Americans plant more turf grass than any other groundcover; however, grass does not do well everywhere. Other groundcovers can be used for areas where grass is not practical. This includes steep slopes, narrow or hard to reach locations, areas around shallow-rooted trees, and very shady spots.
Good site preparation is essential for giving your plants a good start. Work with a small area to start off, and expand it over time. Turn the soil using a tiller or a spade, and amend the soil with ample quantities of organic matter. Most groundcovers are highly adaptable and will grow well in a wide range of pH (see chart below).
Spring is the ideal time to plant, although you can plant in summer provided you supply adequate water. Plant early in the fall, giving the roots time to get established before winter sets in. Choose your plants according to the light and wind exposure. Proper spacing will insure good coverage and erosion control for steep areas. Watering is essential to get your newly planted area established. Pull weeds as soon as they pop up and before they go to seed. You can
fill in with colorful annuals the first year. Once established, the maintenance for groundcovers decreases.
Groundcover Light Soil pH Spacing
Blue fescue part-shade to full sun sandy, loam, or clay; well-drained 3.7- 7.3 18”
Ajuga part-shade to full sun sandy, loam, or clay 3.7-6.5 12”-15”
English ivy part shade to sun sandy, loam, or clay 3.7-7.0 18”-24”
Liriope part shade to sun sandy, loam, or clay 3.7-7.0 12”-15”
Pachysandra shade to part shade sandy or loam; wet to moist 3.5-6.0 12”
Periwinkle part shade sandy, loam, or clay; moist 3.7-7.0 12”
Hosta shade to part shade sandy, loam, or clay; moist, 5.5-7.5 varies
Daylily light shade to full sun sandy, loam, or clay; prefers moist 5.5-7.5 18”-30”
Sedum (Stonecrop) full sun to light shade sandy or loam; well-drained varies varies
Euonymous part shade to full sun sandy, loam, or clay 3.7-7.0 18”-24”
Phlox subulata full sun sandy, loam, or clay; well-drained 5.6-7.5 18”-24”
Hypericum full sun sandy, loam, or clay 6.1-7.5 12”-18”
Iberis (Candytuft) full sun to part shade sandy, loam, or clay 6.6-8.5 18”-24”
*For faster coverage, space plants closer together. The above recommended spacing guide should give adequate coverage in two years.
Use the information below to determine the number of plants you will need.
Formulas to determine square feet
Circle: Area = radius squared x 3.14
Triangle: Area = ½ base x height
Rectangle: Area = length x width
The Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery, 2051 Huguenot Road, Richmond, VA 23235
Phone (804) 320-1317 Fax (804) 320-9580 website www.greatbiggreenhouse.com