Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
At our Wisc seasonal place, i have a lot of shade.
We have found out that we have an "artillery fungus" problem ... where it has actually ruined the paint on my car.
I'm thinking -- If i can completely cover the ground with a ground cover, it could eliminate the 'spores' being shot out of the ground.
I'd wanted something that would fill in quickly ... and i do have a lot of other plants. DH wants to do that 'weed block' roll stuff... which i dont want to do.
Last season... we raked all the way down to the sand [we have sandy soil] eliminate all the debris that can possibly rot and cause more problems.
if anyone knows of how to help deal with these spores... that would be great too.
Vinca is a great groundcover, but it won't be happy in sandy ground. You'll have to amend with lots of organic matter, and be sure to mulch. Epimedium (barrenwort) will tolerate dry shade better, and also sandy soils, but vinca (myrtle) would be my first choice if the soil can be made right for it.
I would recommend Phlox stolonifera. It is beautiful in the Spring, spreads very quickly, and grows everywhere. Here is a pic of some of mine; the flowers are borne on stalks about 5 inches long. Comes in many colors.
I just did a quick search on stepables.com and found creeping jenny to fit the bill too, and that i will have access to since i'm redoing a huge flower box up there that is loaded with creeping jenny. so i may just transplant some and see how it works.
chrissy100's vinca in the photo looks like Vinca major, which is not hardy in Wisconsin (but sometimes come back from the roots in mild winters). Vinca minor is what one would have to use instead, with smaller, evergreen leaves, but still pretty blue flowers. There are variegated varieties of Vinca minor though.
I have vinca minor growing in a several different areas, both sun and shade in total sand. I've just dug it up from one area, and plopped it right into another spot. Does fine without lots of soil amendments here, but it does need lots of water the first year. I rake the leaves and pine needles out and it doesn't seem to bother it too much. Tough stuff!
I dunno, Terese, It would take years for Vinca to make the coverage you'd need to control something as fine as spores, though. Ajuga, or even the common blue violet has a lot bigger leaves, and on the violets, you could find the plants or seeds that woul dmake it faster and cheaper. Creeping Jenny would work, too, but once again, each of the stems is thin, like a spider's leg, and spores would come right up.
Other things with big leaves are hostas and heucheras, and both could be sown by the hundreds, then planted out really close for some true coverage..
Suzy -- i have hostas on that side of the yard [that is where i'm actually planning my Hosta Garden ... ordering many and moved a few there last year] but i dont think i can cover all the available ground with them -- so i'd like a stepable ground cover.
but they too were covered on 'spore droppings'
fro what we've read on these "spore" things ... is they can shoot pretty far... so it may be coming from across the street too. It's a nightmare.
Suzy -- yes, from what i understand, they do come from underneath [decomposing wood and the sort] but they shoot in meters... yes, meters... so it could be coming from other places... but it is definetly in our yard too because the car, trailer, plants get 'spore splatter'. its almost like brown tar.
I really love the white sweet woodruff in the shaded area of the yard... Its even good in the sunnier spots...But its not to invasive... The flowers smell really great also. You can see some of it around this giant prime rose...