Friday , March 24 2017
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Ground Cover Plants

There are many ways of trying to control weeds. We can remove them by hoeing them out you can try to prevent them to grow by putting down mulches.
If you want to say good bye to the weeds you have a simple alternative: a living mulch –  ground cover plants.There are a wide variety of ground cover plants that suite every space, from full sun to the deepest shadow.
After a long winter, sometimes is hard to plant outside in early spring, and you might have to wait until mid or late spring. If you want to plant ground cover plants is better to think now, in early autumn, to do it, because if spring will come to late next year, you will lose precious time in front of the weeds, that are growing and establish faster than your plants.
 
Plant now ground cover plants like Omphalodes verna, Epimedium, Ajuga or Bistorta affinis if you want to win your battle with the weeds for the next year. Before the winter to come, those plants will already have been established and they will have an early start next spring.
 
It is not recommended to add mulch between ground cover plants because many of those plants species develop rhizomes or stolons or spread offsets that establish more faster if the soil is not mulched. This way plants propagate faster and cover the ground and so no weed will survive.
All ground cover plants require maintenance, some more than others. Lawns also are considered ground covers, but may require more moisture, sunlight, fertilizer and maintenance than other ground cover choices.Evergreen ground covers require less care than all the others. Ground covers that develop flowers and fruit often require more maintenance to keep them attractive.
Usually, you will plant your ground covers about 20-30 cm apart, but if you need a quick cover up you can plant them closer together. Water your ground covers regularly for the first year to ensure their survival, and to help them become established.

Ajuga Reptans

ajuga-reptans image

Ajuga reptans, also known as Ajuga, carpet bugleweed, common bugleweed, blue bugle, bugleherb, bugleweed, carpetweed, common bugle, is a spring-flowering, herbaceous semi-evergreen to evergreen, compact groundcover, with a rapid growth rate. The leaves are light green, dark green, bronzed, purple or variegated, depending on cultivar. Fall color is unchanged for green or variegated types, but bronzes heavily for other types. The variegated cultivars are especially attractive groundcovers in all seasons, with the springtime flowers only adding to the beauty. They create a 5-10 cm tall groundcover effect in summer, autumn, and winter, but rises to 25 cm tall when in flower in mid-spring.

Small flowers on dense upright inflorescences create a colorful carpeted effect during the blossoming period and attract many bees. The flowers can be blue, purple, pink or white, depending on cultivar. The lower petal is like a forked tongue emerging from the remainder of the corolla, while the green calyx is hirsute.

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Omphalodes Verna

Omphalodes verna alba

Omphalodes verna, a relative of Forget-me-nots, in the Boraginaceae family, on its common name known as Blue-Eyed Mary, Creeping Forget-me-not or Navelwort is a semi-evergreen perennial plant, unlike Forget-me-nots, which are biennials. It can spread quickly to cover the ground with dark green, grooved leaves. That is why this plant is useful and effective as a ground cover, crowding out weeds that get in its way. It can also reach 20 to 30 cm in height.

The plant has a stem that snakes across the ground and usually grows in the shade of trees. If not kept under control it might become invasive but mostly coexists with other plants well. It provides early true blue color if you chose to plant it to shaded borders and beds but it will also look gorgeous letting it spread beneath trees. The white flowers of Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’ variety look particularly effective if placed under trees and shrubs. The sprays of white flowers contrast well with the mats of dark semi-evergreen leaves.

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