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Inexpensive quick growing ground cover for very large bank


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VM
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Inexpensive quick growing ground cover for very large bank Reply with quote

hi,

I'm new to this site and new to gardening! I recently moved to a new house which is on about 3/4acre of land. Our site is situated next to a corn field which is higher than our site which means we have an extremely high steep bank which runs down along the entire length of our site. It's about the same height as the house. At the moment there's just grass growing on it and some weeds which is quite unsightly. I'm wondering is there any kind of relatively inexpensive ground cover that will grow quickly and make the bank look nicer and keep the grass and weeds down as it's an impossible task to mow or strim the grass. Or anything that will mask the bank? I have toyed with the idea of planting Leylandii below the bank but I would be afraid the roots would damage the tarmac driveway.

Has anybody any ideas?

I look forward to hearing

VM
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: breaking the bank Reply with quote

First we gotta know which way the bank is facing? An excellent ground cover for a bank such as you describe is St. John's Wort. You can do it by seeding. slipping or if you are rightly lán le'd airgead you can buy small plants at the local nursery.

Once established, (it takes maybe two years eventually), you will have a spectacular bank for life. But if the bank is north-facing St. Joh's Wort won't like it. It'll grow fine but it will have problems with flowering. If it gets sun you will have the leaves the flowers the berries and the cover

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Last edited by walltoall on Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rubus tricolor (creeping bramble) is a good ground cover plant, it's good for growing in rough ground as well and where other plants won't grow. The stems are more bristle than thorns, flowers are nice and it fruits, not so tasty as bramble but the birds like them. Another is Vinca major, but it will depend on whether your bank faces north or not as to whether it flowers.
You will still have to do some weeding, no matter what you put in, but not so much.
Bill.

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VM
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah thanks guys, it's great to get some advice from experienced gardeners. The bank is south facing so it looks like St Johns Wort would be a good option. I'll check it out and see how it would work out costwise.

If I were to go with St Johns Wort seeds how would I go about growing them with regard to preparation and actual planting.

Sorry, I'm totally new to this planting but I'm willing to learn, we all have to start somewhere!!
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verge
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rubus tricolor as mentioned by liparis is shown and discussed in this previous thread VM http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1387.html . You could buy just half the required quantity then one year down the line remove layer rooted stems and replant them in the gaps.
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cooler
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi VM. Cotoneaster dammerii is a very quick growing ground cover. It has a small white flower in summer and red berries in autumn / winter. something for the birds perhaps.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: banking on your future Reply with quote

The seeds of St. John's Wort are inside the berries. I've never actually bought the seed as I usually find or nick seedlings as I need them! The seed method is to sow in a seed bed and transplant seedlings next spring. They will only be inches high but will grow about a foot in 2010. Plant them a metre apart in all directions. When they get really growing in 2011 they'll fill out and may even reseed. John's wort can be quite invasive. If you find any seedlings in your driveway in 2012, kill em fast as they are the divil to pull out even when only a couple of inches high.

Look again at all the other posts on this thread. There are many very good ideas which can be built into the total plan. It's worth researching ALL the ideas. Mixing and matching is good. A south facing bank gives a draining soil which will be drier than you expect. SJW tolerates drought quite well once established. The flowers of SWJ are supposed to have anti-depressive qualities but I can't tell you whether to bathe in them, make tea from them or lie in the shade of the bushes.

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VM
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a million for those ideas and all the info you've all given me. This is a great site! I'm hooked already!

Cheers Razz

Oh, actually, one more question.......when planting on the bank, what kind of preparation is needed? Do I need to remove all the grass and weeds first or can I just plant among whats there.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're better to remove your weeds or they will always be ahead of your plants.
Maybe incorporate some humus, at least in the planting hole, to hold moisture on a south bank.
Bill.

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: going to the bank Reply with quote

I'm with Liparis in getting rid of weeds. But I would leave the grass as it keeps in moisture provides colour and binds the bank. Just about everything suggested in the thread can be planted in small holes dug where needed. My view of hard work is that it is something done by those who don't know that the lazy way is often the best way in a garden. Enjoy and keep in touch and tell your friends about us?
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VM
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: going to the bank Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:
My view of hard work is that it is something done by those who don't know that the lazy way is often the best way in a garden.


Laughing I am really liking the sound of this!! Laughing

Thanks again everybody, next step....actually doing the work. I'm on maternity leave at the moment, due to go back to work on 1st April and with a small baby and 6 year old in the house I'll have to try grab the time while I can! I'll keep you posted on my progress Wink
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the small creeping st johnsworth is hypericum calycinum not the one for treating depression. hypericum perforatum has this quality and is a much smaller plant same type flower.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all, This is a great topic as I too have a bank behind me. However mine is cut out of a hillside and there is no soil to grow anything on. It is facing SE and it is stony. it is approx 50ft in a curve and 10ft at its highest. I planted a Cotoneaster in one spot but it is very slow growing due to the conditions.It is sub-sub soil.
I had thought of making a type of raised bed at the bottom of it but I'm not sure what to grow in it. I had an ambition to put a peach tree there at the curve and train it up the slope. It could be covered from the top for the winter but would it have enough soil at its base in a deep raised bed. Does anyone have any Ideas?
Thanks, Kay

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Don't sow that weed Leylandii! Reply with quote

Leylandii is a complete weed both in rural and urban areas. If you need a wind break use red or yellow willow particularly if the site is damp. They grow rapidly and will give colour all year round.
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JK Mayo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Which Cotoneaster for Ground Cover on Bank Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

We too have a steep bank, about 2.5 to 3 meters high. We want to make the bank as weed free and maintenance free as possible We have a few questions:

1. Some of the bank we are going use cotoneaster. Either Coral beauty or Queen of Carpets. Any suggestions on which would be better?
2. Should we use weed barrier before planting or does cotoneaster need contact with soil for self rooting (not sure if does self root or does it just spread out from main plant?
3. Would you recommend vinca minor or heathers for other parts of the bank?
4. we have used ajuga with mixed success.
5. Ground cover rosemary seems to be doing well on another section. Can we grow this from seed?

An suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
JK

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