Low growing cover crop

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by TCLynx, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. TCLynx

    TCLynx Junior Member

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    I am in search of a low growing (short height) cover crop that I can get seeds for in the USA.

    I currently have a vacant lot that I wish to build a home on in a couple years. The lot was cleared long before I got it and so now I must be maintained in such condition. Not much point in doing much gardening there since I have not water supply there yet. I would like to start building the soil but I have to keep the lot mowed. My problem, the county code enforcement officers will post a violation on my property if the grass/weeds get over 18" tall.

    Are there any cover crops that are very low growing that would survive my mowing over them regularly to keep the other weeds down? Or are there any cover crops that would be hardy enough to choke out the other weeds and grasses and only grow to about a foot high? I worry though that anything that aggressive would become a problem in the future. Are there any dutch or white clovers that fit the bill? I read that they are low growing but it doesn't say how low (some people call 3 feet high low growing.)

    The soil is very sandy. Climate is sub-tropical with only rare freezes but enough to have moved most citrus production further south. Dry season is spring and the wet season is summer and fall (hurricane season.) Winter varies.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. JoanVL

    JoanVL Junior Member

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    I have no expertese in these matters, but i have read that sweet potatos are a good ground cover: they certainly don't exceed 18" and you wouldn't need to mow!
     
  3. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    I'm not sure what seeds you can get over there but i would suggest subterrainian clover. Its a low growing, self spreading form of clover which was introduced here (australia) from eastern europe where it is regarded as a weed. It shouln't get more than about 8" tall. Otherwise any other form of clover will do just fine but may require more mowing as its liable to grow taller. Clover will improve the soil there heaps by breaking it up and putting in Nitrogen. Mow it often enough that any annuals which come up are mown before they flower and set seeds, their cycle will be broken and the clover should tend to spread if the conditions are right.
    cheers, IG
     
  4. TCLynx

    TCLynx Junior Member

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    I'm looking at a few varietys. I think I found a source in the US for White Dutch clover and subterranean clover which both sound like they might do some good. I think they may have a little trouble with the heat here so I'm also trying to find some more sub tropical legumes if I can.
     
  5. Jackie K

    Jackie K Junior Member

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    Hi, Subterranean clovers do very well in the heat. Commonly grown in Oz for that reason. Hope that helps.
    Jackie K
     

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