Garden Ground Cover: Benefits and Uses
Garden ground cover serves numerous purposes in the garden including weed control and erosion prevention. In addition, ground cover complements the other plants in your garden beautifully by producing various fragrances and blossoms.
Defending your Garden
Planting ground cover prevents invasive species and troublesome weeds from invading your garden. The ground cover thickly smothers the earth surrounding your plants, inhibiting the growth of unwanted plants and weeds. It acts as a protective barrier for your garden while protecting beneficial earthworms from predatory birds.
Attracting Bees & Butterflies
In addition to defending your garden from invasive species, ground cover benefits your garden in other ways. Many species produce flowers which encourage bees to pollinate your entire garden and provide an outstanding habitat for butterflies. Flowering ground cover is available in almost every color and is frequently accompanied by an alluring scent.
Binding the Soil
In the same manner that your lawn keeps the soil beneath it in place, the roots of ground cover binds the soil in which it is planted. These roots prevent erosion and the loss of water through evaporation. Planting ground cover in your garden conserves water because the roots drink the water while the foliage shades the soil beneath from direct sunlight.
Ground cover plants comes in an abundance of varieties that you can position in a way that best suits your garden. Most ground covers do not grow taller than 6 inches when mature and quickly spread out to blanket the surrounding. Various species are adapted to full sun or shade, allowing you to creatively mix species and colors. It is important to consider the amount of sun your garden receives when selecting ground cover. If improperly placed, you will notice that your new plants refuse to grow, do not multiply and cannot reach maturity.
When purchasing ground cover for your garden consider the specie's sunlight requirements and its ability to spread. Comparing these variables to your garden design will prevent improper placement or overbuying. It generally takes ground cover 2 or 3 years to become fully established; during which time it should be regularly monitored and appropriately tended to.
Ground cover is a hardy garden solution that require very little fertilization during the growing season. In addition, most full-sun species evolve into drought-resistant plants when they reach adulthood, requiring infrequent watering. They will also create a habitat for desirable wildlife in your garden.
Photo copyright Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org)