need something to plant under big maple tree

Page 1 of 2  
Hi all,
I have a very large maple tree that covers about half of my yard and every summer the grass dies underneath it from lack of sun (and rain I'm sure) Now it's just a dirt area. Is there anything I can plant underneath of it that would grow without a lot of encouragement? I need something pretty sturdy because I have a large dog that likes to run in my yard several times a day, though she's not really destructive. I thought about ivy but I was wondering if there's anything else?
Thanks, Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PatK Wrote:

Hi Pat,
Don't use ivy. It grows with thick stems and your dogs won't be abl to run through it without hurting themselves. It will also eventuall suck up all the moisture the tree needs and grow up into the tree causing additional stress on the tree, eventually causing an earl death if allowed to grow into the canopy.
I would suggest that you put down a 2" to 3" layer of shredded hardwoo mulch. You could plant something like liriope in a few areas where th dogs don't run. They are tough clump forming plants that can take th drier and shady conditions. Each spring you will need to cut the top off about 2" from the soil so they can renew themselves and look les tattered. Plant in odd numbers of clumps so it looks more pleasing t the eye or do a mass planting like in this picture where the great dan is resting. It comes in an all green or variegated cultivars as well. http://tinyurl.com/4dr5m
You might also consider dwarf mondo grass as it looks more like lawn. http://tinyurl.com/665uo
New
-- Newt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Newt wrote:

I'm in zone 6, just barely. Just to the east of me is zone 5. The liriope says it does well in zones 7-11, so I wonder if it would even grow here? Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wintergreen. Very cold-hardy for your zone 5/6. It makes a nice shade groundcover, is evergreen, has small white flowers & big red berries, leaves that emerge red. The berries & leaves can be harvested & easily fermented for an amazingly flavorful drink. It's a rugged little plant & you should be able to bamboo-rake fallen leaves right off of it in autumn, &amp the dog oughtn't ruin it. About wintergreen: http://www.paghat.com/wintergreen.html
You could also include Japanese anemones for something bigger that blooms fabulously late in the year. It couldn't have a dog rolling on it, but if she doesn't jump on bigger plants it'll only be at risk when first emerging each spring.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know if I've ever seen wintergreen at the nursery, but I'll definitely look for it. Looks very pretty!
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Where are you (Tasmania, Boston, Seattle??), what kind of maple soil type, climate, what has failed to grow, etc, etc,...need more info
--
Mike LaMana, MS, CTE
Consulting Forester & Arborist
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike LaMana wrote:

Southwestern Ohio. I'm not sure what kind of maple it is. It doesn't turn color in the fall, the leaves just fall off. But it's big, about 50 ft. tall and it's right on the fence line, so there's an area that boops out into the lawn that grass just dies. (about a 15 ft. area) I've had peonies planted along the fence line, but they've all died underneath the tree, though they grow to either side of it. I try to plant grass there every spring but so far it's not made it until fall. Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Have you tried one of the lamiums? They're perennials, ground cover, some with multi-colored foilage, small but numerous blooms, and they'll grow most anywhere. They do fine under our trees in Zone 5.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
lgb wrote:

No, in fact I've never heard of it. Does it have a common name?
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Deadnettle. It's a great little plant - very attractive and easy to grow.
Jacqueline
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jacqueline cahoon wrote:

Do you have a husband? Is his name Jeff?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PatK wrote:

It spreads like wild fire and is difficult to get rid of.
Google is your friend.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@internet.invalid says...

That may be true of the original species, but the multi-colored hybrids sold at the garden centers are much better behaved. Of course they spread, if they didn't nobody would buy them for a ground cover :-).
Ours have been in for several years now and we've had no need to cut them back.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My deadnettles (three varieties) are very well behaved. They are not aggressive enough to keep down weeds, & they are not evergreen so winter-germinating weeds can invade. They seem to need a bit more care & very loose soil to look their best & wouldn't be my choice for difficult planting areas.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net says...

Ours aren't completely evergreen, they seem to die back a bit in the winter. But a great deal of green/silver/whatever foilage remains. You must be in a colder climate or there is some other difference.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
lgb wrote:

The vinca I've gotten for the side of the house has never lived through a winter. Apparently that's not what you guys are talking about. :)
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PatK Wrote:

You want the evergreen perennials, commonly known as periwinkle, tha Paghat suggested - Vinca major and Vinca minor.
You could also try Pachysandra terminalis. It's gets bad press fo being a terminally boring plant but there's an attractive variegate one (Variegata, or 'Silver Edge') and it will even grow unde evergreens. It takes a year or so to settle down and start to spread.
At the risk of repeating what other people have already written, i might be worth including a few Lamium (deadnettle) for seasona variety, even if they're not evergreen in your area. Lamiu galeobdolon has leaves that are blotched with silver, and yello flowers. 'Herman's Pride' is a particularly attractive cultivar an better behaved. There are also plenty of Lamium maculatum cultivar with white or pink/purple flowers and beautiful variegation.
By the way, Wintergreen (Gaultheria), as mentioned by Paghat, is lovely plant, but only if you have completely lime-free soil. I mad the mistake of planting one in my previously rubble-filled garden an it died
-- Ornata
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ornata wrote:

Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'll have to check out the nursery to see if I can find any of these.
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is my understanding that Vinca grows very well in full shade, and it will spread fairly quickly. It has nice greenery, with beautiful purplish blue flowers on it in the Springtime:) I have some around several of my trees in the back of my property:)
Angie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
junkyardcat wrote:

How is this different than the Vinca that you see for sale at the nurseries that has the different colored flowers? That vinca grows up, not out.
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.