Grass for ground cover?

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Grass for ground cover?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:11 am

Hi People.

Is it possible to use bermuda grass as ground cover for large bonsai? let say a meter long flat slab.
I ask this question because of my recurring problem with moss? bermuda grass can hold the loose soil better of a flat slab better than moss. plus it will last a lot longer in our climate better than moss and I can enjoy the green underneath the tree all year long.
Is there any "rules" on displaying that will be violated just in case the tree will be exhibited?

regards,
jun
scratch

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Grass as Ground Cover

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:12 am

The situation may be different in the tropics, but in general, the advice is not to use vascular (higher) plants as ground covers, simply because they tend to compete with the bonsai for food & water. The only vascular plant I have used successfully as a ground cover was blue star creeper (Isoloma), but that was in a maple, which is an energetic plant. And grasses are very aggressive. You could try it as an experiment, but watch closely, so you can pull out the grass if the bonsai looks weak.
Iris

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:45 am

Thank you Iris.

Its really hard to maintain a mound here on a slab without ground cover. moss are good only during exhibit time.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Ravi Kiran on Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:22 am

Hi Jun,

I have been using a weed called as "baby tears" - (I do not know the botanical name) as a ground cover for my bonsai . It is indeed a challenge to maintain Moss here in the tropics and this weed which I unsuccesfully tried to get rid of has now been transformed into a very nice ground cover. It does need to be pruned like mowing grass once in 5-6 months but it is visually very nice. The leaves are about the size of mustard seeds and it covers the entire pot very quickly. Friends had cautioned me as this weed could eat up the nutrients but my experience is that the trees have not lost their vigor when this weed shares their pot. I also have the added advantage in summer that this weed keeps the ground from drying up despite the day temperatures reaching 38-40 degrees centigrade.

As Iris has suggested, it is worthwhile experimenting with grasses (including Bermuda grass). Do share your results so that we too can do so without the risks Laughing

Regards
Ravi

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Storm on Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:08 am

Ive planted some normal grass in a growingbox with one of my trees. It was planted in pure cat litter and grew like crazy. It was very dense and looked very good as long as you cut it down to about 3mm. The problem was that after a few weeks, I could see the roots from the grass going from the top of the box and all the way down to the bottom. The box was about 15cm deep. I pulled it out again and it looked like a dense carpet.
It took with the soil at about an inch from the top and I had to remove all the roots I could so It didnt just start to grow again. It completely covers the trees roots. So unless you have a different kind of grass im afraid its useless. Though it looks really good.
I assume if you have to water enough to give the tree enough water, something would start to rot in the planting too.

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:48 am

Jun, Ravi,

Happy New Year !!!

I took some time finding a local variety of moss that would grow easily on the surface of my Bonsai soil. Now I just either place a few pieces of 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm shapes of moss or leave the plant alone and sure enough moss will appear.

My problem is with excess rain, I get a slime trying to grow on the moss, and also having to punch holes into the moss carpet to keep it healthy. The moss will even grow over the osmocote type fertilizer.

Perhaps you just have to search for the right variety?
Until.
Khaimraj

* Now entering re- pot everyone mode.

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:38 pm

If you have ever dug sod, you know the problem with using grass as a ground cover. The roots make an impenetrable mass in the soil and soon take over from the roots of a small tree in a pot. In the yard, tree roots go DEEPER than the grass roots.

To some extent, baby's tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) would have the same problem, but not, I think to the same degree.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@alltel.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:49 pm

I should warn you all, that I still hand water my trees with a 2 gallon green plastic watering can and a very small brass 1 pint watering can.

Takes about 1/2 hour to 1 hour in the morning and 1/2 hr in the evening. Hwever, my soils in the dry season are calculated to remain moist for one day and I don't have to water every day, if i don't want to. I always make time for my trees and my pets. They eat before I do.

I find the garden hose over does the watering and actually makes things too wet.
Khaimraj

* according to my Timex pedometer, I make 5 miles + daily. Excellent exercise, as my back yard has an aggressives slope, plus I am lifting 20 lbs of water each trip.

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Ravi Kiran on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Jim,

thanks for sharing the botanical name of Baby's Tears. In my experience the roots do not go beyond 1 cm from the surface and like I said earlier none of my trees have been effected adversely by the presence of this weed. Grass on the other side (and I keep pulling each grass plant whenever I see one in any of my plants) goes much deeper as Jim has correctly pointed out..

Ravi

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Elfin Thyme

Post  RKatzin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:58 pm

I've been trying a few different ground covers and this tiny Thyme seems to working nicely. It will grow flat to the ground with some trimming or if left alone will form into a small mound. It's easily trained to stand upright, I'm growing one single stem onto a small tree. The small purple flowers are a bonus all summer, too! It's Thymus praecox, aka serpypylum.

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:46 pm

Sometimes the blend of crushed red brick with the earthy colours, yellow to deep purples is so attractive, it is a shame to put anything over it, same goes for the sifted sharp sand, comes in off-whites to soft browns.

Plus with just a few pieces of moss, the green and reds make a beautiful stage for the leaves.

I am finding myself very much in love with the varigated snow rose leaves.
Khaimraj

* Guess this is why I am sucker for found stones - ha ha ha.

I also once found a partially burnt piece of Seagrape, which I then carved into one of my fantasy women, with hair flying the wind. Seagrape wood is an xtremely attractive red-brown and takes detail well.
Of course it was stolen and I never found a piece with such power of suggestion again.

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:08 pm

Thank you all kind people for your advice. I'll will proceed with caution. and study the progress.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Grass for ground cover?

Post  jsonacob on Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:51 am

I'm also wondering about the subject because it's really hard to keep moss in our local climate.. I'm planning to experiment with Bermuda grass in the next few days.

I really appreciate it if you can share the result of your experiments.

Thank you in advance.


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