How to Use Ground Cover for a Lawn


According to the website, in 1915 the U.S. Department of Agriculture began cultivating seed that could be used for the luscious, green lawns that we have today in America. However, with lawns came the problems of weed control, mowing and maintenance. Many Americans are giving up their lawns in an effort to go green and not use gas and oil for landscaping. Ground cover is replacing the traditional lawn that was established in the early 1900s.

Step 1

Cover the entire lawn area with black plastic tarps during the last part of spring, securing the tarps with ground stakes. Allow the tarps to remain on the lawn area for a minimum of 1 month; the plastic coverings will heat up in the sun and kill the grass and weeds beneath.

Step 2

Remove the black plastic tarps and store them properly.

Step 3

Till the entire area with a garden tiller. You should till a minimum of 6 inches deep to break apart all weeds and grass roots.

Step 4

Pour 1 large bag of organic compost and cow manure every 6 feet. Sprinkle the entire area with only enough lime fertilizer to barely cover the dirt. Till again until these materials are mixed well into the soil.

Step 5

Rake the entire area with a wide-tooth garden rake to level the soil and remove any large debris remaining.

Step 6

Water the entire area until the ground is soggy. Allow the ground to dry for 2 days before continuing.

Step 7

Select ground cover plants appropriate for your plant zone, light available in the prepared area and desired layout. Dig appropriate holes and plant your new ground cover.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant your new ground cover before the weather is extremely hot or cold for your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Black plastic tarps
  • Ground stakes
  • Tiller
  • 1 large bag organic compost
  • Cow manure
  • Lime fertilizer
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hose
  • Water
  • Ground cover plants
  • Shovel


  • American The History of Lawns in America
  • Ground Covering Landscaping Secrets Revealed
Keywords: ground cover, replacing lawns, growing new plants

About this Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.