When you consider ground covers, the common image is typically either a green lawn of turf grass or a patch of green leafy foliage. While these ground covers are excellent for protecting the soil and adding greenery to a yard, there is a better option for those who desire color as well as function. Long flowering ground cover provides not only foliage and soil protection, but also paints the entire area with colorful, and sometimes fragrant blossoms.
From preventing the spread of weeds to holding down the soil, long flowering ground cover serves a plethora of functions. Long flowering ground cover prevents the germination and spread of weed seeds by competing for the soil. It also insulates the soil which makes it cooler in the summertime and warmer in the winter. Finally, long flowering ground covers such as lavender or thyme can provide you with a useful crop for cooking, medicine and pest control.
Dianthus grows in hardiness zones 5 to 8 and thrives in humidity and warm weather. Preferring neutral to slightly alkaline soils, it can be placed in locations where many plants will not grow. Walker's low produces blooms similar to lavender and lushly covers the entire ground's surface. This purple long flowering ground cover grows to roughly 15 to 20 inches high and prefers hardiness zones 4 to 8, as it is extremely drought tolerant. Herrenhausen covers the ground in bunches of tiny pink blooms. Preferring hardiness zones 6 to 10, its leaves give the plant additional color by changing from purple in spring to rich green in summertime and reddish purple in autumn.
Ground covering should be sown or planted in early spring, after there is no threat of frost. This gives the plant ample time for adjusting, rooting and spreading before winter. For additional foliage spread, the plants can be fertilized in early summer. Also, if double blooms are desired, deadhead the plants in mid-summer and lightly fertilize for extra blooming energy.
Long flowering ground covers feature systems of thick, strong roots that hold the soil in place. Their lush green foliage, while vigorous at times, protects the soil from sun bleaching. Finally, its blooms add an aesthetic and sometimes useful appeal to the area.
Long flowering ground covers are heavy feeding and fast spreading. This means that they will consume nutrients from the soil that should be replaced regularly with proper fertilizing. Long flowering ground covers should also be well maintained and consistently pruned. If permitted, the plants will overtake an entire garden, choking out all other plants.