How to Control Broadleaf Weeds in Evergreen Ground Cover


The appearance of weeds in an evergreen ground cover garden requires manual weed removal practices to avoid damaged plants. The University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Department does not recommend the use of non-selective herbicides to treat problems in ground cover garden beds. The aim lies in creating a thick ground cover layer to choke out weeds and fostering an unacceptable environment for broadleaf weeds to flourish in the landscape.

Step 1

Investigate the extent of the weed coverage in the ground cover garden bed. Take note of the placement of plants in relation to weeds. Weeds opportunistically sprout in blank spots in the garden to take advantage of sunlight and water. Ground cover will choke out weeds when the formation is dense and mature enough to limit resources to the weeds.

Step 2

Attack individual weeds with a trowel. Dig deep enough to gather the root and foliage of each weed. Taller broadleaf weeds may have reached maturity and subsequent seed production. Handle these plants carefully and place discarded weeds directly into a yard trash bag.

Step 3

Locate areas that might benefit from the addition of more ground cover plants. Add new plants or divide larger plants. Dig up soil beneath the plant and clip off sections with three roots and a few leaves. Stir up the soil using the trowel or shovel and plant these divisions at the same depth at which they were previously growing.

Step 4

Apply a 3 to 4 inch layer of shredded wood mulch to the garden bed. Mulch chokes out weeds by removing the light source and smothering seedlings. Ground cover gardens benefit from mulch application for increased moisture retention. Mulch also helps the garden look attractive as you wait for ground cover plants to mature.

Step 5

Monitor the weed situation regularly. Weeds are a constant in gardening and very few eradication attempts succeed completely on the first try. Catch weeds in a youthful stage under three inches in height to limit their spread by seed. Weed the garden frequently as a regular part of garden maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Hoe
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Ground cover plants
  • Yard trash bag


  • University of Minnesota: Weed Management
  • University of Califorinia at Davis: Weed Management in Landscapes
Keywords: ground cover weeds, broadleaf weed control, weeds in groundcover

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.