Ground cover - the best varieties and the best time to plant

Ground cover - the best varieties and the best time to plant

Ground cover - the advantages

Ground cover - hence its name - has the typical property of generously covering the ground. They close larger areas of the earth with their leaves, branches and roots - and thus bring some positive effects with them. On the one hand, they loosen the soil, keep it moist and ensure that the soil is rich in humus and alive. On the other hand, they protect the ground, especially the evergreen species, from overgrowth of weeds, from strong temperature fluctuations and from intense sunlight.

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The ground cover services at a glance:

  • loosen the soil
  • keep him moist
  • ensure humus and living earth
  • shadow the ground
  • keep weeds at bay

So why plant ground cover?

Basically, the planting of ground cover is ideal wherever there should be no high, visible vegetation, but otherwise bare areas would arise. In addition, they can consolidate the soil at these points, protect it from strong weather conditions and soil erosion.

Ground covers are also a practical solution where you do not want to weed weeds all the time, for example in the front yard or when planting graves.

A ground cover can also be used as a filling material in flower beds. Small, flat cushions between tall shrubs can have a varied and loosening effect.

Furthermore, ground cover can serve as underplanting of certain trees or shrubs that have sensitive roots and do not like rough, manual tillage. A ground cover can keep weeds away here in a gentle way, ensure soil life that promotes growth and often also create a nice visual contrast to flowering trees.

Possible planting grounds for ground cover:

  • as an area filler in areas that should remain clear of view
  • as a floor fastener
  • as a convenient, natural weeder in the front yard
  • as a filler in flower beds
  • as a root-protecting, weed-away and invigorating underplanting of trees

The best types of ground cover for special planting grounds

For keeping weeds out

The evergreen ground cover is particularly suitable to keep open areas in the front yard or on graves permanently free from annoying weeds. Because only they form a closed carpet of plants in winter and prevent weeds sprouting out early in the year. Good weed inhibitors and their benefits are:

  • Evergreen - dense carpet of plants
  • Ysander - attractive leaf structure and frost hardy
  • Ivy - simple and hardy
  • Creeper - thrives in sun and shade
  • Yellow elf flower - very tough roots, no chance for weeds

For decorative purposes

When ground cover, in addition to its practical purpose, also offers an attractive spectacle, two birds are killed with one stone.

Decorative types and their optical properties are:

  • Creeping spindle - with subtle pink accents in the foliage
  • Balkan cranesbill - delicate, upright flowers
  • Carpet goldberry - plump, shapely leaves, yolk yellow flowers

As underplanting

Ground cover with loose roots is particularly suitable for underplanting shrubs or trees, which protects the ground under the tall vegetation, but does not disturb its roots.

Suitable varieties for this are:

  • Foam blossom - a dense, broad layer of leaves, but permeable roots - leaves, for example, rhododendrons enough space to develop their roots
  • Spotted lungwort - light roots, covering the entire area, pretty contrasting ornamentation through spotted leaves

As a bed filling

Dense, robust, cushion-forming ground covers are particularly suitable as gap fillers in beds. It is best to always plant them in the front of the bed so that they are not covered by tall shrubs. Also pay attention to a suitable structure change in the overall picture of the bed.

Good ground cover varieties for beds are:

  • Feather pad - can certainly amount to
  • Upholstered thyme - also relatively hard-wearing, scented blobs in mostly odorless shrub beds

Planting ground cover - how and when

If you want to fill an area with a ground cover, how and when depends on the location and what you intend with it.

If you just want to fill an otherwise bare area, you can buy easy-care varieties by the meter from specialist shops. Depending on the growth rate of the variety, you need between 12 and 24 plants per square meter. If you want the plant cover to close quickly, it is better to calculate a little more than too little.

Point of time

It is best to plant ground cover in late summer. Because at this point in time most of the weeds have spent themselves for now and are no longer as vigorous. This makes it easier for you to settle the ground cover. At the same time, the ground cover still has enough time to establish itself in the ground before winter comes. Before planting, you should still thoroughly remove all weed and other plant remains. To make it easier for the ground cover to grow and thrive, you can add some ripe compost to the substrate.

Growth aids

Of course, while the ground cover is growing, it doesn't have much to do with budding weeds. However, hoeing in ground cover is generally taboo - it damages the densely branched roots, which are of course particularly sensitive in the young plant phase. A good solution to this problem is to cover the spaces between the plants with bark mulch. It keeps weeds away in a natural way and does not disturb the growth of the ground cover.

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