Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday: Gardening

In my last post I promised to show you another part of my "garage garden." This is an area that receives very little sun but still manages to produce quite a few weeds, so this year I decided to plant it in ivy. After a few years, I can pretty much forget about it, other than keeping it from overtaking the rest of the space.

There is a trick to establishing a bed of ground cover--whether that be ivy, myrtle, pachysandra, or any other vining, trailing ground cover. (and I do love to mix and match ground covers!) Here's what you do:

Select a healthy length of ivy, in this case; preferably with roots or air roots, trimmed to about 8 inches in length.

Preparing the ground is easy. You need to do little more than scrape out a shallow hole and loosen the dirt.

Next, take a length of ivy and twist it into a loose knot. (you can double click for a closer view) By twisting it, you'll get a start that is well grounded. If you try to plant a long, trailing piece, when the leaves come down in the fall, you'll end up pulling most of the ivy out of the ground before it has a chance to really dig in. (voice of experience). Planted this way, you'll have healthy, thick starts and each will branch out in different directions and fill in. With ivy, the first year, you'll just want to water it and keep it from dying. The second year, it won't look like much is happening, but it will look healthy and grow a little. In the third year it will take off like a rocket!

Plant in the shallow hole--ivy isn't real fussy, it doesn't need to be covered too much. Make sure some of the leaves are still showing above the mulch, though.

It took about 15 minutes for me to plant six ivy starts in this part of my bed. Works for Me!
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