About Groundcover

Overview

Ground-covering plants are widely used to transform bare soil areas into colorful, manicured landscapes. Many types of perennial plants work well as groundcovers. Some require regular maintenance, while others require little to no maintenance. When selecting a groundcover for your landscape, design your layout with varieties that add textures and forms, splashes of bold color and varying heights.

Function

Groundcover plants offer solutions to many landscaping designs. A dense arrangement of ground-covering plants covers the soil beneath and prevents weeds from growing. Shade-loving groundcovers are viable solutions for covering bare areas under trees or in shaded areas.

Grasses

Grasses are abundantly used as groundcovers. They transform areas into natural green carpets used to accent property designs. Many grass varieties produce strong grass blades that stand up to regular traffic and use.

Plants

As related by the University of Illinois Extension, some common groundcovers that add color, shape and form to a landscape include variegated goutweed, tiny rubies carnation, bugleweed, hakone grass, hosta, juniper, daylily, lady's mantle and Carpathian bellflower.

Design

Groundcover plans use strategic placement of the plants based on their form, height and color. For open areas, use low-growing grasses to cover the majority of the area. Arrange groundcovers around the periphery of the lawn according to their height--low-growing plants in front of the arrangement and taller plants in the back. Plan the color placement of your groundcovers. Decide which flowering and foliage colors work well together and how well they complement the house or building. Many groundcovers spread to form the desired dense ground-covering look. Plant the initial plants according to their recommended spacing to allow for extra room. Use groundcovers to border flower gardens and lawns. Plant them to delineate walkways and garden spaces.

Maintenance

Grasses require regular maintenance, including fertilization, watering and mowing to maintain the low and even height. Other ground covers may require periodic maintenance, such as juniper and English ivy, to trim back its growth beyond their desired area. Other ground covers require little to no maintenance beyond a periodic watering. Select low-maintenance groundcovers to lessen the amount of maintenance work you will have to do for your yard. Check the soil nutrients of your groundcovers every spring. Keep the soil balanced with the right nutrition for your selected groundcovers. Prevent weeds from growing in your groundcovers by applying a granular weed control to the soil, recommends Wilson Bros Nursery.

Keywords: groundcover designs, groundcover information, groundcover landscape

About this Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.