Groundcover That Tolerates Foot Traffic
My lawn is old and tired. I am thinking of replacing it with barren strawberry or some other groundcover that can tolerate some foot traffic. Will this work?
Barren strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata) will work in this situation. It prefers full to part sun and moist well-drained soils but benefits from watering during droughts. Avoid planting the look-a-like Mock Strawberry (Duchesnea indica) that can take over the landscape.
Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla verna) looks similar to the strawberry but prefers full to part sun and well-drained to dry soils.
Moneywort (Lysmachia nummularia) is a ground-hugging plant with round green leaves and yellow flowers in June. It tolerates full sun to full shade and moist to wet soils. Avoid using this near natural waterways where the plant can become invasive.
Bugleweed is a long time favorite under trees and shrubs but will tolerate a bit of light foot traffic.
Creeping and wooly thyme have long been used for this purpose. The fragrant foliage adds to its value. These plants need full sun and good drainage.
The creeping speedwells (Veronica repens and Veronica prostrata) provide nice green foliage and early summer bloom.
Add a few stepping stones to minimize foot traffic and stress on the plants. Look for more options this spring at your local garden center. Several growers offer collections of groundcovers for just this purpose.