Using ivy to replace lawn

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  #1  
Old 06-04-01, 09:11 AM
Niranjan
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I'm thinking of replacing my front lawn with ivy as a ground cover to reduce all the maintenance of a lawn - watering, mowing, etc.

1. Do I need to kill/till the grass first or will the ivy choke out the grass as it grows?

2. Will the ivy create other problems or maintenance issues? I know ivy grows very fast in our area, so I will have to keep it trimmed to prevent it from getting into the landscaping or on the sidewalks.

3. The lawn has a slope - maybe 20 degree grade. I was thinking of planting the ivy at the top and letting it grow "down" the slope until it covered the lawn. Is this the best way or should I plant the roots all over the lawn?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-04-01, 09:51 AM
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Depending on how well the ivy shades the grass, you may not need to kill off the lawn first. It would be a good idea though to spray with RoundUp 7 days prior to planting your ivy.

Ivy will collect and hold leaves like a net! They can be tedious to clean out.

You'll want to install plants over the enitre slope. They will spread but will take several years to fill in areas > 3 sq ft.
 
  #3  
Old 06-04-01, 11:53 AM
Gami
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Hi Niranjan,

I'm not writing from experience, but I've read horror stories on another board that Ivy is very hard to kill--even using Roundup. You have to pull and keep digging it out should you ever decide you want to do something different. Somebody is probably going to dispute this, but that's what I've read from other people who have tried to get rid of it.

Gami
 
  #4  
Old 06-04-01, 01:13 PM
Niranjan
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Thanks for the replies. Sled, dumb question, but is it imperative that I remove fallen leaves from the ivy? I figured they'd just sort of fall in between and decompose under the ivy leaves.

Gami, yes, I've heard the same thing. Maybe you could suggest something different. My front yard has lots of landscaping with a small (maybe 150 sq. ft) section of lawn. I spend an inordinate amount of time relatively on tending to that lawn vs. the rest of the landscaping - mowing, watering, edging, etc. And recently I'm trying to revive some dead spots by reseeding. I thought using ivy to simply cover the whole thing would be a nice solution; and I think ivy as ground cover looks quite nice - with rich dark leaves!
 
  #5  
Old 06-04-01, 01:26 PM
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I think ivy or another groundcover: periwinkle, wintercreeper, ajuga, pachysandra, lamina.

I wouldn't let the leaves discourage you either. It's not imperative to remove them. The ones that do decompose are beneficial to the growing plants there. Most can be removed with a leaf vac.

Have a look at this

http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplo...ort/g06835.htm
 
  #6  
Old 06-04-01, 03:40 PM
Gami
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Hi Niranjan,

Those are good suggestions from Sled, but something else may work also. What zone/state are you in? Does it receive sun, partial sun or shade?

Gami
 
  #7  
Old 06-04-01, 04:05 PM
Niranjan
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Gami, I live in Oregon. We get lots of clouds and rain from October to May and lots of sunshine from May to September! My front lawn is North facing, but it still gets pretty full sun in the summertime.
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-01, 07:24 PM
Gami
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Hi Niranjan,

Well, it appears that you could be zone 4b to 8b depending on where in Oregon you live. You can tell your zone through this site -

http://www.homestore.com/LawnGarden/Zones/Hardiness.asp

I did a search for groundcover in zone 5 using this plant encyclopedia -

http://gardening.sierrahome.com/encyc/

Some other alternatives are Brunnera, European wild ginger, Canadian ginger, hosta fortunei, wintercreeper (euonymous fortunei), crimson star columbine, variegated bishops weed, and probably some others. You can go into that encyclopedia and search for these plants and see a photo and description of them.

I agree with you. I think the dark leaves of the ivy make a very nice groundcover. Be sure and check out the wintercreeper (euonymous fortunei). I've seen that several places around here and find it very attractive with the variegated leaves.

Gami
 
  #9  
Old 06-04-01, 07:38 PM
Niranjan
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Thanks for the help Gami! I'll check out the info...

P.S. - I live in the Portland Metro area
 
  #10  
Old 06-04-01, 08:00 PM
Gami
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You're welcome, Niranjan,

Be sure and find out what zone you are in. Zones 4b to 8b makes a lot of difference in what you can plant. Zone 8 is what most of Florida is. I'm not sure where Portland is when looking on a map that doesn't show where the cities are. It's hard enough to identify the states.

Gami
 
  #11  
Old 06-05-01, 07:18 AM
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Did they stop publishing maps with cities listed???

Portland is considered Z7 or 8.
 
  #12  
Old 06-05-01, 08:06 AM
Gami
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Hi Sled,

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

I don't happen to have a map of Oregon lying around. I haven't found a site yet that listed the cities and states on it where you can tell what ZONE you are in. If you have a link for one like that, I would sure appreciate it. I would also greatly appreciate a site with a map of the United States that DOES show the states and cities. Anytime I tried to search for one, all I found is a site where you had to buy the maps. (Our Atlas is kept in the vehicle that HE drives to work.)

Thanks for your help!

Gami
 
  #13  
Old 06-05-01, 08:20 AM
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There are several utilities available online to
present maps for selected cities, states and regions.

http://www.expedia.com/
http://www.mapquest.com/

Avis has their maps available.
http://www1.avis.com/maps_and_direct...ing_mapsV2/us/

Once you find the city you can use the USDA hardiness map to determine the Zone. It's a two-stepper but no purchase req'd.
 
  #14  
Old 06-05-01, 01:16 PM
Gami
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Thanks, Sled. Your links should be helpful--especially when taking trips.

Gami
 
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