Ground Cover under Maple Trees
Answered by: Koidu Sulev
Question from Susan

I have no trees in my small yard however my next door neighbor has a Maple tree right next to our adjoining fence which provides me dappled shade, which I am grateful for. However, no grass grows under the tree. I live in Newmarket with clay soil. The roots are so close to the surface I cannot dig deep to plant. I am looking for a shallow planted ground cover that does well in dry shade.

I was thinking of planting Vinca, Sweet Woodruff and/or Wild Ginger. Would these work or can you suggest other options?

I appreciate your input. I maintain a small backyard on my own and enjoy gardening however I am close to retiring but still working and do not have a lot of time to putter in the garden.

It is very difficult to grow anything under a maple tree since the roots are close to the surface and absorb all the nutrients. It would be a better solution to purchase a few large pots 85 cm in diameter), fill with good potting soil and grow some culinary herbs and herbs suitable for dappled shade..Growing some ground covers, you would have to raise the soil level and add 20 cm of new soil every year.

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