|Thursday Tips: Choosing a Groundcover|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 12 January 2012|
Groundcovers are a better alternative than lawns for a number of reasons. They are low maintenance in that no mowing or watering is required, once the plants are established. They provide texture and colors not found in your typical lawn grasses. They work wonders in difficult locations such as steep slopes where they help stabilize soils, and under trees where light may be limited (try growing grass under a shade tree!). Planting a groundcover is much more attractive than bare dirt or gravel or black plastic weed barriers too!
Essentially, groundcovers are low growing plants, typically less than 9 to 12 inches high. Herbs make nice groundcovers as well, thyme for instance or mint. Or, you may prefer groundcovers with beautiful foliage, interesting textures like those pictured above, colorful flowers, or beautiful berries like wild strawberries or partridgeberries.
Additional considerations when choosing groundcovers include light requirements (many groundcovers thrive in part to full shade), hardiness, and pest resistance, and invasiveness. Of course, native groundcovers are preferable but not mandatory as long as the chosen groundcover is not an invasive species. Keep in mind that many groundcovers will naturalize forming large colonies or mats but are not considered invasive. The ability to naturalize is considered a plus because groundcovers are typically planted to cover large areas.
Photo source: www.thenurseryatmountsi.com