Loamy Sandy Steep Hill

Asked April 19, 2018, 12:41 PM EDT

Our hill was covered in bamboo. We've cleared the bamboo by pulling out as many roots as we could. We want to plant the hill with a native ground cover or low profile material. We are on Weems creek which can become brackish in the summer - August/September time frame. Do you have any suggestions?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

There are several native herbaceous ground covers you can use. Examples are:
phlox stolonifera
Canadian ginger
Allegheny pachysandra
golden groundsel
iris reticulata
Many terrific ferns (be sure they are native)
green and gold (Chrrysogonum virginianum)
tiarella cordifolia
You might want to plan a mixed-bed instead of only one species, to see what grows well. Diversity also increases plant health.

A good low-growing shrub would be Shore Juniper (evergreen, east coast native but not native to Maryland) and sweet spire (Itea virginica). Both spread.

An excellent resource for natives, with color photos and growing requirements (including soils--e.g. sand) is the online "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping" with easy chart format and plant lists. Highly recommended.

Because you are on a steep slope and so near water, you may want to engage a reputable nursery for plan ideas such as Homestead Gardens or Behnkes.

If you find the bamboo coming back, follow the steps in our webpage: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/bamboo

Be mindful that you cannot use a glyphosate product in the critical zone unless it is specially formulated to not kill aquatics, e.g. Erasure or Rodeo.