AUBURN, Ala. – Ground covers are beneficial and visually pleasing elements to any garden or landscape. They also assist in improving imperfections or filling empty space. There are many kinds of annuals or perennials used in landscapes. An Alabama Extension professional provides information on choosing and utilizing these plants.
David Koon, an Alabama Extension regional agent of home grounds, gardens and home pests, said several types of plants can be a ground cover.
“Ground covers include vines, perennials, shrubs and also ornamental grasses that have a spreading ground growth habitat,” said Koon. “People commonly use ground covers on slopes and walking paths, in shaded areas or also to create lower maintenance levels of a landscape.”
Advantages and Disadvantages
Koon said that ground covers have advantages and disadvantages.
“Ground covers can be planted where other landscape plants do not grow well,” said Koon. “They can cover sloped areas that have erosion problems and be planted in shaded areas where perennials have difficultly growing. These are a few of the advantages of ground covers.”
The ease of installation is also an advantage. Ground covers are fairly easy to establish and maintain with planning and weed elimination prior to establishment.
“One disadvantage is large areas of ground covers can lack diversity in the landscape and may seem like fillers for a space,” said Koon.
Choosing A Ground Cover
Before choosing a ground cover, Koon suggests studying the landscape to decide what the main purpose of the ground cover will be.
“A good ground cover depends on the area planted and the end use for that area,” said Koon. “Sun, shade, dry and wet landscapes all require different ground covers.”
Master Gardener Helpline
For any questions that you may have about home gardening, contact the Master Gardeners helpline. There is a Master Gardener waiting to answer your call! Call the Master Gardener Helpline at 1-877-252-4769.