Ground Cover Recommendation for Edmonton, AB
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Darcey Zelko
Posted on: June 16, 2001

I would like to replace the lawn on the city boulevard. It is about 200’ long and 8’ wide. Some people have suggested thyme, snow in summer and spotted nettle.

My requirements are the following: low water and cutting maintenance; low growth (people would still need to walk on it when they park their cars beside the boulevard); viability over the winter; and, I would like to grow this all from seed. What would you recommend?

As far as I know, Edmonton, AB, Canada is in zone 3. This means none of the thymes will be reliably winter hardy there. Snow in summer, Cerastium tomentosum is hardy in zone 3 to 7, but tends to be invasive. Spotted dead nettle, Lamium maculatum is hardy in zones 3 to 8, but it likes moist, well-drained humus rich soil in partial shade. These conditions are usually not found at a road side location.

With your difficult climate you might wish to try yellow bedstraw, (Galium verum, Richters’ catalogue #1335), red clover,(Trifolium pratense, #1830), crown vetch (Coronilla varia, #2040). These can work if you don’t mind occasional mowing to remove flowers. You could also try yarrow (Achillea millefolium, #7000) or woolly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa ‘Aurea’, #7009) if you mow once or twice a year to remove flowers.

For additional information on ground covers you might wish to consult our website at in the "Magazine Rack" section.

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