Get Off The Grass - Groundcovers For Problem Places

Written by Jean Fritz

Why fight nature? If you’ve got an abundance of shade, thin, sandy soil, or other lawn challenging conditions, keep your sanity and your budget intact this season and install groundcover plants instead of attempting to reestablish a lawn.

Groundcovers haverepparttar advantage of requiring fewer pest controls to stay healthy and look good. Maintenance is also minimal, as most ofrepparttar 136681 plants are either slow-growing or naturally dwarf. Many will accept “weed whacker” pruning periodically and if they start to break out of their bounds,repparttar 136682 errant plants may need to be dug. Most require an application of time-released fertilizer once a year. Wouldn’t it be nice to cut your chemical bills to nearly nothing?

The most ubiquitous groundcovers are Baltic ivy and pachysandra, but these aren’trepparttar 136683 only options available. Be creative! Groundcovers can be woodland natives, low-growing evergreens, or herbs. Some options for shady areas are: Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadensis), Lily ofrepparttar 136684 valley (Convallaria sp.) bloodroot (Sanguinaria) one ofrepparttar 136685 many cultivars of hosta, or evenrepparttar 136686 unattractive-sounding dead nettle (Lamium maculatum). These plants grow quite vigorously in shady, moist conditions, stay low-growing, and offerrepparttar 136687 additional benefit of flowers, although inrepparttar 136688 case of wild ginger, they may be inconspicuous. In addition, their leaves spanrepparttar 136689 gamut of green shades available on nature’s palette; hosta and dead nettle also offer two-toned or silver-toned foliage.

Sunny spots with thin, sandy soil can support low growing evergreens such as creeping juniper, Mugho pine, and false cypress quite nicely. These plants take their sweet time about growing but once they’re established, they are as permanent asrepparttar 136690 house they were planted to accent. The junipers also produce small berries, which are a treat forrepparttar 136691 birds and serve as an ingredient in Alsatian choucroute forrepparttar 136692 very adventuresome cook.

How to Transplant Irises

Written by LeAnn R. Ralph

In my experience, irises are amongrepparttar easiest flowers to transplant.

One spring many years ago, an older friend of mine dug up an iris bed at her home. They were bearded irises -- a lovely shade of lilac purple -- and she moved some of them to a different location. The irises had already started to grow and were about four inches high. She didn't know what to do withrepparttar 136412 remaining irises, so she put them in a box, intending to give them away.

As it turned out,repparttar 136413 irises remained inrepparttar 136414 box for more than two weeks. By now, she didn't feel she could give them away because she didn't think they would grow. I offered to takerepparttar 136415 irises and plant them, just to see what would happen.

The irises were not one bit bothered about being in a box for more than two weeks with no water and no dirt around their roots. I planted them, they started growing, and they're still going strong more than 25 years later.

Inrepparttar 136416 past two decades, I have thinned outrepparttar 136417 irises and planted them in other locations. I have also found irises growing by old homesteads where no buildings remain (I live in rural Wisconsin) and have dug them up and transplanted them in my yard. Each year in early June,repparttar 136418 irises bloom in a variety of colors: white, blue, yellow and purple.

Here's how to transplant irises:

1. Preparerepparttar 136419 new flower bed where you intend to plantrepparttar 136420 irises.

2. Use a shovel to dig uprepparttar 136421 roots that you want to transplant. Irises have very tough root systems. Ifrepparttar 136422 irises are exceptionally thick, a trowel probably won't dorepparttar 136423 trick. Stickrepparttar 136424 shovel intorepparttar 136425 dirt amongrepparttar 136426 irises and start digging. And don't worry about cuttingrepparttar 136427 roots withrepparttar 136428 shovel. You won't be able to avoid it. Irises spread by their roots, so many ofrepparttar 136429 plants will be connected. Even a short section of root stands an excellent chance of transplanting.

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