Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Ground Cover

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When large spots in your lawn are just too shady for turf grass, ground covers are a good choice.  They not only help prevent erosion, but also choke out garden weeds.  While the term ground cover has many definitions, we use it when referring to a low maintenance plant that is less than eighteen inches in height.  We have many that we love, including Epimedium, lily of the valley, native and European gingers in the genus Asarum, ferns and native pachysandra or 'Allegheny Spurge'(Pachysandra procumbens).  For more information on ground covers, including a planting guide for how many plants you'll need for your land, the Mississippi State University Extension Service has got you "covered."

Comments (2)

  • I live near Charlotte, NC and have some Lily of the Valley. However, in 2 years, it has not spread. Perhaps the soil is not moist enough, or do I need to loosen up the tough soil?
    Thank you.

  • We'll talk about lilly of the valley on Tuesday's show. In the meantime, we can assure you that lilly of the valley tends to grow very slowly, but don't give up hope. Margaret's grew slowly for years until it suddenly started spreading so much it almost became invasive! In hot locations, it may try to go dormant during the summer months so keep watering it to prevent it from looking brown. Good luck!

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