The state of New Jersey is located in the northeastern part of the United States and lies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5b through 7b. This means minimum temperatures range from minus 10 degrees F in the northwest part of the state to 5 degrees F in the southeast. When looking for a flowering ground cover in New Jersey, look for one suitable for the USDA planting zones so it will survive the winter. Suitable blooming ground covers for zones 5 through 7 are Ajuga (Ajuga reptans), Liriope (Liriope spicata), Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia), and Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens).
Clear the area in where the ground cover will be planted of all weeds and any other undesirable vegetation in mid- to late spring. If it is a large area, treat the vegetation with a weed killer containing glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and kills any plant it comes in contact with. However, it is safe to plant in an area treated with glyphosate after two weeks.
Add a one-inch layer of compost over the planting area along with the amount of a balanced garden fertilizer recommended on the fertilizer container. A balanced fertilizer is a fertilizer with equal numbers in the nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio. For example, 13-13-13, 8-8-8 or 10-10-10.
Work the compost and fertilizer into the top two inches of soil with a hoe and rake the area smooth. Most flowering ground covers for the New Jersey area are shallow rooted, so the nutrients only need to be in the top few inches of soil.
Begin planting the ground cover in a checkerboard fashion 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the number of plants and how fast you want to have the area covered. Close spacing helps control weeds and prevent erosion faster than wide spacing as the plants grow together.
Spread a 1-inch layer of mulch around the newly planted ground cover plants.
Spray the newly planted ground cover with water to help it settle into the new planting area. Keep the ground moist but not soaking wet throughout the growing season. Do not water during the winter unless the winter is unusually dry and warm.
In the spring, fertilize the ground cover with a balanced fertilizer at the recommended rate on the container label. Remove any weeds by hand that compete with the ground cover and reapply mulch to control weeds.