Whether you’re looking to fill in a flower bed’s bare spots or replace some of your lawn with something that requires less maintenance than grass, ground cover is a great option. Ground cover plants come in a variety of sizes, colors, and textures, and they provide many benefits. They provide effective erosion control and are a great option in areas where it’s too shady for grass to grow. To find the right groundcover to meet your needs, follow this advice from the professional landscape designers at Moon Valley Nurseries.
What kind of ground cover do you need? Consider how you’d like it to look and think about where you’ll need to have it planted. Does it need full sun or will it be just as happy in the shade? Are you just trying to fill in some bare spots in your flower bed or do you want to replace grass in a large area? Think about how tall it needs to be, and how much you want it to sprawl. Once you’ve decided the basic parameters, your options include:
- Asian Jasmine: This plant is excellent for sun to part shade. Like Star Jasmine, it has abundant star flowers with a strong, sweet fragrance. It only gets to be about one inch tall but can quickly grow to cover 25 square feet of ground.
- Sedum: A succulent, this hardy plant is ultra drought tolerant. It comes in a variety of shapes and colors, and can be used in borders, planters, gardens, and pots. Sedum grows about 6 to 10 inches tall, and can have dramatic colors like gold, lime green or blue-green, with white blooms in mild temperatures.
- Purple Trailing Verbena: If you want to fill your space with color, this is a good ground cover option. It’s got beautiful dark green foliage that sports purple flowers periodically from spring to fall. It’s great for rock gardens, slopes, and borders, thrives in full sun, needs little to no watering, and attracts butterflies.
- Trailing Lantana: Another colorful option, lantana is popular because it grows so quickly and is so hardy. Plant it in full sun, and you’ll be rewarded with cheerful flowers in typically in purple, pink, white, or pale yellow, blooming over evergreen foliage.
- Leatherleaf Fern: If you want to carpet your landscape with deep green foliage, choose this beautiful groundcover. It’s easy to grow in full sun or partial shade and has low to moderate watering needs.
No matter what kind of ground cover is right for you, it’s important to properly prepare the planting area so it can grow quickly and be firmly established. To prepare the ground, remove existing unwanted vegetation and till the soil to loosen it. If you’re working near tree roots, be careful not to damage them. Once you’ve got the soil broken up, spread organic matter like compost, peat moss, or manure in a layer two inches thick, then top with two to three inches of topsoil or garden soil. Sprinkle a general-purpose fertilizer over the area and blend thoroughly.
Before you plant, find out the proper spacing for the type of groundcover you’ve chosen. Choosing the closest spacing that’s recommended can get expensive, but will cover the ground more quickly, so consider your budget and priorities before you shop. You can always go back in and put new plants between the existing plants if necessary. Once they’ve been planted, add an inch or two of mulch and water thoroughly. For the first few years, as your groundcover is getting established, keep a good layer of mulch on it and hand weed to keep weeds at bay.
When you’re looking for ground cover and expert advice, head to Moon Valley Nurseries. Moon Valley Nurseries started as a small neighborhood nursery, and now has locations all across the West. We deliver and plant anything in our massive inventory, and because we grow our plants ourselves, we can give our customers the lowest prices in town, guaranteed. Whether you need ground cover, a tree or two, or an entire landscape, our friendly staff members will go the extra mile to make you happy. Contact us through our website, call us at (602) 388-1529, or stop by to check out all we have to offer, from the best trees and plants to professional crews and planters to certified designers ready to make your yard the best in the neighborhood.