How to Plant and use Ground Cover in Your Landscape

Ground covers will cut down on your backyard and gardening maintenance. These handy plants  will also control erosion and are great for those hard to plant areas of your yard, like banks and under shady trees. There any many different ground cover varieties so finding a ground cover to meet your climate and gardening needs should be relatively easy.

This last summer I went to an auction at a greenhouse and picked up eight different varieties of ground covers. I placed them in a holding garden until I would be able to use them this spring. The weather is finally improving in my zone 5 growing climate so next week I should be able to divide the ground cover and start re-designing the backyard and garden areas.

I have a terraced bank I will use some of the plants in and empty spaces along a storm pathway. I will also be using some under the row of trees in the front yard. These trees have roots that want to pop out of the ground making mowing dangerous so I plant to mulch the area and add mostly round covers and a few shade loving perennials for added color and as focal points.

Ground Cover tips

  • Ground covers work well near the house in front of shrubs and bushes, and in areas you do not want to mow.  And if you choose a tight-growing ground cover it will help to suppress weeds.
  • If you plan to use ground cover to suppress grass or weeds make sure the ground is grass and weed free first. This will help the ground cover to grow and acclimate to its new home faster plus the plants will form a cover to help keep weeds and grass choked out for years to come with little work
  • When choosing ground cover make sure to find plants that grow in you climate and check to see what lighting requirements they have.
  • Ground covers come in low growing varieties that don’t need mowed and taller varieties. They may or may not have flowers. The only precaution I know of is that some ground covers will spread, so again check growing instructions or ask your nursery for information on the plant.

One of my favorite ground covers is thyme. I like the fragrance it emits when you walk on it. There is also a pretty moss ground cover that looks wonderful in rock gardens and on stone walls.And by adding flowering bulbs or a few annual flowers in the ground cover you will create a inviting look with very little work or care needed.

Ground covers will add to the beauty and ease of your backyard garden tasks. You may want to consider adding them to your garden design.

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