Plant suggestions

by Brad Scott
(Kansas City)

yard help

yard help

I live in Kansas City. Our house has a sloped back yard toward the house. We have very rocky soil and lots of shade. We would like suggestions on what we can plant along the fence in the picture. Grass has not grown well in this area due to our soil/sun issues. I did a little research and it seems there are some plants that will take over the back yard and won't get very tall. I would really like something like that. I did read a vinca or liriope might work. We do want to walk on it, so I was looking at a ground cover that doesn't get very high and would help with water drainage on the slope. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Comments for Plant suggestions

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May 10, 2020
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I like the idea of Liriope, but honestly? I wouldn't walk on it. Too squashy and delicate. Vinca, no. It is invasive and the long tendrils will trip you. Only thing it's good for is to hide dog mess so you step in it.

So other alternatives? I wonder what kind of tree that is, and if you'll be moving the jagged rocks?

Sometimes the best solution to difficult areas is to go back to nature, and use native species, especially in shade. Are there native plants in your area that might do well in there? That would look beautiful, especially in spring time before the trees leaf out. Then, it could be mulched with bark so you could walk on it during the summer.

This would also address the drainage issue (is there standing water on that rocky slope? Doesn't seem possible).

You refer to the area near the fence, but it seems that grass is growing there, not sure what other alternative, except maybe taller ornamental grasses would work there.

Let me know what you decide.

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