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Can you recommend a groundcover for very shady woods? #281751 - Ask Extension


Can you recommend a groundcover for very shady woods? #281751

Asked September 30, 2015, 2:41 PM EDT

I have an area in my woods that is cleared off and has sugar sand for soil. I would like to seed it in with some type of grass or groundcover. Thinking of making it a play area for the grandchildren and want to keep the brush out of it. I won't water it. I'll just keep it 4 to 6 inches long. What would you suggest I use? Thank you.

Morrison County Minnesota

Expert Response

Hi Dennis,
It may be hard for you to find a ground cover that will grow well in such sandy soil.  
Even if you could, the plants would need all the green growth they could muster in order to develop deep roots.  Mowing could negatively impact the health of these plants.

Here is a resource that may help you decide what plants could grow here - and if they are the kinds of plants that would work in a play area:

Otherwise you could consider simply applying a deep wood mulch in this area.  That would keep undesirable weeds down and wouldn't need mowing.

Mary Courteau Replied September 30, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT
Thank you for the quick response. I am looking at some type of sedge. Can I obtain seed somewhere or do I need to buy the plants? I have about 4,000 sq ft to cover.
The Question Asker Replied September 30, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT
The last link I'd sent is to one of our native plant growers.  They should have some plants for you to look over.
Mary Courteau Replied September 30, 2015, 4:24 PM EDT

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