very wispy tiny ground cover

flowerbug

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for those of you familiar with creeping phlox at first i thought this plant was it because i had been trying to transplant it along the same edge a few years ago but it didn't take. so i thought perhaps this was a spot that managed to survive after all and left it alone. except now it is a much smaller plant and clearly not creeping phlox.

until today when i was weeding through the creeping thyme and there was this patch of fuzz flowering very tiny yellow or pale to white even flowers. about 1-3mm across and cup shaped flowers on strands about 2 inches tall.

the plant is very fine leaved. wispy and grows even lower than the creeping thyme (which only gets a few inches tall). it managed to survive growing in a pretty good dense mat of the creeping thyme.

i can't get a picture (broken camera not replaced yet).

i surely don't need yet another invasive or difficult to weed out plant here so i'm going to continue to remove it on sight. there's not much of it growing in there yet but now that i know it isn't creeping phlox it is coming out.

i was tempted as it was to get the shovel out and remove that entire area to make sure i got it all, but it does grow very slowly so it probably won't be an issue to eradicate it. and i really hated to damage that creeping thyme plant as it had filled in so nicely along that edge.

it came in with the creeping thyme in the potted plant we got from the greenhouse.

so it has been there a few years now. hopefully i got most of it removed today.

the creeping thyme is doing well and i enjoy the smell of it when weeding. i have to weed it a few times a year because of the oxalis (creeping sorrell or something like that) and all the other seeds that have come from the birdsfoot trefoil or other wind blown seeds. so far not much grass has been getting in there. just once in a while i get some crabgrass sprouting in there or the purselane and the chickweed which wants to take over if given a chance. plantains, goldenrods, daisies, etc... always plenty of variety of weeds blowing in or coming in from the birds droppings or even the deer doodoos.
 

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i think it might be Sagina Subulata aka Irish Moss.

i weeded it out and haven't seen it recover yet but if it returns i'll take a chunk and move it someplace else to see how it fares alone in that garden.
 

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it did come back. as i was weeding that garden the other day i noticed the irish moss had returned (but not as large of a patch as before). i got out the handy straight bladed shovel and moved the whole chunk to another spot where i can isolate the irish moss eventually from the creeping thyme and then see how it does. yay! another ground cover plant to work with. :) we'll see what it thinks of solid clay...

so far i'm very happy with the creeping thyme and i'm continuing to transplant chunks of it along the edge to help control erosion on the edge/slopes. i only have two long edges (about 60 feet) to go. i'm not actually sure i'll even try along one of those edges because it gets so weedy along the grass. the other edge is not bordered by grass or any other weeds so at least once i get it cleared and if i can control the uphill then i can at least keep the top part of that slope more weed free, but the bottom part is likely always going to be a challenge. we'll see how that goes. it will take a few years to get it replanted and covered properly, but we did smother the lowest and worst part of it this year so that is no longer a time drain. just that being downhill all the weed seeds blow or get washed into that spot so it isn't always easy to keep it cleared of weeds.
 

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ok, here are some pictures at last:

from this past spring after being moved last fall and it survived the first winter in the new location:

DSC_20200315_130608-0400_160_Iris_Moss_thm.jpg



from the other day a farther back shot showing the context:

DSC_20200912_144033-0400_642_Irish_Moss_One_Season_thm.jpg


a closer up picture. i sure hope all those seedlings sprouting are the creeping thyme, as it would be nice to fill in that area faster. i do have to weed the creeping thyme away from the irish moss about once every other week or so to make sure it doesn't get smothered again. it will survive growing mixed in with the creeping thyme i just want to make sure there is one area that is plain irish moss to see how it performs alone on that slope and also to see how it does with attempted weed invasions...:
DSC_20200912_144042-0400_643_Iris_Moss_Closer_thm.jpg


 
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flowerbug

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another year has passed and the Irish Moss is still alive and getting gradually bigger.

DSC_20210917_172601-0400_1100_Irish_Moss_Two_thm.jpg


about a month ago i found two more patches of it growing near where the previous patch was found so i moved it to a bare spot where i can keep a closer eye on things. since i have two bits in this new patch of Irish Moss to test out i removed the Creeping Thyme from one and left the other alone as a comparison test. it seems like the Irish Moss doesn't have any trouble growing in the Creeping Thyme so we'll find out. :) Note the obligatory deer hoof print. they wander through the North Garden pretty much every night (i don't know why there's nothing in there much any more).

DSC_20211006_131144-0400_1136_Irish_Moss_Next_Spots_thm.jpg
 
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