It may be freezing winter temperatures, but now is a great time to plan for the spring planting season so that you’re ready to get your hands in the dirt as soon as the last frost passes. Before heading to the nursery to pick out new landscaping elements, take some time to create a plan that includes groundcovers. Our expert landscapers in the Tri-Cities area at Promier Landscapes share on the blog today which ground covers are best for Kingsport lawns so that you can plan your spring activities effectively and purchase what you need in one trip to the nursery.
What is a ground cover?
In gardening, ground coverings refer to any low-lying plant group having a creeping or spreading character that is used to cover ground areas with minimum upkeep. As a ground cover, you can use almost any low-growing plant, with evergreens typically being the most common choice. “Ground cover” is defined as a low-growing evergreen that may cover places where grass or other plants won’t grow due to shade, dampness, or tree roots. Our Kingsport landscape pros explain that they’re great for steep, hard-to-mow hills or rain-eroded areas common in the Tri-Cities area. Ground cover plants are often used to cover large yard areas to save money and time on mulching. Also, the ground cover acts like a weed killer by overpowering unwanted weeds.
Why use a ground cover?
Once established, ground coverings do what their name implies: they cover the ground. Many varieties grow quickly and thick, making them efficient for weed management without a herbicide. They also keep the soil from getting too hot in the sun, which keeps the roots of bigger plants cool. When it rains, the ground cover helps absorb the water instead of letting it run off into storm drains or waterways. Our landscape designers in Kingsport explain that mulch and labor are the single largest annual expenditure for gardeners, but ground coverings assist to cut down on both. On slopes, drought-resistant ground cover is also utilized to prevent and reduce erosion. Strong plants that can survive in arid conditions and on steep slopes are ideal for this purpose, and species like Vinca and Junipers fit the bill.
What are some ground cover plant types?
Like most other plant species, ground cover plants vary in their type and activity. Our landscaping experts in Kingsport share below the most common ground cover plant types so that you can get started in your planning process.
- Mondo Grass
Mondo grass, also known as monkey grass, is a ground cover evergreen grassland perennial. Mondo grass thrives in any soil and sunshine. Once planted, Mondo grass takes little upkeep.
Liriope may cluster or spread depending on the species. Planting Liriope Big Blue or Variegated Liriope close together creates intertwined ground coverings. Smaller gardens require less covering, so they’re ideal. Spreading varieties like Liriope Silver Dragon produce a weed-suppressing carpet.
Pachysandra develops thick mats of green leaves and is a perennial plant. Spring brings beautiful white flower spikes. When mass-planted, the plant’s tiny blossoms and green leaves are striking.
Evergreen perennial ground cover plants, Vinca or dwarf periwinkle, are long wiry stems that cover wide areas and make a magnificent carpet with spring and summer blue-violet blooms from spring through fall. The stems root where they touch the soil, making it a good option for slopes.
Given its name, carpetweed is a robust grower. Ajuga sends forth many wandering plantlets making propagation straightforward. Dig up a few rooted plantlets and transplant them somewhere. Ajuga Bronze Beauty’s dark foliage showcases the spring blue blooms.
Creeping junipers are fast-growing, multipurpose ground cover plants in full sun. Depending on the juniper species, they can don colors of evergreen, blue, bluish-green, or green. Also, a mature plant may spread four to eight feet and thrive in well-drained, full-sun soil. Once established, junipers only require water during hot, dry periods making it a multipurpose ground cover that’s low-maintenance.
Landscape Experts in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee
Getting started in the winter with your spring planting process allows you to research and select the best plant species for your needs. So, start your research using the above information. If you’re unsure which plant is best to choose or you need assistance with your landscaping, please contact our Kingsport landscaping experts at Promier Landscapes. Simply call (423) 246-7977 or contact us online to request more information.