natural Groundcover

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Anyone have any thoughts about this... I have wild strawberries growing everywhere. The fruit is tiny and maybe 1 in 10 wasn't bitter, but not sweet either. Anyway just for the hell of it I started mowing around it when it's flowering and bearing fruit. For some reason this year the fruit is much larger and most of it tastes neutral and some of it is actually a little sweet! So I've been letting it go in the gardens for about a year and it seems like it will be a very nice ground cover. it isn't taking over anything but open space. Well in the lawn it may be taking over some grass, but I don't mind it... so far.
Anyone have any experience with this? I'd like to put it on steroids and sick it on the Bermuda grass! As is I don't think it will crowd out the Bermuda grass, but I can hope can't I?
Thoughts?
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On 6/7/2010 10:02 PM, Tony wrote:

I'm tending to to this in areas where I have slopes and have been trying to establish ivy. My problem is deer and while most people curse ivy as evasive, it's not evasive here. There are native plants, some weeds, that the deer do not eat and now I'm just letting them grow.
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Frank wrote:

I don't see ivy and wild strawberries having the same light requirement. Where my wild strawberries are, the english ivy would die back from too much sun. Ivy needs more shade. Managing wild strawberries isn't hard and it may be a good ground cover, it grows well in rocky and poor terrain. I'm neutral at the moment.
Jeff
There are native plants, some weeds,

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On 6/8/2010 3:04 PM, Jeff Thies wrote: Ivy needs more shade. Managing wild strawberries isn't hard

In what zone does your ivy live? Mine is thriving wildly in sun and shade and everywhere else, I hate it! I wish the sellers had just kept to the vinca and pachysandra that's mixed in.
I'm in USA zone 7.
There's a very beautiful and extremely invasive ground cover (rhizome), houttounyia (sp?) that is colorful and bright and goes EVERYwhere.
Susan
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Susan wrote:

Is that know as "fish cheek mint" or "fish plant"? I thought it was a sub-tropical to tropical plant that is frost tender.
David
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Susan wrote:

Me too. I'm in Atlanta, 7b.
I speak mostly about english ivy. I had quite a bit along the sides and it took me forever to figure out why it was dying back in stretches. The covering Dogwoods were losing branches and opening up sunshine. As it is now, the ivy cover tracks with the shade line.
I have some other ivies, all living in shade.
This is all anecdotal on my part, but enough to convince me.
You can pull up the ivy, it's some chore, but works to keep it in check.
Jeff

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Susan wrote:

Ok, but back to the OP, anyone use wild strawberries as a ground cover?
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Tony wrote: ...

well, i tried in one area, we had a rather large area devoted to hollyhocks.
in that same area i planted some creeping jenny which has almost covered that large area (growing in pretty much solid clay). most of it is getting dug up and turned in now as we are reshaping/rethinking that area.
the past few years i've let the wild strawberries run over the creeping jenny and stopped fighting the clover that was invading and just enjoyed the phlox i had planted along the back (north edge) of the honey suckles...
a few days ago they got mowed down (by the management :) ) along with a lot of my phlox i had worked so hard to get going in there...
so far the wild strawberries are coming back just fine... so i expect they'll be ok eventually. i imagine the phlox will recover too. the goldfinches love the seeds on those phlox when they get fat.
another area (sunny, west facing slope, sand even!) has a small garden and i asked the management to leave them alone there to see if i could get some berries. i had a few this year from them. :) i was hoping to get more from the other patch, but they were mowerly challenged...
i wouldn't consider it a primary ground cover, but if you think in terms of layers and companion planting it does have nice red leaves when they fade. just plan on runners everywhere unless you go for some alpine version...
songbird
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songbird wrote:

This sounds right to me. I haven't seen wild strawberry anywhere as a dense cover. It's loose and holey. It grows in poor conditions but is easily out competed.
Let it fill it's nooks, but look for supplements.
Jeff

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Tony wrote:

OK, here is some of the wild strawberry I'm talking about. I was just curious if anyone left it go and how well it spread.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/50904614@N04/sets/72157624247114246 /
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I was wondering how anyone could find such tasteless wild strawberries (I've certainly never found one). That's "Indian strawberry", not Fragaria. Surely there must be better groundcovers than that?
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<http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=strawberry+fromage&i e=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8>
Lots of weeding perhaps a gem.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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Nelly Wensdow wrote:

That's why I called it a natural ground cover. It grows wild, I certainly didn't plant it. Tasteless? In looks or flavor? You use an edger along your sidewalk don't you?
That's "Indian strawberry", not Fragaria. Surely

Well yes, as seen in the pictures, there is moss growing also. Is that also yucky to you?
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As an "edible" the nicest thing I can say about it is it's harmless. It's also that I wouldn't recommend any plant that's more common than crabgrass in some places, and that I've spent so much time trying to control. Its charm for me has long since worn off. Admittedly some of these do look pretty healthy but my own experience has not been very good with it. You did ask about experience. Other plants to consider might be Fragaria, Mitchella repens, or Gaultheria procumbens. Oh, and I like the moss too (but I don't think I'd eat it) Best of luck.
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wrote:

I've let wild strawberry go wild this year in my clover patches (and anywhere red clover came up is a clover patch). I like the looks of it but haven't a clue how it will do through the summer.
It spreads well. It's pretty. It provides food for wildlife. It doesn't crowd out my much desired red clover. it's comfortable to walk on barefoot. Works for me.
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On 6/8/2010 3:04 PM, Jeff Thies wrote:

Not all wild strawberry and ivy but they are both in picture I just took:
http://home.comcast.net/~frank.logullo/ivy.jpg
Still early in year and I suspect ivy will take over. This area is close to house and not visited as often by the deer.
I was thinking of this area below house where some fine bladed weed has taken over where I had been trying to establish ivy:
http://home.comcast.net/~frank.logullo/bank.jpg
It looks decent and is in back of house that nobody sees.
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Frank wrote:

I think the wild strawberry is somewhat tolerant of shade.

I think you are right. Susan and myself would like some deer to feed on our ivy! The ivy takes 2 or 3 years to establish, and then you wonder what you've done!

Looks pretty open, I would think sunny too.

Maybe clover? If it has enough light maybe some wildflower mix. I have some pretty eclectic cover (some kind of Alyssum), mostly stuff I found growing nearby and transplanted. No grass. How about something productive?
If I lived in an upscale neighborhood, the neighbors would complain!
Jeff
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On 6/8/2010 10:50 PM, Jeff Thies wrote:

their back yards grow wild and then some neighbors that want to manicure everything. I prefer it this way compared to large neighboring developments that get bent out of shape if everything is not perfect.
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Frank wrote:

I've only heard people from the west coastish areas having problems with ivy. The say it smothers and kills trees. East coastish ivy seems to do fine in almost full sun, for me anyway. Any that was in PA and now in TN. We can get poison ivy that will smother and kill trees, but it's pretty easy to walk around the trunk and cut all the poison ivy. No need to remove it, soon it will be dead and allow sun to reach the tree again.
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English Ivy will grow and smother trees in east TN. My parent planted it in thier backyard up against the woods where it was very shady. When they passed, after 25 years, it was smothering the trees along the edge of the woods.

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