Mint

Consider These Ground Covers!

Garden Decor

Get creative this gardening season by mixing up your choice of ground covers. Ivy may be a classic, as are pachysandra and clover, but mixing it up by adding an unexpected touch of mint, strawberries, or winter wheat could give your garden a whole new feel!

Mint – Plant mint in the spring or fall when the fear of frost is over. There are two planting options generally used for mint – one to contain the plant while the other allows it to expand. When planting you will want to select an area with partial shade or full sun, and plant with a fertile, composted soil.

Strawberries – Strawberry plants are low maintenance, but do like lots of sunshine. Plant your strawberry plants about two feet apart. When plants reproduce they do so with “runners,” or a vine growing from the plant that takes hold in the soil. Because strawberries bear a huge harvest you will want to continuously pick the fruits and be able to do so easily, so consider ease of access to these plants.

Winter Wheat – Winter wheat is a crop planted in the fall that sprouts before freezing occurs and then remains dormant until soil warms in early spring. This time frame allows for good root development: plant too early and your plants could be susceptible to late summer insects, plant too late and the plants may not overwinter well.

Winter wheat can be planted in rows like crops and should be rototilled into the soil about 2.5 inches deep. The heads of the wheat stalks will become heavy with grains and will lean toward the ground when they are full.

To see if they are ready to harvest you can test a few grains yourself. Chew a few grains from your plant to see what their consistency is. Soft and doughy grains are premature and need more time to mature. Continually check the grains until they are firm and crunchy at which time you can harvest your crops. To harvest your winter wheat simply cut off the heads of the stems.

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