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Groundcover

Ground cover has many uses such as beautifying your landscape and preventing soil erosion. It can also be used as covering problem areas, trafficbarriers,visual guides and to define space. Low lying groundcover should be used  for a transition between the lawn area and taller plants in the garden bed.

Try groundcovers where lawn grass either won’t grow or is too difficult to maintain such as in very small, confined landscapes.

Select groundcovers based upon their ability to add year-round beauty to the landscape. Herbaceous groundcovers die back to the ground in the winter, exposing bare soil. If this is not the look you want, choose evergreen groundcovers.

Select groundcovers, according to your site’s conditions: Sun or shade? Clay soil or sand?Moist or dry? Select groundcovers that will survive and thrive under your conditions; not require heroic measures to keep them alive!

After planting groundcover, light mulch should be spread onto the groundcover to keep in moisture and protect the groundcover. Adequate water should be used as each groundcover has its own need for water. Overwatering can kill the groundcover. Fertilizer should also be applied to provide the groundcover with nutrients to ensure it’s long term health

Before planting, always prepare the soil as you would for any other permanent type of planting. Remember, groundcovers are capable of giving long lasting beauty and function, but their performance is only as good as the effort one puts into soil preparation.

Groundcovers are not the “bottom feeders” of the landscape. They add interest, and bring unity to the garden making them the unsung heroes among the more horticulturally prominent members of the garden.A ground cover is a plant that is low-growing and forms a dense mat over the surface of the soil. Ground covers may be herbaceous or woody and some are evergreen even in the Midwest. Ground covers may be used as “living mulch”, for erosion control, to manage weeds, or in areas of a site that are hard to maintain. Turfgrass is one of the most popular ground covers, but sometimes it is hard to grow and maintain especially on steep slopes or among protruding roots of shade trees. Some feature attractive flowers and others are chosen for their texture and foliage color. Other than turf, most will not tolerate foot traffic and thus are best planted in areas with infrequent traffic.

In the landscape, ground covers provide transition between woody plants and turf, they are good as facer plants in front of woody shrubs, and they soften edges of hardscape such as sidewalks and driveways. While many ground covers are low maintenance, they should not be considered “no maintenance”. Spread, height, foliage texture and color, soil conditions, light and moisture must all be considerations when selecting a ground cover.

 

 

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