How to Plant a Ground Cover From Seeds


Ground cover plants are excellent for filling in places where grass will not grow and for covering inclines to prevent erosion. Ground covers also offer an alternative to grass in hard to mow places. Many herbs make wonderful ground covers, being ornamental and edible. However, buying enough plants to start a healthy ground cover can be expensive. Consider, instead, growing your own ground cover from seed.

Step 1

Prepare your soil. Pull out weeds by hand before they go to seed or use black plastic to smother the weeds. Smothering the weeds will take an entire season. First cover your space until everything has died. Then till the area and cover it again. Before planting, loosen the soil and work compost in using a pitchfork or garden rake.

Step 2

Mix the seed with sand to increase its bulk, which will make it easier to spread. Using a spreader or by hand, spread seeds over the area. Go over the entire area at least twice from two different directions for an even spread.

Step 3

Rake the area lightly to cover the seed with a small amount of dirt. Some seed should still be visible. Cover the area with a light straw mulch to retain moisture and deter birds from eating the seeds. Do not put down a heavy layer of straw--you should still be able to see dirt through the straw.

Step 4

Water the area thoroughly. The straw mulch will help retain moisture. To avoid over-watering, check the soil for dryness before watering again.

Things You'll Need

  • Black plastic
  • Tiller
  • Pitchfork
  • Garden rake
  • Seeds
  • Sand
  • Compost
  • Seed spreader
  • Straw


  • The Magazine Rack: Ground Cover Herbs from Seed
  • Doityourself: Planting Ground Cover Seeds
  • Fine Gardening: Planting Ground Covers

Who Can Help

  • Howtopedia: How to Use Seedballs to Improve Biodiversity
  • Ohio State University Extension: Lawn Establishment
Keywords: planting ground cover, ground cover from seed, growing seeds

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.