Adding Groundcovers to Your Landscape

What are Groundcovers and why are they good solutions for landscaping problems? Here is why;

Groundcovers add color and texture to an existing landscaping space. When it is challenging to design your garden or yard, groundcovers are the much needed solution. When they are properly taken care of, they retard weed growth, provide dense soil coverage and also prevent erosion. They come in different height ranges and various types, textures and colors ranging from evergreen to deciduous, woody to herbaceous and clumping to running. They are responsible for unifying different components in a landscape and soften hardscaping features like driveways, walkways and steps.

Apart from defining space, groundcovers also provide a transition between the taller plants used in beds and the lawn. A green landscape can look dull and boring after a period of time, so a groundcover with colorful flowers, attractive foliage and fruit can provide beautiful contrasting effects with texture and color. This creates various moods in your outdoor space. Large and coarse textured leaves create a feeling of closeness while small and smooth textured leaves create a feeling of spaciousness.

Groundcovers are most productive during the spring and fall, so make sure to plant them during that time. Preparing the area prior to planting definitely pays off. Make sure you remove perennial weeds from the bed before planting. You can use herbicides or cover the area with a black plastic sheet for a period of 2-3 months. Groundcovers require minimum amount of maintenance once planted. You need to irrigate them well so that the roots are firmly established in the soul. Summer planting requires more water and fall planting require mulching to prevent frost. Space out fasting growing groundcovers with slower growing ones. Plant them in diamond or staggered patterns for best results. Frequent shallow cultivation should also be undertaken to prevent the onset of weeds. Some groundcovers may require pruning to allow younger and vigorous stems to grow back in the area with attractive foliage.

Here are a few tips to add groundcovers to your landscape:

    • Before starting on planting groundcovers, you need to make sure that the soil is prepared for it. As with preparing for any sort of permanent planting, its always good to prepare the site beforehand. After all, groundcovers give function and long lasting beauty to your landscape. Their growth and performance all depends on the effort you put into soil preparation.
    • Use groundcovers as visual guides and traffic barriers for problem areas in your landscape. They are known to unify divergent components in your landscape.
    • You can plant groundcovers if you think that your lawn grass is too difficult to maintain in confined landscapes or either wont grow properly.
    • To bring out a transition between the taller plants in the garden bed and the lawn area, try using low groundcovers.
    • Choose a look for your landscape by selecting the right type of groundcover. Do you want to add year round beauty to your outdoor space? For that you can use evergreen groundcovers. If not, you can use herbaceous groundcovers that die back into the ground during winter.
    • Always take into consideration the height of the groundcover. Will you plant a four foot fern or a six-inch ajuga?
    • Select groundcovers based on the region you live in. Is it humid or dry? Too much sun or shade? Does the planting area contain sand or clay soil? Only groundcovers suited for your region with survive and thrive. You don,t need to take heroic measures to keep them alive.
    • You can use moss as a groundcover simply because it adds great vocal interest, color and texture to the landscape. Many consider it as a curse because its heavy and dense. But its actually maintenance free.
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