Groundcover plants provide dense soil cover, retard weed growth, and prevent soil erosion. Groundcovers range in height from an inch to four feet. Groundcover plants provide plant materials for tough, shady locations or arid, hot locations, where many plants or grasses will not grow. Many groundcover plants are very hardy and will provide long term coverage of slopes, poor soils, and wet areas.

Groundcovers require a minimum amount of maintenance once established. Choosing a plant for the proposed location would be determined by amount of sun or shade, slope of the ground, herbaceous or evergreen, clay or sandy soil, moist or dry, and the position in the landscape. The groundcovers position in the landscape is important because the size or height of the groundcover will impact how the entire yard or landscape will appear. By utilizing perennial groundcovers and mulch, soil moisture will be retained and regular watering will be greatly reduced.

Proper planting is important for ground covers to grow and spread rapidly. Work the soil 8 to 10 inches deep. Incorporate fertilizer, lime (if needed) and organic matter. Use organic materials such as compost or ground pine bark. In heavy clay soils, incorporate 2 inches of coarse sand to improve the soil texture.

Competition from weeds following planting is common on untreated soils. Hand-weeding will eliminate this competition, but you can avoid the task of hand-weeding by treating the soil before planting. Areas with existing plants may be treated with a pre-emergent herbicide after planting. Herbicides in combination with mulches will control many weeds and grasses.

The ideal time to plant ground covers is early fall. The next best times are late winter or early spring. Fall planting takes advantage of lower temperatures and natural rainfall. Watering is reduced and plants establish a stronger root system before summer.

Fall planting results in quicker spread of ground covers, including those traveling by means of underground stems and surface runners. Container-grown plants with well-developed root systems can be planted all year, even in hot weather. Summer planting requires adequate and frequent watering for survival and establishment.

Proper maintenance of ground-cover plantings ensures good growth, rapid coverage and an acceptable appearance. Coverage of an area depends upon new growth. Good maintenance promotes growth and prevents competition from weeds and grasses.

For assistance in picking out and choosing the type of groundcover you need, give us a call today at 501-407-2729 or stop by the nursery!



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