How to Plant Groundcovers


Groundcovers are a great eco-friendly alternative to a grassy lawn; they're also wonderful for troublesome spots such as rocky slopes, underneath large shade trees, or in low areas which hold water. Following just a few simple steps will likely yield planting success.

Step 1

Kill the weeds in the area by covering them with a thick layer of mulch or straw several weeks before you plant. If you don't have time, you can simply weed by hand the day you plant but mulching is more effective and easier on the knees.

Step 2

Trim any overhanging branches or shrubs to prevent damage to the newly planted groundcovers and to allow more sunlight.

Step 3

Dig a hole for each groundcover plant; make each hole as deep and twice as wide as the groundcovers. If the area permits and you have a large number of plants, use a tiller to turn up the soil in the entire area.

Step 4

Mix together a rich topsoil and an organic fertilizer such as bloodmeal, bonemeal, or fish emulsion. Follow the package ingredients for how much to add to the soil. This mix will encourage root growth.

Step 5

Place the groundcover plants in the prepared holes and backfill with the soil-fertilizer mix. Water thoroughly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be wary of groundcovers marked as "quick growing," as that tends to be a code-term for a very invasive plant. If you want more coverage quickly, just plant more individual plants to cover the area faster.


  • Ground Cover article by Dennis Hinkamp for Utah State University Extension
Keywords: planting ground cover, how to grow ground cover, alternatives to grass

About this Author

Annie Mueller is a writer, editor, professional blogger, website designer, and tutor. She attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi State University, with a Summa Cum Laude standing. She has written extensively on gardening, parenting, education, and personal growth for women.