I have a 3 foot x 10 foot grassy area in hot sun all day. I want to replace the grass with a low groundcover that can handle occasional, light foot traffic. Due to the sun exposure, it would be nice if it were drought tolerant also. Can you suggest a few?
Before we mention the types of plants to be used, let’s first discuss the ground preparation. Since this planting will be subjected to heat and drought stress, as well as some compaction due to light foot traffic, the soil should be dug at least to a depth of a full spade (a minimum of 8 inches) and turned to break up any large clumps. Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of sphagnum peat over the area and continue turning the soil until the peat is thoroughly mixed and the soil is fine and crumbly.
If foot traffic occurs in a few designated places, you might try placing decorative stepping stones there to absorb most of the compaction. You may allow the groundcover to grow around and over most of the stones if desired.
Groundcovers to select from include: bearberry, sedum (low types), thyme (several varieties), and yarrow (tomentosa).