BY JOEL WELLS
I have an area between evergreen trees that, as they have grown older, has developed more light between them. A shady area with nothing but Virginia creeper, weeds and honeysuckle growing so I want to plant some type of ground cover and flowers. To fill this void I have elected to grow sedges (will grow in acidic soils, are deer resistant, will crowd out invasive species) and some Woodland native flowers: https://www.prairienursery.com/plants-seeds/native-plants/native-sedges.html.
There are over 100 type of sedges but the two I selected are the Pennsylvania Sedge and the Ivory Sedge. Pennsylvania Sedge grows 8″ tall with a rhizome root system and requires a well-drained drier soil, in partial to full shade. Rhizomes are modified stems running underground horizontally. They strike new roots out of their nodes, down into the soil. They also shoot new stems up to the surface out of their nodes, so they spread well. Examples of plants with a rhizome root system are Creeping Charlie, and Kentucky Blue Grass.
Ivory Sedge grows 6″ tall with a fibrous root system that requires a well-drained drier soil, in partial to full shade. Fibrous root systems are all more or less the same size, and they look like fine, branching hairs which have grown to create a dense mat. Examples of fibrous root plants are onions and corn.
Growing these plants from seed is unrealistic as they are difficult and slow to germinate so I will buy plants that will be delivered in April/May. The recommended plant spacing is 1 foot. The area I have is about 80-feet by 10-feet which would be 800 square feet or 800 plants. Not realistic for me so I will start in a small area and see how they progress. Then divide and spread them out over time and plant woodland wild flowers from seed.
In the fall I plan to plant some of the area with native wild flowers and more hostas and ferns: https://www.opnseed.com/products/woodland-edge
Correction: The height of the sedges mentioned was originally stated in feet, not inches.