Did you go green by going brown?
If you stopped watering your yard and made an attempt to stay green by going brown, you may not be ready for rain. Dead lawns and dirt patches don’t hold water well and will result in runoff and mud everywhere. If you have some ground to cover, here are a few ideas to get some fast growing and drought-tolerant coverage in place.
1. Wedelia: Sphagneticola trilobata from the Sunflower family, or Wedelia trilobata, is fast growing in soil that is not optimum and in areas of partial shade to full sun. It flowers year round with bright yellow flowers that are showcased by deep green foliage. Wedelia grows faster in the sun than the shade. If you are looking for a good hardy ground cover, take a look at Wedelia trilobata. Do note that this is not a good groundcover for areas with heavy foot traffic, and because it spreads by putting roots out at the nodes and latching onto the soil; it can become invasive.
2. Arctotis stoechadifolia (Cream African Daisy) This is an aggressive, low-growing groundcover that hugs the ground with leafy, ribbed stems & toothed, large leaves and daisy-like flowers. It grows fast as stems root where they touch the ground. It’s hardy to 25-30 degrees F and blooms from midsummer to early fall. It’s drought tolerant, and bees, butterflies and birds like it. Available late October in most nurseries.
3. Dymondia margaretae (Silver Carpet) This is a slow spreading, very flat (just a few inches tall at best) groundcover with 1-2 inch long narrow leaves that are a gray-green on top with white tomentosa beneath. Though flat to the ground, the white undersides are exposed to view as the leaf margins edges roll up and inward, thus giving the plant an appearance of being variegated. Small yellow daisy flowers bloom amongst the foliage in summer. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil. This plant grows rapidly with irrigation, but it has deep succulent roots and can be very drought tolerant; though notably slower growing. It is hardy to about 25-30 degrees F. About the only things that this plant does not tolerate well is a heavy or otherwise non-draining soil and gophers.
4. English or Uniform Ivy This is a carefree groundcover and can be invasive. It flourishes under shady to full sun conditions in soils that are moderately fertile and moist but it is forgiving of drought situations. It will hold the soil and cover quickly.
While there are many options for ground cover, your local nursery can help you find the perfect match for your specific area and needs.