Natural ground cover

Asked August 20, 2020, 7:17 PM EDT

We live on six mostly wooded acres in Lowell Michigan with a small stream running through the property. Our grandkids like to play in the woods and the stream so I've mowed some paths through the natural vegetation to cut down on their picking up ticks and so they can more easily explore. I'd like to sow some natural ground cover on the paths. Could you recommend what plants I could use, who sells it and when best to sow it? Thanks so much! Steve Z

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Steve - I am including below a link to a DNR article with more information about native ground covers. Note the mention of those that are aggressive spreaders. (Sorry about the long link). Natives are great because they are acclimatized to the Michigan environment.
https://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/huntingwildlifehabitat/Landowners_Guide/Habitat_Mgmt/Backyard/Grass_Ground_Cover.htm#:~:text=Native%20shade%2Dtolerant%20species%20include,%2C%20birdsfoot%20trefoil%2C%20and%20euonymus.
I am also providing you with a link to the Michigan Native Plant Producers Association (MNPPA) web site so you can talk to the experts and find out more about what they grow and what they would recommend for your growing conditions. https://www.mnppa.org/
If your path area is extensive, I'd suggest you purchase plugs which have good root systems and are easy to plant. The nursery grower(s) can recommend the best time to plant but for most natives, they can be planted in fall or spring when temps are moderate and rainfall is consistent.
Hope that helps and have fun!