Voila! Ground cover planted in a new bed. (Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

Voila! Ground cover planted in a new bed.

How to plant ground cover

Thinking of replacing your lawn? Here's everything you need to do to ensure your ground cover will flourish.

1. Prepare the bed by removing all the
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

1. Prepare the bed by removing all the existing grass and any weeds. A grub hoe works well for this task.

2. If the area is large, use a
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

2. If the area is large, use a rototiller to cultivate the soil. The power tool is similar to a lawn mover, except that instead of grass-cutting blades, the bottom is fitted with four sharp tines that rotate to break up and loosen soil. If you don't own a rototiller, you can rent one from an equipment rental service, nursery or landscape supply company. If the area is small, till the soil a minimum of 4 to 6 inches deep with a hand tiller, garden fork or stiff-tined rake.

3. Sprinkle a complete slow-release fertilizer at the
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

3. Sprinkle a complete slow-release fertilizer at the rate of 1½ to 2 pounds per 100 square feet over the area and gently rake it in.

4. Spread an inch or two of compost
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

4. Spread an inch or two of compost over the site.

5. Ordinarily, mulch would be considered a finishing
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

5. Ordinarily, mulch would be considered a finishing touch added after plants are installed, but because ground covers are small and can be buried with mulch if applied after they're planted, and because you will need to avoid walking on the area once plants are in place, it's best to mulch the bed before planting.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE
6. Install the plants in staggered rows, spacing
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

6. Install the plants in staggered rows, spacing according to the recommendation on the plant tag. You can situate plants even closer for immediate gratification, but be sure to allow for their expected size at maturity. Push mulch back around each plant as you go.

Voila! Ground cover planted in a new bed.
(Credit: Newsday / Jessica Damiano)

Voila! Ground cover planted in a new bed.