Category: Groundcovers

Groundcovers are low-growing plantings that are either not mown or not grasses, that is, they are alternatives to turfgrass. For example, English ivy, Hedera helix, might be mown occasionally, but because it is not a grass would by definition be a groundcover, not turfgrass. Or blue fescue, Festuca glauca, a grass, could be planted and not mown and it would be a groundcover, not turfgrass.

Arachis glabrataThere is no sharp definition of what is “low-growing” but certainly 20 cm height or shorter is “low-growing” and 60 cm of height pushes the upper limits of “low-growing.” There are those who consider that a groundcover may be up to 120 cm high and others who will not allow a “groundcover” to be more than 30 cm high.

Despite the semantics, the intention of growing groundcovers is to have a planting that grows low enough for visibility but typically is not trafficked and does not require mowing. This is better operationally as a definition.

Advocates for groundcovers as an alternative to turf mention that turfgrass has high maintenance requirements which groundcovers do not. There is meager data on this and in some cases groundcovers are badly invaded by weeds or have other maintenance problems. The best cases for groundcovers are in situations where shade is too dense for grasses, are that are inaccessible for mowing, and where there is a desire for color or other accents in the landscape.

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Ground cover

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KC – posted 06 June 2002 14:50 Hello,Does anyone know what kind of ground cover will grow with out additional watering etc. Also I would like to have it choke out poison oak if...

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Spider Grass

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munchkin – posted 08 August 2004 09:43 I’m considering replaceing my dead St. Augustine with a ground cover called spider grass (ophiopogon planiscapus nigresens). Any experience &/or suggestions? Thanks.

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Subterreanean Clover

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Donkey – posted 18 October 2001 10:23 I am wondering about Subterranean clover. A friend of mind told me about this clover for ground cover to hold dirt in place during the winter months....

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Perennial Peanut

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travis – posted 17 June 2009 12:41 Our family has been growing sod for the last thirty years and we are very excited to be in our 2nd year growing perennial peanut. We sell...

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Brown Top Millet

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Scott10 – posted 31 March 2011 07:49 I live in the Florida Panhandle & seeded my yard with Brown Top Millet as a summer ground cover before planting a permanent turf because: 1) I...

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name of

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sandini – posted 19 August 2015 13:36 Does anyone know the name of ground cover that is about 6-8 in high, green, easy to maintain, and inexpensive to purchase?

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Clover control and Myoporum

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ted_sd – posted 31 May 2005 13:40 I planted a myoporum on an hillside. In the past I had the timeto keep the weeds at bay but this season (San Diego) I’ve been so...

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groundcovers adjacent to lawn

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redbird – posted 17 April 2003 07:09 I have a strip of roadside ( 35′ x 175′) separated from the back/side of my lawn by a privacy fence and an island of trees/palmettos. It...