Question From: John Day, Oregon, United States
Q: How far apart should seedlings be planted?
The Yardener recommends spacing English Ivy cuttings from 6 to 12 inches apart. Others suggest as much as 18 inches, but it would take along time for it to fill in to a nice dense ground cover at that rate. The issue is weeds as well as looks. You want it to fill in ASAP. I suggest after planting you put a 1/4 inch layer of compost on the surface of the soil after planting. Cover the compost landscape paper or newspaper 4 sheets thick making sure to overlap and than cover the paper with an inch of fine pine bark mulch. Wetting newsprint makes it easier to work with. Then water the entire area using a sprinkler. The paper will prevent new weeds from sprouting. The compost adds food for soil microbes and help get the plants established. The mulch will hold moisture in and cover the paper. It will also breakdown and feed the soil. Be sure to keep plantings watered so the soil stays moist but not sodden. If the temperatures are below 85 degrees during the day I would also scatter an organic slow release fertilizer, such as Espoma Plant Tone over the surface of the mulch before watering. I know this seems like a lot of work, but it's a one shot effort. Weeding a patch of groundcover, especially of grass becomes established in it, is a nightmare. Unless you like to weed. Good Luck with your ground cover. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy