3 Powerful Benefits to Ground Cover

Ground CoverHaving grass in your yard looks great. It is truly an American favorite. However, with up keeping grass there is maintenance, money, and a cost of your time.

If you are looking for a more environmentally safe option that is lighter on your wallet and your time, then ground cover might be a great plant option for you. Before you go writing it off, you might be shocked at the powerful benefits that ground cover offers that won’t hurt your landscape, but enhance it with beauty.

Ground cover is essentially a term that is used to refer to perennials that are known for their ability to spread. Adding a grass alternative like ground cover has so many different benefits. Here are 3 powerful benefits to adding ground cover that might surprise you.

3 Surprising Benefits to Adding Ground Cover

  1. Great for the Environment
    Americans love grass, but it might not be as “green” as you might have originally thought. There are 47 million acres of lawn in the US, according to the Lawn Institute. To keep those lawns looking perfect there are many steps that are required which include water, lawn herbicides, pesticides, lawn mowers, and gas.

    The amount of water that it takes for one household alone is 60 gallons of water a day for conventional lawns. In addition, with the added toxic lawn herbicides and pesticides to help keep the grass free of weeds, the water run off can flow into lakes and streams. These are all ways that grass can negatively impact the environment and adding a grass alternative can be a great option.

  2. Saves Money
    When you start talking about the amount of water, fertilizer, pesticides, and gas that it takes to keep grass looking great the dollar signs begin to add up. In fact, just adding sod into a yard alone is expensive.

    Another benefit that ground cover offers is that it can help save money and help with erosion. If you have a hill and notice there is some erosion happening, adding ground cover is a cheaper option then adding in a brick or stone retention wall.

  3. Low Maintenance
    Most ground cover requires little to no maintenance once it has been established. While some might require you to cut back, that is about as little as you might have to do.

    Fills in Gaps – One of the aspects of landscaping that is my least favorite is when weeds come peeking through my stone walkways. However, ground cover can solve that problem and look great at the same time. There is a plant called Soleirolia soleirolii that can be used to fill in gaps in patios and in between stepping stones.

    They can also fill in the spaces under trees or in spots where grass does not grow as well because of lack of sun. There are many ground cover options that thrive in shaded places.

    Keeps Weeds at Bay – This might be my favorite part about ground cover. I do not like weeding, and I do not like having to use pesticides of any kind on my yard. Having ground cover fill in the spaces is the best natural weed prevention you can ask for.

Ground Cover Options

Adding ground cover is safer for the environment, better on your wallet, saves you time, and it doesn’t have to cost you in beauty. There are many different plants that are great alternatives to grass that offer tiny flowers, different scents, and shades of foliage that would give texture and design to your landscape.

Scented Ground Cover

There are plants that release pleasing aromas when they are stepped on that will look great, feel great, and even smell great. These scented ground cover options include: thyme, chamomile, or Corsican mint. Chamomile is a great option for high traffic areas that will be sure to release a lovely scent every time it is stepped on. It also produces beautiful flowers.

Shady Ground Cover options

There are many ground cover options that do great in shady spaces for your landscape. One in particular is called Pachysandra. It is a great option as it is easy to get started and forms dense, low cover that will help to suppress those pesky weeds.

Another shade loving plant option is the hosta. While this might not seem like a typical ground cover option, hostas are amazing as thriving in shady areas, and have little to no maintenance. They can create a great boarder, and they multiply over the years.

The Chocolate Chip ground cover is another shade loving perennial. It has dark green leaves with a bronzish color that gives it the chocolate name. It will also produce stunning purple and blue flowers and is even deer resident.

Fast Growing Ground Cover Options

Having a fast growing ground cover option might be what you need to fill in some spaces. The best option for that will be a ground ivy. In fact, they are so invasive that they could take over your whole lawn. If they have a place to spread, and you don’t mind having to cut it back every year or so, this is a great option.

Favorite Ground Cover Options

Sedum is a ground cover option that would be a great option to use to help erosion. It is also drought- resistant. Another favorite is Creeping Jenny. I don’t exactly know what it is about the Creepy Jenny exactly, but I love it. The leaves are a light green that add a beautiful contrast to other greens in typical landscape. The best part is that it can tolerate damper soil than most other ground covers and will bloom bright yellow flowers during the summer.

Take Away

When you are looking to add some landscaping to your yard, don’t just run to put sod or grass seed in. Adding a grass alternative like ground cover is a great option. There are benefits to the environment, your wallet, and your time. Plus, there are endless options to choose from that can fit your space. If you need plants that thrive in shade, or grow fast, or offer a lovely scent, there are options for you.

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