A groundcover can be any plant or group of plants that is low-growing and aggressive enough to compete strongly with nearby plants. They can be carpet-like, growing only a few inches high and a few feet wide, or they can be large shrubs that grow only knee-high but spread several feet wide.

What kind of groundcover should i choose?

There are groundcovers that prefer deep shade and others that grow best in full sun, and many that grow in dappled shade.

Grasses grown as lawns are the groundcover most resistant to foot traffic, but even lawns wear thin in soil compacted from frequent heavy use. Lawns are also a very high-water-use groundcover compared with the plants described in the plant list as even the Medium+ groundcovers can be drip irrigated. The aggressive nature of the plants themselves, as well as the strategy of limiting watering to points at soil level where the roots can make good use of it, and mulching deeply to further reduce evaporation has the net result of minimizing weed invasion and reducing maintenance time.

For best results match the spread indicated in the plant list with the size of space you want to cover. The smallest mat-forming plants work well between stepping stones where the paving buffers foot traffic and collects extra moisture for the groundcover. Shade-loving groundcovers are perfect for replacing lawns under mature trees and shrubby groundcovers with the greatest spread are a great way to reduce watering and eliminate mowing in large open areas.

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Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568

505-842-WATR  Option 4

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P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568