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Low Maintenace, Shade Tolerant Groundcover for Florida Yard

My daughter has a problem growing grass in her Lutz, Florida front yard. It is in complete shade. We have hot, humid summers with temps in the 90s for about three or more months. She has seeded several times and nothing seems to grow. It is also an area that the children play in. Do you have any suggestions for her? The homeowner association is giving her flack and yet they have no suggestions for her. She is a single mother and finances are low. Is there something besides grass that would grow and withstand children running over it?

Shade, foot traffic and a tight budget can be overwhelming. A low maintenance shade tolerant groundcover may provide the green the neighborhood association requires. Adding some mulched areas for play and steppers for directing traffic through the yard may give the kids the freedom they desire. A trip to a local nursery may reveal the perfect plants for the situation. Check out Dichondra or creeping fig (Ficus pumila), ground hugging plants that tolerate some light foot traffic. Mondo grass and lily turf could be used around trees and steppers to provide greenery where the kids don’t play. Encourage your daughter to contact the local County Extension office or Garden club. Many gardeners are happy to share their expertise and plants with fellow gardeners in need.

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