Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > May 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - THE BENEFITS OF GROUNDCOVERS


Groundcovers are an essential part of today’s low maintenance landscapes.  There are both aesthetic and practical reasons for using groundcovers.  Homeowners and landscapers use groundcovers to achieve the design elements of repetition, rhythm, and line.  Low, mass plantings of groundcovers or low mounding shrubs offer a transition from the taller trees and shrubs to the carpet of the lawn.  This helps to create feeling of continuity and fullness in the landscape.

                From a practical standpoint, groundcovers can be used as lawn substitutes, for erosion control and even for living mulch.  Groundcovers used around the base of trees and shrubs lend a finished appearance to the landscape while cooling the soil for the larger plants.

                You can solve the problem of trying to grow lawn grass under your shade trees.  Replace the grass with vinca, pachysandra, hostas, or other selections of shade perennials and groundcover.  One of the benefits to this planting is it will prevent the lawn mower from physically damaging your trees or shrubs.

                Site preparation is very important.  Tilling, incorporation of organic matter, fertilizing, watering and weeding are all vital parts of the success of growing healthy groundcovers.

                The best rule of thumb I have heard is to study the plant and not ask a plant to grow where it cannot grow.  Choosing the correct plant is vital to the success of the planting.  There are so many plants to consider, from annuals and perennials to evergreen covers, that you need to study and ask questions in order to learn about the plants.  For example, expecting pachysandra to grow on a hot, sunny site or a juniper in a cool, shady place is not wise.  Study your site and match it to the correct plant to insure success.

Posted: 5/21/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
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