Reclaiming grown over ground cover

Asked January 12, 2017, 12:28 PM EST

I bought this place in June. I noticed that someone planted this ground cover at the edge of woods and it was grown over with tall grass, blackberry and weeds. I would like it to just be ground cover. Today I have been removing grasses and cutting blackberry's down to the ground and weeding, removing lots of household garbage thrown there over the years! Can you give me some pointers on this ground cover and also what to do in spring to stop blackberry growth and weeds?

Franklin County Pennsylvania landscape design weed issues horticulture

1 Response

Your ground cover looks like a vine called vinca or periwinkle. It roots very easily, and usually forms roots where ever a leaf node touches the ground. In your case, I would remove as much of the vinca as possible and put it into containers filled with peat moss or compost. Then i would completely remove all the invasive vegetation that has come up through the ground cover. The brambles are hard to get rid of. They snap off at the ground level, and they are joined together by underground runners. Also, you have lots of weed seeds that have dropped into the ground cover over time.
Once the area is clear, I would order a load of top soil and compost, and spread a two inch layer on the cleared soil. That will bury the weed seeds and give you good soil to replant your vinca. Then I would mulch with undyed wood chips to keep any new weed seeds out of the bare areas and keep the moisture in the soil. You will be dealing with the bramble canes for a while. Roundup will actually kill them if applied when they leaf out in the spring. It would need to be done before you add new soil and replant your vinca.
The vinca will fill in pretty fast. However, I would put a barrier of edging so it can't escape into the woods. It can be very aggressive and is listed as an invasive species in Pennsylvania since it invades the woods and displaces native plants.