2018-02-13 / Columns

Groundcover Answers

Garden Scene
Peggy Bolton

Groundcovers are hugely popular in the landscaping industry. Unfortunately, Groundcover can be both an expensive and time-consuming answer for hard-to-garden areas.

One must first decide whether to plant evergreen or herbaceous perennial. Evergreen groundcovers will give the property owner cover all year around. It will be more expensive on the planting end, but may take less effort to maintain once established. Using a commercial grade landscape fabric will reduce weeding. This is placed first over the problem area. Holes are cut with a razor knife for planting. Be careful not to get soil on the fabric which will promote weed growth. If planting perennials, remember they will need to be cut back and cleaned up in the fall. One must determine how much yearly work you want to do, when choosing the plant additions.

Before investing in and planting a large area, research that the plant/shrub is deer resistant. Even in village locations this has become a huge problem. Ask questions when purchasing any plant. If sales personnel is not knowledgeable, go somewhere else. Also, look for super hardy plants. Usually areas needing a ground cover have extremely poor soil or lack sun. This is why one must look for strong, zone hardy additions. For larger areas, the homeowner may opt to plant the area over a few seasons. Make sure that there is a water source available, as most plantings will need watering the first season. On extremely windy banks, avoid evergreens that burn easily. Also, remember most evergreens will not survive swampy areas. Daylilies and Japanese iris may be the only answers for continuously wet areas. Determine how much sunlight your area has before purchasing plants.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you wish a personal reply. Visit us on the web at

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