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Old 01-01-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


Hello all,

I am going to be building a house next fall. The property is about 1 acre, and has a huge sandy hill. The biggest problem is that the sand blows all over and not only gets into all of the neighbors lots/homes but will get into my home. come spring we will be running a sprinkler line up the hill to try and get some foliage growing.

So, does anyone know of any kind of seed/ground cover I could try and plant? Again, the hill is a steep slope, full sun, dry at times without the sprinklers going, and sandy. I would really like to just find some kind of seed that will put something grassy or wild flowers. Another thing is cost, it is a huge hill so that is another reason for some kind of inexpensive seed.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-02-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


I don't have an answer, but I suspect any one who may will want to know: Where are you?

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Old 01-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


Ogden Utah (about 30 miles North of Salt Lake City Utah)
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #4
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


usually the least expensive and fastest to establish are whats native to your site already
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


Anytime you can use native plants or seeds it is going to work out better. Think also about exploring these things.

1. Drip irrigation (with the tiny spray heads for irrigation)
2. Getting a soil test (cheap and will save you lots)
3. Hydroseeding (It is not just for turfgrasses)

A lot of people do not know about hydroseeding but it is a process where you mix fertilizer, seed, and gunk that forms a crust. Seeing it in action? I looks almost like "guniting" the sides of a swimming pool. Hydroseeded lawns, with proper care will establish better and faster than sod for a fraction of the cost. You can use the process to spray many nice groundcover seeds on near vertical surfaces if you want. You have to water plants though.

If you must turn to planting groundcover from plugs. Check with a landscape contractor or a real, not a box store, nursery to make sure they order things you need so you are sure to have enough. Landscape contractors will have access to wholesale nurseries you don't and can save you tons in the long run.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


Thanks so much for your help, I have thought about the possibility of hydroseeding but was not sure of its applications/limitations etc. I have also wondered about buying a few pounds of wild flower seeds and some jute erosion control cloth and putting that on the hill. Would that work or do you think I would be better off to do the hydroseeding? Also, where would I get a soil test done?

Thanks again
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


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Originally Posted by StevenDF View Post
Thanks so much for your help, I have thought about the possibility of hydroseeding but was not sure of its applications/limitations etc. I have also wondered about buying a few pounds of wild flower seeds and some jute erosion control cloth and putting that on the hill. Would that work or do you think I would be better off to do the hydroseeding? Also, where would I get a soil test done?

Thanks again
I think you will find that hydroseeding, even with native wild flower seeds, will be cheaper but call around. And like I mentioned, the slurry of stuff gets sprayed on and will stick to a vertical surface or ceiling I guess. You just have to figure out how to get water to it all and on regular basis while the seeds sprout.

And even with jute erosion control fabric or whatever. You have to top dress the seed---tough on a slope thanks to gravity. Hydroseeding accomplishes everything at once. Except, and I forgot to mention, you have to prep the soil, ammend it and all to give the seeds a chance. Just like you would planting anything.

As for soil tests. In the old days California used to do them for free through University ag extension. What with budget cuts that went away a long time ago. Same here through the UofI. Not anymore.

I would check your local yellow pages or call the nearest University with ag extension near you. They will probably not do them for free but may have a capability at some charge to you. Or they will have a list of soil labs.

This is not going to be a great expense to you. No reason a local lab has to do your tests but they will know nuances for your area. They will also coach you through what they want for samples. They may lend you a core sampler.

Basically what you are going to do is core sample places in your yard (or dig down to a recommended depth with a garden trowel), label the location, seal the sample in GLAD containers and send it off. The lab wizards will look at it. Then they will grind it up so they can tell you what it is. They will also do a chemical analysis so you know everything about its PH balance and so forth. A really good one will send you recommendations as to what you might want to adjust if planning to grow plants.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:34 AM   #8
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


Anything you can get to grow in the sand might help with erosion, but to keep the sand from blowing I'm thinking you might need a layer of topsoil first. Or something more organic than sand. Plants need to be able to absorb nutrients and sand doesn't have any. And I don't think you area has sandy soil, just strait sand and rock, right? I am trying to picture sand dunes at the beach. They help to keep the sand from washing away, but there is still sand on the surface. I am thinking bushes might be better then flowers. Something to keep the wind down. My guess would be that establishing lawns is tricky out there and people likely get sod that has some soil on it if they are trying to grow grass in the desert. But I am not familiar with your area. Sorry.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


check out this website...http://www.groundcover.com/

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Old 02-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #10
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Calling all Ground Cover/Foliage experts.


I live in basically the opposite environment (clay clay everywhere!) so I have no experience with quick draining sandy soil. That being said, whenever I have a problem with "what should I plant in this difficult area" I solve it by driving around the neighborhood and looking at what other people have growing in similar soil and slopes. If you spend an hour driving around your area you definitely will see a similar garden area somewhere.

Something MUST be able to grow there without having to install a high tech irrigation system.

native is definitely the path of least resistance!


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