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Planning for Summer Trouble

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Monday, February 10, 2020 - 7:00am

Gary Bachman: Now is the time to start looking for answers to those pesky summer trouble spots in the garden, today on Southern Gardening.

Narrator: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Gary Bachman: Today I'm going to share some tips using groundcovers to solve a couple of summer garden dilemmas. Say you have a garden path in the full sun and have to step around plants so as not to injure. Why not use a plant that will tolerate the full sun and not mind the foot traffic? Red Creeping Thyme may be the perfect plant to use. It's a spreader up to a foot and a half in diameter and will fill in any open spots. Loads of pink flowers are produced in the summer, and it doesn't mind being stepped on.

Another trouble spot is a large bed under trees that you can never seem to keep filled with groundcover. Perhaps you need a more aggressive ground cover plant. I don't make this suggestion very often, but liriope spicata, or creeping liriope, may be the perfect plant in this situation. Creeping liriope is a spreading groundcover that has white flower spikes. When grown in the sun, creeping liriope will run over just about everything in its path. It's best to plant creeping liriope in a contained planting bed, such as a tree well or other confined space to keep this plant under control. Space creeping liriope about 12 inches apart in the landscape. The plants will readily fill in. When the area becomes overgrown, simply dig and divide every three to four years.

Some gardeners are tired of mowing the lawn, and will even go as far as replacing their turf with groundcovers. But this is a subject for another day. I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Narrator: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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