December 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm #166352
I have several projects that involve patios. I want to space the patios to have void space where I can install grass of some sort…. I would rather not have to run irrigation on it once established, but know that any grass I use will need it. I am wondering what anyone would recommend in terms of plant selection that can handle light pedestrian traffic, also what is your recommended width. I was gonna go with a min of 4″ between each paver ( pavers to be 24″x24″ or 36″x36″). I am in zone 7 south carolina. Also both sites are in full sun.
Any recommendations would be highly appreciated and thank you in advance.December 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm #166361Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
4″-6″ voids seem to be the standard…
Blue Star Creeper – Sun to part shade. Evergreen in warmer climates, semi-evergreen in colder areas. Tiny-green foliage makes dense, low mat. Tolerates heavy foot traffic, 3 or more times daily. Prefers moist soil. Blooms blue Spring-Fall.
Mature height 3″.
Thymus serpyllum ~~
Creeping thyme seed produces a perennial evergreen groundcover that emits a fragrant scent when walked upon and blooms during the spring and summer months. Considered to be an Eco-Lawn, creeping thyme is one of the best low growing groundcovers due to it’s low maintenance needs and ability to handle the foot traffic of a grass lawn. This variety of creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is not to be confused with other taller varieties (T. vulgaris) which do not tolerate foot traffic.
8SER30 Herniaria glabra
Mossy groundcover, yellow green foliage, tiny white flowers, can take foot traffic, grows only 3″ tall, hardy to zone 5.
Arenaria sp. ‘Wallowa Mountains’
…as a small scale groundcover, as a crack filler between flagstone or paving stones. Because the plant never blooms, it stays looking neat and tidy. Zones 4-8
…ground cover “lawn”. With the first hint of warmer weather to come, the small but numerous spikes of flowers paint the garden blue like a reflection of the sky. With a little extra water, Veronica liwanensis reblooms lightly later in summer. Needs afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Zones 4…December 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm #166360
i appreciate all the informationDecember 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm #166359Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
Any time! Glad to help… I learned a thing or two, tooDecember 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm #166358
did not realize this there is actually a nursery called http://www.stepables.com, they specialize in just this kind of materialDecember 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm #166357Jason T. RadiceParticipant
You could also try Mondo Grass (not a grass at all) Ophiopogon japonicus. I think this was look you are going for…
Or you can try a new franken-grass called Bella Bluegrass. It only growns 2-3″ high, is rhizomatic, and doesn’t need as much water. I cannot get to the website today, I think all the people stuck homein the Midwest are taxing the internet capacity, but the website is http://www.toddvalleyfarms.com. It is a COOL season grass, but it looks like it might work at zone 7a.December 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm #166356
I appreciate the help, I was under the impression that mondo grass was basically a strict shade grass specially down here in south carolina? is that false?December 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm #166355mark fosterParticipant
I second Jason’s choice of mondo grass–it is tough and drought tolerant.. Also best to have things that don’t attract bees—creeping thyme will definately get a crowd of them when in bloom.
You also need to pay attention to PH. Alkalines like new concrete and limestone gravels will raise it significantlyDecember 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm #166354
Correct, but what about if you use precast pavers?December 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm #166353mark fosterParticipant
Precast is not as bad. If you think it is going to be a problem a light acid wash can be applied, which will help with the leaching. Sometimes the base materials for the pavers can be a problem if they are limestone gravels/dust (I don’t know about SC, but that is the preferable material here in KY)
Besides the ph, another big issue we have (our soils are clay/silt) is getting the planting soil porosity to match the porosity of the base under the pavers. If the paver base is too compact, the planting areas tend to flood–if the base is too porous they dry out. This may not be an issue for you if your soils are sandier and well drained.
You may never get everything just right, so you probably want a reall “workhorse” plant which has broad ph tolerances and takes drought/flooding equally well. You also may want to avoid the spreading plants, because they can take over if they are happy We did one with sedum and it completely covered the patio within a few years!
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