Want native landscaping & little watering

Asked September 4, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

Half of our front yard is a steep slope in partial shade--what ground cover is native and requires little watering? We were thinking English Ivy, Myrtle, Euonymus? We want to put a row of evergreen hedge at the top of the slope, but boxwood don't seem to be doing well at our neighbors. We were thinking Japanese Yew, Holly? Lastly, the upper portion of our yard needs new grass--what is a native grass that will flourish and need little watering?

Hamilton County Ohio yards horticulture

1 Response

I think you are expecting too much for some difficult locations. The ground covers listed aren't really native to Ohio and the native ones may not be what you are looking for due to size, location & environment. Evergreens are shallow rooted and thus don't survive the tops of hills very well during times of drought. If I had to choose a native evergreen for that site, it would be common juniper or Eastern red cedar. Most of the native grasses are warm season grasses, meaning they should do fine in the heat, but they are difficult to establish and look awful for the 8 cool months throughout the year. Cool-season grasses are the way to go and turf-type tall fescue is the toughest. It will go dormant during droughts & hot summers but is most likely to survive without watering. Further questions can be sent directly to my email at meyer.213@osu.edu .

Greg Meyer