Groundcover plants are low-growing plants that cover the ground and enhance the overall aspect of the landscape. Although lawn grasses are the most frequent groundcover, the phrase “groundcover” typically refers to plants other than grasses. Most groundcovers are not designed to be walked on and may be harmed by foot movement.

Uses of groundcovers

Groundcovers are often underutilized in landscapes. They substantially enhance the attractiveness of the environment when picked carefully and put appropriately. They serve a variety of significant roles apart from their visual value:

  • Growing grass in the shade ;
  • Lawn may be used in tight, irregularly shaped spaces where mowing and edging are difficult.
  • Lawn alternatives to reduce overall landscape maintenance;
  • Reduce erosion, particularly on slopes with difficult-to-maintain lawn grass.
  • Attractive accents for locations too small for bushes;
  • Obstruct traffic without impeding view
  • Promote vegetative growth in very wet or extremely dry conditions; and
  • Used in an area to control weeds.

Groundcovers provide textural balance to plantings when they are expertly interplanted with trees and shrubs. Groundcovers also give unity to the landscape by tying together all the elements of the planting.

In practice, the groundcovers most frequently used are those that are vigorous growing, hardy, and most easily propagated. Any slope greater than 12 percent is best planted with a groundcover. Groundcovers outperform pavement around structures. They are particularly effective in reducing heat, glare, noise, and dust.

Plant selection

The first step in selecting a groundcover is determining its purpose. Next, go through your planting site evaluation. As specific plants are considered match their characteristics and requirements against site conditions. Lastly, consider color, texture, height, necessary upkeep, and pest and disease resistance.


Groundcovers follow the same principles as trees and shrubs when it comes to matching plants to the location, preparing soil, and planting. Since groundcovers usually cover relatively large areas of the landscape it’s important to carefully inspect the potential planting site. Pay close attention to existing weeds, particularly perennial ones. Remove invasive weeds before preparing the soil. Test the soil and prepare it adequately in terms of pH, nitrogen levels, drainage, and aeration. Work the soil eight to ten inches deep, incorporating any needed lime, fertilizer, or organic matter. If the soil is on the heavy side, incorporate a three- to four-inch layer of organic matter to help loosen the soil and improve aeration and drainage.

Most groundcovers may be planted at any time of year, although spring and autumn are the best. Plants should be spaced in a staggered way to provide a natural appearance as they develop. Spacing depends on plant growth rate, immediate effect, and the number of plants used, which is usually based on cost. The majority of groundcovers are spaced six inches to two feet apart. Mulch or netting may be necessary to limit erosion when planting on slopes until your plants are established.

Check soil moisture levels regularly after planting and water plants if the soil starts to dry up. Use enough water to completely soak the soil down to the root systems. Weed the spaces between groundcover plants. Weeds may be mechanically removed by hand or cultivation, or weed suppressing mulch can be used between plants. If you can use a pre-emergence herbicide to reduce weed development, read and carefully follow the package guidelines. Overuse of a pre-emergence herbicide might stymie the development of your groundcover plants.


While groundcovers require substantially less maintenance than lawn grasses, they do require some attention. The amount of water that groundcover plants need varies. During droughts, however, all groundcovers will benefit from more water. When water is required, add just enough to soak the soil to the root system’s depth. To evaluate soil moisture depth, use a hand trowel or garden spade.

To get the fastest growth possible, use fertilizer every year for the first three years after planting. When the intended area has been covered, fertilization is only required if nutrient-deficiency symptoms occur. One to two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of planted area is the recommended amount for groundcover fertilizer. Fertilizer may be administered in a single application in early spring or in two equal applications, one in early spring and the other six to eight weeks later. Nitrogen may be supplied by any general purpose granular fertilizer (synthetic or organic), such as 10-6-4. Only fertilize when the leaves is dry.

Weeds are rarely a serious issue in most established groundcovers, but there are several exceptions. Prior to planting, good weed control measures may help reduce weed issues later on. Hand-pulling can control occasional weed invaders, but where weeds have become a major problem the use of a pre-emergence herbicide may be warranted. Grass is particularly troublesome in groundcovers and there are post-emergence herbicide sprays that can be used to remove grass without harming the groundcover. When using chemical herbicides, always read and follow all label requirements carefully.

Groundcovers placed near trees and bushes serve as a repository for falling leaves and tiny branches. Little quantities of trash are ugly; big amounts may cover the groundcover and prevent light from reaching it. Clearing trapped debris is a maintenance practice to consider when planning for groundcovers. Too much leaf litter on top of a groundcover might also promote disease growth.

Related Questions

  • Is grass a ground cover?

    The Wikipedia definition of Ground Cover is: Groundcover refers to any plant that grows over an area of ground, used to provide protection from erosion and drought, and to improve its aesthetic appearance (by concealing bare earth). Grass is commonly used as ground cover.

  • What is considered ground cover?

    A groundcover is any low-growing plant (less than an inch tall to up to four feet tall) that forms a thick soil cover to assist reduce erosion and weed development.

  • Is ground cover better than grass?

    Ground cover is a great lawn replacement for situations where turfgrass is unsuitable: If you live on a slope, have a shady yard, or struggle with clay or sandy soil, ground covers are a quick fix to get your lawn green and healthy.

Lawn Care Rapid City SD

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

Facebook 0972939830 Tải tài liệu
luyện thi IELTS
Kiểm tra trình độ
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]