Carex Pensylvanica Black Seed Heads - May 2022

Last year, I planted a few Carex Pensylvanica in our backyard (under the Frans Fontain European Hornbeam trees) that I brought home from Northwinds Perennial Farm up in Wisconsin.  It doesn't look like I planted anything about these being in the garden last growing season.  These were the the pilot plantings of Carex under these trees and they seemed to do fine last year.   Carex Pennsylvania can be planted as close as 1' centers where they'll knit together to create a carpet.  Mine are planted 10-plus feet apart, so there's, ummm, no 'knitting' going on.  

But what *is* going on?  A really lovely Spring seed head show.  See below for a look at one of these Carex showing off dark colored, almost-black, seed heads with the flush of new Spring growth.


I've taken different approaches with all three of these sedges in terms of Spring cleanup.  This one (above), I've left as-is.  No trimming at all.  One of the other ones I ran over with the lawn mower and cut it down to about 1" from the bed.  The third one...I used scissors and cut off as much dead foliage as I could by hand.  

#5 on my 2022 to-do list was to 'Fall in Love with GroundCover' this year with Carex taking a central role.   A flat of these sedges (as small as plugs) would go a long way towards creating a ground cover layer under these trees and needs to be one of the things that I focus on this Summer - after I finish planting the various shrubs from #1 on my 2022 to-do list

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