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What to use to cover the ground?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Leth, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. Leth

    Leth Apprentice Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
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    Offshore worker
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    Oban, west of Scotland
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    Hi everyone, I am so glad to have found this forum and looking at the posts it seems a right friendly bunch that are aboard. Apologies if this has been addressed before but as I am new here I haven't seen it.
    We have a patio at the back of our house and at its edge there is a strip of earth that has bushes planted in it. A Sumbuca tree, a Red Robin bush and two Camelias. There is a fence behind this and above there is another fence from our neighbour. She has a few trees growing in her garden which shed berries, leaves and other detritus onto our strip of earth. Our own bushes also do the same. We tidied it a few years ago, put down plastic membrane and then put purple slate clippings down. It looked lovely and very neat. Unfortunately over the years, the slate has become clogged with all this detritus and weeds have started growing again. Plus it looks very untidy. We want to tidy this area again and are wondering if there are any suggestions as to what substrate to lay down which will look neat but be capable of standing up to being rained on by plant material. We have considered re doing the slate or putting down bark or maybe just leaving is as earth. Any suggestions are welcome.

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    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      Dec 25, 2019
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      Cork
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      I think the best way to deal with the leaves and other detritus from above is to leave the area with soil open to let earth worms and other forms of soil life incorporate them into it and complete the normal cycle of material that makes healthy soil. I don't like plastic membranes and as you have found out they do not mean you don't have to maintain the area. I'd plant something to provide a nice ground cover with Ajuga being my favourite plant for this. You may still have to do a little weeding but once the ajuga is established it will stop a lot of weeds from being able to get started and it has nice flowers that you can see in this clip from my own garden.

      Happy gardening!
       
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