By this time of year groundcovers can begin to look a bit shaggy and unruly if they’re not trimmed. Some groundcovers grow so vigorously that they intrude into the space of other plants, competing for water, nutrients and air. Where they adjoin the lawn, they may invade your turf with unwanted runners. Rangy vertical growth and spent blossoms also warrant trimming.
Here are a few simple guidelines for encouraging good (controlled) groundcover growth:
- With sharp shears, trim horizontal runners and shoots that have gone beyond the bounds of the desired groundcover area and into the lawn or onto sidewalks and patios.
- Prune dead shoots and foliage.
- Using shears, trim vertical growth to create a neat and attractive bed. Shear off spent blossoms to encourage further blooming this year or better blooms next spring.
If your groundcover’s growth lacks vigor and the soil in that area seems sparse, topdress with a soil mix rich in organic matter…. Water afterward to wash the soil off of plant leaves and down to the ground.
After trimming, feed your groundcover by spreading a slow-release plant food over the area. Plant food comes in a convenient applicator jug and will provide your plants with constant nutrition for up to 3 months.
- In the absence of rainfall, water deeply (rather than frequently and briefly) to keep groundcover plants from drying out.
Most groundcovers don’t require much more than this infrequent maintenance, making the groundcover bed one of the most maintenance-free areas of your yard!