Best Methods for Planting Ground Covers
Apart from landscaping benefits, ground covers are important for your home as these plants have a number of advantages including:
- Preventing the germination of weed seeds
- Protecting the soil from water loss and erosion
- Acting as insulation to the soil
- Building humus level in the soil
- Providing habitats for important insects
Tips for growing ground covers, like the Virginia Creeper successfully
You need to think about the ability of the ground covers to thrive in the specific conditions of your home. These may include soil type and fertility, light exposure, drainage and PH among others. Also take into account the desired landscape effect as you plant your ground covers. Consider ground covers that blend well with other elements of your landscaping such as color, texture, form, etc.
You need to arrange the soil properly before you think about planting. Since ground covers are shallow rooted, the few upper layers of the soil must be prepared properly. Consider applying nitrogen based fertilizers during the early days of the planting season to promote effective growth. Ensure that the foliage is dry when you apply the fertilizer then use a lot of water to rinse the fertilizer into the soil. Use low-release fertilizers in the fall to give excellent winter performance.
Spring is the perfect time for planting most species of ground covers. This gives the plants adequate time to develop extensive root network before summer sets in. The correct spacing depends on the rate at which the given variety grows. Fast spreading varieties can be planted one meter apart while slower varieties will need to be much closer. Ground covers allow you to build a stock of plants within a very short time because they can be divided and replanted as they grow.
The most important thing in ensuring good health of your ground covers is watering. To encourage deep rooting, foliar growth and general health, apply sufficient water to your plants. This makes water availability an important factor in determining what ground covers to plant.
You must go for varieties that require the least maintenance and are strong enough to thwart the growth of weeds. However, even for low maintenance ground covers, periodic grooming and inspection is necessary to keep them in perfect shape. You should not let the plant overcrowd as this promotes the spread of diseases and interferes with air circulation. The best way to control this to prune back your ground covers. Depending on the variety of your ground covers, prune your plants during spring or fall to promote summer growth.
Avoid neglecting your plants for long periods of time because it may not be easy to get them back to their original nature. When your ground-covers prove to be a challenge to maintain, replace it with a low maintenance and disease resistant varieties. Corrective pruning, dividing and replanting, may in some cases help ground covers rejuvenate.
Partridge Berry plants are perfect groundcovers.