What are Different Types of Ground Cover?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Ground cover is an important addition to the garden, because it helps prevent weeds from growing while keeping the ground moist. In addition, It is an excellent addition for high traffic areas, such as around playground equipment, as it prevents grass from growing and provides children with a comfortable place to play. When selecting ground cover, there are three primary forms to choose from: stone, wood mulch, and rubber. Within each of these categories, there are several additional types. Stone, for example, can come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the different types of ground cover. Stone is durable and attractive. In addition, it has a very natural look and can be purchased in a variety of different colors and textures. It can be found to match retaining walls, brick pathways, and other stonework around the home and in the garden.

Wood mulch is another natural type of ground cover. It is particularly attractive in woodland gardens. Mulch is made from a variety of different trees and natural fibers, such as cypress trees. As such, it is available in a few different naturally occurring colors. Mulch ground cover is fairly inexpensive, though it requires adding additional mulch every two to three years as the previous layer decays.


Rubber ground cover is very durable and generally does not require replacement once it is installed. It is often the best choice for use around playground equipment, because it is soft and does not cause splinters. With advancements in technology, rubber is increasingly being manufactured to resemble natural forms of ground cover. Colors are, however, limited at this time, with black being the only color generally available.

Choosing the best ground cover for a specific application depends largely on personal taste and budget. Those who do not have a great deal of time to tend to the area may want to consider a material that does not require frequent replacement, such as stone or rubber.


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Post 3

@ Aplenty- you might want to look into planting some creeping Phlox. Creeping phlox is a flowering moss that does well in rocky, poor soil as long as there is not much other competition. You will have to separate it periodically because it tends to brown in spots as it ages, but besides that, it is low maintenance. As long as you live in a mild climate, creeping phlox will work well.

Post 2

I have poor rocky soil on the northwestern slope of my property. I would like to find a plant that will provide flowering ground cover, prevent erosion, and make this area of my property a little more pleasing to the eye. Does anyone know of anything that I can plant that will help my situation? Thanks if you do.

Post 1

People can use all types of plants as ground cover. Using plants for ground cover can help reduce dust as well as prevent moisture loss and soil erosion.

I live in Boston, and I plant English ivy for ground cover. English Ivy is a fast growing, low maintenance ground cover plant that is very hardy in cold climates. It is also a great creeper cover, so it grows well on slopes. I have it planted around the flowerbeds on the rock wall that lines my driveway. The ivy creeps along the wall, with its vines cascading down the wall face.

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