How to Plant Groundcover

Groundcover plants add texture, color and low maintenance requirements to garden areas. Select species suitable to your climate, soil type and sunlight exposure for best results.

Erosion control should always be kept in mind when selecting groundcover plants for slopes. Thyme or creeping juniper are great choices that help stop erosion.

Prepare the Soil

Groundcover plants are low-growing perennials, shrubs or trees that form dense mats or clumps of foliage that cover the surface of soil to choke out weeds and protect the landscape or garden beds from erosion. Used primarily in landscape and garden beds to fill bare spots between taller plants; as an alternative to grass under large trees; on slopes for erosion control purposes and between spaced stepping stones and pavers for erosion control purposes. Groundcovers can also help with erosion in wet or very dry environments by absorbing excess water into their roots or by aerating the soil to improve drainage – these properties make them invaluable tools in landscape and garden beds alike!

Before considering planting groundcover, first determine the square footage of the area to be covered. If it was previously lawn, use a spade to clear away any remaining grass or weeds before amending the soil with organic material such as compost, well-rotted manure or shredded leaves and mix this into the top few inches before raking until smooth.

If you plan on planting an assortment of different plants, read their plant labels carefully in order to understand which sunlight or shade conditions they need and quickly reference their spacing requirements; in general, space fast-growing species about one foot apart while closer planting spaces would work if their growth rate slows down over time.

Staggered planting patterns provide an organic look as plants mature, hiding any exposed dirt underneath and eliminating competition for nutrients and moisture among the plants.

Once established, groundcover plants require minimal upkeep once established; however, it is still essential that regular irrigation occurs and that any dry spots don’t occur. Furthermore, it would be prudent to conduct a soil test prior to beginning so you know which nutrients your site requires and any necessary amendments that might need to be made.

Many groundcovers can be planted any time of year, with fall being an ideal season due to lower temperatures and better conditions for their establishment. Frequent and adequate watering is crucial for successful planting in hot environments.

Dig the Hole

Groundcover plants require smaller planting holes than flowers or vegetables do, to prevent damaging tree feeder roots that feed into it and harm its health. Use a sharp hand trowel to carefully dig individual planting holes for your groundcover plant instead; stagger them instead of following an exact grid design for optimal coverage when mature and established.

Before beginning digging, ensure all weeds and grasses have been eliminated. Working in some organic material such as compost, rotted manure or shredded leaves to the soil before planting groundcover plants is also advised. Dig holes two to three times wider and no deeper than their respective rootballs for each groundcover plant without over digging; place all native soil removed in wheel barrows or on tarps for easy clean-up after every hole dug.

As part of your decision on how wide to make your planting holes, it is crucial that you take into account how quickly the plant will expand its roots in its intended space. Some rapidly-growing groundcovers such as English Ivy (Hedera Helix) may become aggressive and even invasive over time, so more space should be left between plants of this variety than slower varieties.

Once your holes have been dug, add a handful of all-purpose fertilizer to each hole before planting your groundcover plants. This will promote healthy growth with strong roots. After watering the area thoroughly after planting but be careful not to overwater; light mulch will help retain moisture while shading roots. Typically water your groundcover once per week during periods of drought – or more frequently if creating pathways or walkways using groundcover plants as pathways or walkways. If creating pathways or walkways using groundcover as pathways or walkways with walkways constructed using pavers or flagstone pieces or other durable material so people walking over new growth can do not disturb its roots!

Fill the Hole

Ground covers provide an economical and low-maintenance way to add finishing touches to any landscape design project. By providing a lush carpet of green under taller plants and filling bare spots where grass hasn’t grown, ground covers add the perfect finishing touch and can even cover steep slopes which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to mow. Furthermore, they can help stabilize soil in areas prone to erosion.

When planting groundcover, begin by clearing away any existing weeds. Till or spade the soil and mix in some organic matter to improve texture and aeration. Follow instructions on your plant label for recommended spacing between plants based on how quickly you want your landscaping area covered with plants.

If you are covering an area under a tree, take care to not damage its roots when digging. To do this successfully requires making smaller holes than would otherwise be necessary in open gardens as soil under trees tends to be denser. Furthermore, large feeder roots may need to be avoided being chopped up.

Once your plants have been placed in the ground, backfill around them with your soil mixture. Make sure to tamp it down as you go in order to eliminate air pockets which could suffocate your plants; and once finished saturate the soil with water to settle it and set its structure.

Once established, these plants won’t require as much water than traditional lawns do; however, regular watering until their roots have taken hold is required until drier periods arrive.

To maintain the best appearance for your groundcover, it’s essential that any flowers that finish blooming are deadheaded immediately to minimize seed production and keep plants looking tidy and neat. In addition, fertilizing with Yum Yum Mix or compost combined with earthworm castings or earthworm castings and granular molasses once annually will give your plants every edge in flourishing and will ensure optimal growth of their foliage and roots.


Groundcovers are low-growing plants that cover the ground with foliage. Groundcovers are versatile plants used in many landscape and garden applications, including between shrubs or trees, in sunny or problem weedy areas, on slopes for erosion control, as lawn replacements or as an easy care alternative. When properly utilized they create dense covers which smother out weeds while improving garden aesthetics overall.

Before planting your groundcover, ensure that all areas have been cleared of existing weeds or grass. A mechanical weeder or hand hoe can be used to clear away undesirable vegetation while pre-emergent herbicide should also be applied according to label instructions. Once soil preparation has taken place, dig holes for each plant in a staggered pattern in order to achieve better eventual coverage; each hole should at least as deep as its root ball but wider than its pot. Once all plants have been planted a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch can be laid down to hold moisture while suppress weeds temporarily until plants become established.

Once your groundcovers have been planted, be sure to water them thoroughly and regularly (at least once every week) until their roots have taken hold. As time progresses, regularity may decrease; as soon as established plants show more signs of life than when watered on an ongoing basis (i.e. every other day or as needed).

Consider applying a general purpose granular fertilizer during early spring or fall to facilitate rapid establishment of your new groundcover. After conducting a soil test and considering desired coverage area, determine the quantity required of this type of fertilizer to maximize rapid development.

Keep in mind that groundcover plants can be particularly sensitive to their growing conditions, with certain plants flourishing well in one climate but failing to adapt well in another – some even becoming invasive in certain regions! Before purchasing and planting any species native to your region, check the USDA Plant Hardiness Map first – this will ensure they thrive and survive!

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