I've got pathways raked out toward the back of my forest garden (in development), and I'm hunting for something medicinal I can plant that would serve to choke out other weeds in the paths (I'm eliminating poison ivy, ground muscadines, and Virginia creeper), be occasionally walkable, and cover the ground. This is mostly dappled sun. I tried seeding in some Glechoma hederacea, but it's not really taking; I thought Creeping Charlie was supposed to be unstoppable! I know folks say clover and strawberries for groundcover, but I'm hoping for something I can seed along the paths and have a prayer that (a) it will come up and (b) it will have medicinal value. I don't want to have to mow it.
Any suggestions? I'm in Zone 8a, Athens, GA, very humid, acidic soil (used to have lots of pines, but many taken down).
Maybe peppermint or spearmint? I have spearmint in a spot where I walk a lot in the early spring and mush the hell out of. 3 weeks later it pops up and has spread farther and farther.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
Dichondra is a great path plant with medicinal uses. I love the stuff! Spreads nicely and keeps grass and weeds in check. Runs between stepping stones too for a classic cottage path look.
Purple flowering verbena too. I can tolerate lite foot traffic because of the way it grows. It grows 24 inches out from center and puts down new roots there. I have doubts that it has any value other than look and erosion control.
our paths are full of plantain and clover. we didn't have any plantain when we moved here so we went down to the road and transplanted some. plantain is such an easy plant and doesn't mind being stepped on. in shady spots it keeps its growth small and if given nice soil it will grow very large! a must have plant for bites, stings, inflammation of all kinds, bruises, burns, etc. simply chew it up and put the poultice on the spot. for stings or bites if swelling is bad, you can change out the poultice after it gets warm. will take care of the swelling and pain.
clover makes an amazing nitrogen fixing, pollinator friendly option. the blossoms can be dried and make a great addition to teas. it's one of our best blood cleansing herbs, which i think we can all benefit from. gentle in its action, its a great plant to have around and doesn't mind a little foot traffic or mowing. it's beautiful too. yarrow, dandelion, native grasses kept low also all come to mind. for our paths things have shown up in them and if they like it, they stay.
forest gardening in the Ozarks on 18 acres. 2 high tunnels, 3 acres of young food forests, tiny cabin living. solar off grid. building a straw bale house this summer - come intern with us! established 2016.
I've seen thyme used, forms a nice carpet. I'm sure the long established western culinary herbs are medicinal in some way. Hay, why don't i look it up? .... Wow, scroll down and maybe find a ground cover that covers your health concerns: https://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme#1 To Your Noble Health, OgreNick
10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown