Even though it was raining outside today, I still went out and played in the garden. I have several large projects on my “to do” list, and over the next few weeks my goal is to try and work on some mini projects around the backyard. Small projects that can be completed in a hour or two, so I don’t get stressed out or discouraged if it’s freezing outside or raining like crazy.
For my first mini project I chose to dig up last years sweet meat squash and onion growing area. I hadn’t planned on growing those vegetables there, but I sort of ran out of room in the main garden, so that’s where the seeds ended up.
The very first thing we did when we moved in a few years ago, was plant our back hillside with vinca minor. I needed a plant that would not only be a vigorous grower, but on which had deep roots to help keep the hillside from washing away in a downpour.
I used tiny 1-inch plants, and kept them watered for the first summer we were here. The next year the plants had doubled without any additional water, and now a few years later, the entire hillside is covered.
After digging up the vegetables, I was left with a bare stretch of garden space, and after staring at it for a few weeks, I decided to go ahead and remove the mini vegetable garden, and replace it with more vinca minor plants.
I think planting more vinca here was the right choice, but now I’m just going to have to figure out how to keep it growing into the grass.
I’ve never used any edging material before, but I’m thinking I might need to get some for this area. What do you think? Is there a product you can suggest?
Mrs Hillbilly says
Use a good edger
Amanda M. says
We have vinca in our yard. I did not plant it and will NEVER plant it. It is nice that it covers and it covers fast. BUT, I really think it grows so fast and has such a nasty root system that it could be considered a noxious weed. I wish I would have known you needed some. I would have given you as much as you need.
I love my vinca…we moved a ton with a bulldozer from the front yard and my sprinkler guy warned me about replanting it in the back. I’ve learned after 11 years that my battery powered weed wacker keeps it pretty…I keep a 12″ border between the grass and the vinca though. I actually mow ALL of it down early spring to keep it a bit more tame.
Sheila M. says
I’ve seen this plant on a ‘monitor’ list for invasive species in Washington state. I have mine in a patch bordered by a concrete walkway. It’s been easy to keep it at bay in that area. I would recommend a wide berth between your grass and keep it trimmed.
I suppose vinca is fine as long as you NEVER WANT TO TAKE IT OUT. Me, I hate the stuff. The roots are tangled and wiry, and I just about killed myself trying to dig out a smallish patch in our (Portland, OR) yard that the previous owners had planted. (Slugs love to hide in it, too.) I haven’t even begun to tackle the mass of vinca and bindweed in the side yard. I’m thinking dynamite would work well.
These days, when I shop for ground covers, I look for a) native plants and/or b) plants that DON’T say “spreads rapidly.” After the vinca and chameleon plant episodes – two summers of sifting through the soil for quarter-inch pieces of root that had starting sprouting – I don’t want to get stuck battling the Ground Covers from Hell ever again.
We had some vinca minor surrounding the edge of our house when we bought it, and it is hard to kill. However, If I was in your shoes I would have used the same plant to prevent erosion. I think that it is pretty, and a tree or two would look beautiful right in the middle of all that vinca. P. Allen Smith suggests planing tulips with vinca minor for an amazing display in spring!
I agree with Kendra (above) and just weed-eat or edge it. In addition, you could put a barrier deep in the ground to keep the roots from spreading out of the designated zone.
Well, I still have plenty of bulbs left to plant. I think I might do it. Thanks Sarah.
I inherited vinca minor with our house. I’m pretty sure it’s the thickest lushest non-flowering vinca I’ve ever seen. I’ve tried to rip it out, but can’t. It has crept under 2 of my Rhodies and overtook the candytuft I planted when we moved in. The best edging for vinca is the lawn mower. It will jump over any edging you try to put down. My husband just runs over ours with the lawn mower and it stays nice and clipped along the lawn edge. Now how I’m going to control it on the patio side I have no clue.