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happy planting.

Garden-pedia

Plant terms can be confusing. If you find yourself a bit perplexed, the glossary below may help. If I have missed any, please let me know.

Happy Planting!


Acidic Soil Soil with a pH of less than 7
   
Alkaline Soil Soil with a pH of greater than 7
   
Amendment Any material, such as compost or lime, that is mixed with existing soil to improve properties
   
Annual Plant that completes its lifecycle in one growing season, then dies
   
Basal Foliage Leaves found near the base of the stem
   
Biennial Plant that completes its lifecylce in two growing seasons, then dies
   
Border A garden, usually containing a variety of plants, that is backed by walls, fences, or taller plants, such as, trees or shrubs
   
Compost Organic material used as a soil amendment
   
Crown Area on a plant where the stem meets the root, generally found at soil level
   
Cultivar Refers to a group of plants within a species that has slightly different characteristics, such as, flower color or size
   
Deadheading Removal of old, spent/dead flowers, may promote reblooming
   
Deciduous Refers to trees and shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, usually in the fall
   
Division The process of splitting up plants, commonly performed on perennials
   
en masse Planting masses of the same plant to create a bold statement
   
Evergreen Plants that retain their foliage for more than one growing season
   
Fertilizer Organic or inorganic material added to the soil to encourage plant growth
   
Groundcover A plant that spreads to cover the soil surface
   
Growth Rate Slow: 3-6" per year, Moderate: 6-12" per year, Fast: 12-24+ per year
   
Habit General form or shape of a plant
   
Hardiness Zone Zones that provide guidelines to measure a plants ability to tolerate hot and cold temperatures
   
Herbaceous Non-woody plant that dies back to the ground every year
   
Invasive Plant A plant that spreads rapidly and may take over a garden bed
   
Loam Soil that is a mixture of clay, sand and silt
   
Mass Planting A planting where large numbers of the same plant are used to provide visual interest
   
Native Plant A plant that naturally occurs in a certain area
   
Node (leaf node) a joint on a plant stem
   
Perennial Plant that survives for 3 or more growing seasons
   
Pinching A technique used to promote fuller or shorter plants, often resulting in more flower heads
   
Rhizome an underground stem
 

Stamen

pollen producing structure, usually found within the center of the flower
Spathe Leaf like structure that encloses the flower
   
Taproot Main root of a plant, usually growing straight down
   
Variegated A plant whose green foliage is marked with another color, usually white or yellow

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plant use ground cover

Ground Covers, How To:

Whether you have a slope that is a bear to mow or a shady spot where grass refuses to grow, ground covers can be your best friend.  Once established, they are fast growing and low maintenance.  Ground covers will transform a difficult space into a living tapestry of beautiful leaf shapes, textures, and colors. 

There are two types of ground covers, the creepers and the clumpers. 

Creepers, such as, vinca, pachysandra, and lamium, spread either by underground rhizomes, or, root where stems touch the ground.  The number of plants required will depend on how quickly you want to achieve full coverage. 

Clumpers, like Hosta and Lady’s Mantle, cover the soil with their outward arching leaves.  Complete coverage is achieved by the overlapping of their foliage.  Quantity of plants needed is determined by mature plant size.

Creeper and clumpers can be planted on the same site, producing a visually appealing space. 

Analyze your site and soil:

Is your soil clay, loam, or sand?  Does your soil hold moisture or is it on the dry side?  How much sun does the area get?  These conditions will determine what plants will thrive, and those not suited, for your site.  If you have loamy soil, I am jealous and you are very lucky!  If you have sand or clay, you will need to amend your soil with a two to three inch layer of organic matter, such as compost or leaf mold.

How much light does the site receive on a daily basis?  Choose plants that match your locations sun exposure.    

Prepare your site:

Remove all vegetation from the site.  This can be accomplished by applying an herbicide, such as Roundup. Wait 2 weeks before planting in a treated area.  Non-chemical options include removal of vegetation by hand, or, if you can wait a season before planting your ground cover, prepare your site by laying down black plastic.  Lack of sun, oxygen and water will kill the grass and most of the weeds.  This process will take an entire growing season and you may still need to hand remove stubborn deep-rooted weeds.

Add your amendments, if needed, and turn the soil.

If you are planting on a steep bank use burlap to hold the soil in place.  Burlap allows the ground cover to root through it, and will eventually rot away.  Lay the burlap over the slope, prior to planting, securing it with metal landscape pins.  Cut an “X” in the burlap and plant one ground cover plant in each hole.  Before you know it, the plants will hide the burlap.

Select your ground cover.  There are many plants that make great ground covers.  The gardenoma™ plant database can help you choose.  Consider the following when selecting plants:

Planting your site:

Plant your ground cover in spring, this will provide them the best opportunity for root development prior to winter, decreasing the likely hood of frost heaving.  Where winters are mild and summers are hot and dry, plant in the fall.  

Layout your plants in staggered rows.  How far apart you space your plants will depend on how quickly you want full coverage.  For creepers purchased as 3” plugs, the general rule of thumb is to space plants 6 to 12 inches apart.  Space larger plants 12 to 18 inches apart.  Clumpers should be spaced based on their overall size at maturity.

After planting, cover the area with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to control weeds and retain moisture.

Ground cover maintenance:

During the first growing season, water and weed weekly.  Your new ground cover has not established itself and will need help from you to find water.  Weeding is also critical, they can quickly take over a new bed if not controlled.

Plant Suggestions:

                                                                                    Happy Planting!

 

28 plants found

filter ground cover listings

Barrenwort

type:

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8

Bearberry

type:shrub

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 2 3 4 5 6

Christmas Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Comfrey

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:variable

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Creeping Wintergreen

type:

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6

Dead Nettle

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Goldmoss Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Ivy

type:vine

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Korean Rock Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8

Lily Turf

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8 9

Lungwort

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Mondo Grass

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8 9

Sedge Grass

type:ornamental grass

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8

Shield Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 4 5 6

Snowdrop Anemone

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Soft Shield Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7

Spurge

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun

height:4-5 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Spurge

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Sweet Woodruff

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Tassel Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8

Two Row Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Western Sword Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:4-5 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Whorled Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Wild Ginger

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Wood Anemone

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Wood Fern

type:fern

category:ground cover

light: shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Wood Spurge

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7

Woodland/Ornamental Strawberry

type:perennial

category:ground cover

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 3 4 5