Before selecting a ground cover you should plan your desired time frame, consider the climate of your area, evaluate what purpose you want it to serve, make sure that the plant is not invasive, consider the plant’s required amount of maintenance, find out how high the plant will grow, and check if the plant is poisonous.
Ground covers are any variety of plants that grows closely over the ground. A ground cover can protect the soil from erosion and drought and can prevent or hamper the growth of weeds. Apart from its practical benefits, ground covers have an aesthetic appeal and are popularly used for landscaping. Here are some considerations to help you select which of the many varieties of textures and blooms you should use for your own lawn:
Plan your desired time frame
You should first plan out how long you want your landscape to have ground covers over it. Ground covers may either be annual or perennial. Annuals will survive through a single growing season only and leave behind seeds as they die which will become a new set of plants that will grow the following year. Perennials, on the other hand, may withdraw during the end of the growing season but do not die. There are also evergreen perennials which will thrive through different seasons, providing color to the landscape even during the winter months.
Consider the climate of your area
It is important that you also choose ground covers that are appropriate for the climate where you live. Turfgrass is a common option that can thrive in all types of climates. Other ground covers are more delicate and may die when exposed to extreme weather.
Evaluate what purpose you want it to serve
Ground covers offer both practical and aesthetic benefits. Decide which of these benefits are most important. You might want to use ground covers for protecting a sloped area from erosion or to emphasize depth in your landscape. There are many plant varieties available which can suit what you are looking for.
Make sure that the plant is not invasive
There are some ground covers that are invasive in nature. They can rapidly spread and engulf parts of your landscape that you do not want covered. These types of ground covers can also endanger your other plants.
Consider the plant’s required amount of maintenance
Different plant varieties require different amounts of maintenance. Some plants can thrive on their own without much maintenance while others need more meticulous tending. Choose a plant variety with a maintenance level that will not be taxing for you.
Find out how high the plants will grow
Most ground covers stay low on the ground, but others can become much taller. Before you choose, ask a professional or do some research to find out how high the particular type of plant can grow. Ground covers that grow high can block out other plants that you might have wanted to be visible.
Check if the plant is poisonous
Be sure to find out first if a particular plant is safe. Some plants may look decorative as ground covers but are actually poisonous. This is an important consideration to make especially if you have pets or children.
There are many ground cover options you can choose from, but the best will be one that serves your needs and landscaping plans.