"Impermeable" green screen suggestions


Old 06-12-13, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
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"Impermeable" green screen suggestions

Hi all,

I know very little about horticulture so I'm hoping you can provide some insight...

Behind my fenced-in back yard there is a bend in the neighborhood drainage (just a shallow, sloping ditch) that tends to hold water. The land behind my house is wooded and already very low-lying, consisting of plenty of scrub palmetto growth among the trees, very damp. So in this drainage ditch there are a variety of intrusive weeds, lilies and vines making it a haven for snakes and rodents and some of the weeds and vines (some poison ivy) are even growing through and over my fence.

So, a couple of questions. Is there a cheapish "green screen" plant that I could plant immediately behind my fence (5' off the property line) that has some property (be it water consumption etc...) that wards off growth of/penetration by weeds and vines? Thinking something that can grow dense and tall, bamboo, etc...

Also, but less importantly, would a few bald cypress trees planted in the ditch aid in drainage and possibly stave off some of the lilies and such that are holding the snakes and rodents? I know in the swamps around here you don't see much else growing around the cypress trees except palmettos. Any other suggestions?

Last edited by jatwood87; 06-12-13 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:19 PM
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You don't want to start bamboo, unless you have a plan on containing it. Planting trees in the ditch could hinder drainage, so I wouldn't go there. Is there no way to get the water to flow? Stagnant water will breed mosquitoes, so be aware. On the slopes you may can plant vinca minor. It will creep and you will need to keep it cut back, but it is very low growing.
Old 06-12-13, 02:23 PM
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Nothing you can plant will prevent the vines and such from growing through. They'll just twine up and in to whatever you plant...even harder to control.

As to the ditch...sounds like it needs to be graded properly.
Old 06-12-13, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
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I do like vinca minor as a ground cover, but I have my doubts at it's ability to hold intrusive growth off.

To be honest, I don't care how the bamboo spreads. It'll be on the other side of a 6' privacy fence so any small amount that makes it's way through the cracks or roots in my yard should be easy to manage and safer than poison ivy. But like GunGuy mentioned, as long as the vines are around they may find a nice home in the bamboo. I'm more-or-less thinking in the "something that make the immediately surrounding earth unsuitable for other growth" realm - possibly by a high water demand.

And yes, grading the drainage properly would be ideal. The landowner just put a bunch of work into putting a road and culvert back there so he could access the back part of his property and I'm afraid it may have sparked the drainage issue. I don't know if he has the money to fix it, though.

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated!
Old 06-13-13, 06:12 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
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What about a tall, ornamental grass? Like Maidengrass or something?
Old 06-14-13, 09:48 PM
Join Date: May 2013
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bald cypress trees are a great idea- they do absorb a lot of water when they are mature- so that is a long term fix but very ecologically responsible. check with your state dept of conservation for assistance-many offer help with planning, installing and cost of these types of issues. also check with your extension agent- don't know if that would be by 'parish' in LA other states it is by county. keep in mind that if you were to plant an invasive species like bamboo you could be held liable for its spread. maidengrass is a dry area plant. would not be a good fix. search for a LA native plant society and/or LA rain garden plants-that will assist with water not penetrating into soil as it should. there is much info available for free and lots of great advice available from these organizations who are knowledgeable about YOUR AREA.

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