took the strength of Samson (with hair) to pull them up. Some of them never came up. It's like ivy.
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:53 PM
 
26,639 posts, read 36,696,773 times
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Neither Himalayan blackberries or Scotch broom are native to the PNW.

The wild blackberries that are native to this part of North America don't take over like the Himalayan variety does.

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/fo...ve-blackberry/
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:59 PM
 
15,595 posts, read 15,655,549 times
Reputation: 21980
It's considered a conspicuous consumption status symbol.
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