AMEN, Mike! We’re hearing more and more anti-lawn tirades lately
and I’ve been known to contribute to the chorus on that one, but I’m only ranting
against traditional, chemically addictive lawn care, not the easy,
good-enough lawn that Mike espouses. I’d only amend his advice to
recommend applying a slow-release fertilizer once in the fall and
something Mike only implies – foregoing watering during the summer.
Okay, now that we’ve settled the lawn care issue, let’s back up
because the question reveals some muddled thinking that’s common among
the nongardening public. It asked for a groundcover that:
- Requires NO maintenance. That’s right – not "low" but "NO".
- Is short
- Can be grown from seed
- Adapts to any soil
- Is locally native
To which Mike responds: "Suuurreeee – you want fries with that?"
Great answer! Because plant choice isn’t as easy as ordering from a menu of
desired qualities. And notice that attractiveness isn’t
even on the list of requirements here. Neither is exposure (sun,
shade) or the ability to prevent erosion on hillsides. And as Mike aptly notes, if such a plant existed, it would
probably already be there, and everywhere else, for that matter. So
our plant choices are pretty much the ones we see growing in our area,
especially on sites where the plants were chosen by professionals.
Now get this. The question (remember, NO maintenance!) came not
from a gardening newbie or someone else whose ignorance is
understandable but from a landscape designer. On that note, I’m going back to bed.