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Groundcover Plants: 7 Alternatives to Grass

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Groundcover Plants: 7 Alternatives to Grass

by Steve Graham, Networx

A neighborhood full of Kentucky Blue grass lawns is also a neighborhood full of sprinklers, mowers, fertilizers and weeds. Here are some of the many alternative ground cover plants that require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance. Most of these plants are low-growing, drought-resistant, and spread easily. But they are all attractive and long-lasting, too. You should till the soil and kill any perennial weeds before planting a new ground cover, but some of these varieties are weed-resistant and don’t need rich, fertilized soil.

Prairie Zinnia (Pictured Above)

Prairie Zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora) can turn a large, open patch of the yard into a beautiful, low maintenance flower garden. The plant creates a six-inch mat with bright yellow daisy-shaped flowers. Each plant only lasts two to three years, but the seeds spread and colonize a yard quickly. It forms a thick cover that blocks weeds. It never needs water after the first weeks of growth. In fact, it can’t handle too much water and should only be planted in arid regions. Photo credit: friggy_30/Flickr

Blue Wooly Speedwell

The Blue Wooly Speedwell (Veronica pectinata) creates a lovely deep green groundcover that lasts through the winter. Spring brings a profusion of small deep blue flowers. Some of the flowers survive all year, even with almost no water. The plant needs an occasional deep soaking and a quick trim of dead flowerheads to keep it pretty. It lasts in most any soil type, but works best in well-drained soils. It can beautifully cascade over a wall and handles some light shade. It is dense enough to block weeds and spreads quickly — so quickly that the edges may also need a trim once or twice a year.

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81 comments

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12:21PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Great ideas.Thanks for sharing

4:06PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Thank you for the tips!

2:39PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Thank you for these ideas Chaya...although the pictures of the plants are no longer there, so will have to look them up on the net.

7:21AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

Thanks.

9:48AM PDT on May 8, 2012

I USE THEM IN MY FLOWER BEDS HELPS KEEP WEEDS DOWN!

7:59AM PDT on May 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:47PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

great ideas, thank you!

6:20PM PDT on Sep 26, 2011

I will definitely use these ideas to build a grass-free alternative. Thanks!

8:53PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Very beautiful and colorful alternative to grass! Thanks for sharing!

1:07AM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

great to know. thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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