Saturday, August 4, 2018

Can't Mow Between Fences, Created Pachysandra Ground Cover Bed

pachysandra ground cover bed with iris
This is the 'after' photo at the start of the following season when things have had a chance to grow in a little bit

My neighbor got a new fence for his dog (and so I don't have to look at his yard) but it's too close to my fence so a lawn mower doesn't fit between. After weed wacking it a few times, I knew he wouldn't help take care of it so I went ahead and devised a plan to turn it into a huge groundcover bed using Pachysandra even though half the space between the fence is technical his land. Here's the process I used and some photos along the way.

To plan out the overall shape of the bed, I used a hose on the ground to create a gentle curve. Then I used an edger to create a line along the hose, and sprayed Round Up on the grass to kill it. In previous beds, I lifted the sod and flipped it over and tried to create the bed that way, but the grass ended up growing through the sod - so this time I just decided to kill it and put topsoil and mulch over it.

Not all of the grass died completely, so I used vinegar as a touch up because it kills the grass just as well as the Round Up and it's way cheaper.

planning bed edge with hose
Planning out the shape of the bed with a hose helps visualize the gentle curves, then I edge along it to create a hard line in the ground. Some people spray paint or sprinkle flour to create a line to mark the edge.

planning bed edge with hosedead grass for new landscape bed


I was really lazy with this bed and after the grass died I didn't do a whole lot of amending the soil or tilling, I just dumped some topsoil over the dead grass and added some mulch. I spent about $72 on the Pachysandra plugs - if they weren't so expensive I would have gotten a lot more to create a full look, but I guess I can wait a few seasons for it to really fill in.

dead grass contrast clean edge landscaping bed
I love this photo, it's a little bizarre to kill off such a big patch of grass when I spend so much time and energy trying to keep the grass alive, but I like the contrast and the clean line I was able to create.

ground cover option because can't mow between fences
Here is an after photo trying to get the same camera angle. This was taken immediately after installation so the ground cover hasn't had a chance to grow in at all. I've been wanting a Buckthorn Fine Line for a while so I used that as the accent plant in the middle of the bed.

man in cutoff shirt with garden hose
Even Chris came out to help! Photo evidence!

pachysandra plugs
I didn't even realize until I looked back at this photo from about a year ago that the Buckthorn Fine Line has actually put on a good 6-8 inches of growth since I put it in. The photo at the top fo the page is the most recent.

what to plant between fence too narrow to mow
This was right after install, and before the neighbor's dog took out a few trying to dig under the fence (eye roll emoji)

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