Low-growing ground covers have a number of useful purposes in the home landscape. Once they mature, they will be dense enough to keep unwanted weeds under control. They can prevent soil erosion, especially on hillsides where grass isn't practical, and often, they will grow where nothing else will. Low-growing ground covers can also be very attractive, as long as they are properly controlled and maintained.
Control weeds until the low-growing ground cover has grown enough to fill in the empty spaces. Pull or hoe the weeds, and then spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch such as straw or bark chips to keep weeds down.
Prune low-growing ground covers with garden pruners or a weed trimmer before new growth begins every spring, but be sure to wait until after the last frost. Remove any damaged or dead foliage, and trim as much as necessary to keep the ground cover neat. Don't cut the foliage back too severely, which can damage the plants.
Mow low-growing ground cover every two or three years with the lawn mower blade at the highest setting, or with a weed trimmer. This will keep the ground cover healthy and well-manicured.
Fertilize low-growing ground cover after its annual spring pruning. Use a balanced dry fertilizer or an all-purpose liquid fertilizer, and apply it according to the manufacturer's directions. Be sure to water the ground cover well immediately after fertilizing. Fertilizer will help to keep the ground cover green and healthy.