This week I’ll be giving away copies of my book Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting over at Permies.com.
If you ask me questions in their composting forum this week, you’ll be eligible.
Go on over and check it out!
Permies.com is the best gardening and permaculture site on the internet, hands down.
The forums alone are a wealth of information. Paul Wheaton has built something beautiful – if you’re not a part of the community yet, it’s totally worth signing up.
Plus, it’s free. Can’t beat that.
Hi David. I have enjoyed your composting book very much. Okay, well, I enjoy all of your materials very much.
I have a question about ground cover. I hope you can help me.
I am interested in recommendations for lawn replacement ground cover for our zone 9b home. I need ground cover that can:
1) tolerate deep “north of the house” shade and dappled sun;
2) survive under pine trees;
3) tolerate crappy sandy conditions;
4) is short like grass;
5) be mowed just like grass;
6) tolerate lots of foot traffic;
7) is edible;
8) easily obtainable.
I’d like to be able to ‘mow the yard” without feeling like I just took a wombat dust bath and smiling all the while knowing I can eat my yard if the SHTF.
Thank you David. Best regards, Kim
Tall order. I think Karl is right on perennial peanut, but I don’t know how well it will do in full shade.
My recommendation would be to give up on lawn in that North-of-the-house area and make a nice brick or stone path in the shady area and plant around it with edible and ornamental gingers. They love the shade, plus they give you something to eat.
Actually, I don’t know if you could find it, but our native “twinberry” or partridgeberry grows great in the shade and doesn’t require mowing:
Kim, While waiting for David you might consider looking at perennial peanut for ground cover. It covers all your requests except for #7 and that’s just for humans. I’ve eaten the flowers and they taste okay, but I haven’t eaten the leaves. If you have grazing animals they will eat it however. Here is a link: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep135 and also this: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag329
Kim, Here is a video also that gives you an idea about the perennial peanut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_IvNDpzaMw
Thank you David and Karl. I will take a look at native twinberry, partridgeberry and perennial peanut as possible options. I recently spied what I think is wavy basket grass elsewhere in the ‘hood”. It is a deep green color, covers the ground nicely, is thriving in the shade and looks decent after being mowed. It’s not edible but at least it might serve as a decent “lawn” where we unfortunately have none at this time.
I truly appreciate both of your thoughts and support.
Thank you Mr. David the Good. Your work is nourishing minds, bodies and souls. I can not thank you enough. Best regards, Kim