Groundcover Revolution


The Definition of a Groundcover What is a groundcover? A narrow definition of a groundcover would be a plant that spreads across the ground and only grows a few inches high. By those restrictions, only those creeping, mat-forming plants would qualify. The broader definition is of any plant that sufficiently covers the soil in a fairly dense manner. Groundcovers are characteristically perennials, though there are a number of low-growing shrubs that qualify. I’d expand that defi - nition to also include self-sowing annuals, sprawling vines, and ornamental grasses.

Groundcovers are nature’s carpet that clothe the soil in a variety of green array and make this flowering world all the brighter and

more beautiful. ~ Daniel J. Foley

Why Replace Turfgrass Lawns Despite their appearance, our lawns are not the “green” expans - es we think they are. Sure, they are better than concrete, but barely. In many instances, turfgrass lawns are so compacted and dense that storm water is hardly absorbed – causing most of it to run off into nearby streets and pollute local waterways with the herbicides, pesti- cides, and fertilizers that are applied to the turfgrass. Consider all the maintenance costs of a turfgrass lawn. Frequent mowing, fertilizing, weeding, watering, re-seeding, edging, and aer - ating not only eat up your personal resources of time and money, but it can be harsh on the environment. Even using all electric equipment and organic methods requires a far greater use of resources to main- tain a “healthy” green lawn in comparison to non-turf groundcover alternatives. Without your constant care (or that of a hired service), a yard of turfgrass quickly becomes a drab brown mess. In the typical yard situ- ated in a temperate climate, turfgrass turns to straw during the height of summer and then goes dormant again in the winter. In harsher climates, turfgrass is spray-painted or dyed green or replaced with a plastic imitation carpet. All of this effort done with the goal of having that “perfect” lawn. If you are reading this, it is likely that turfgrass lawns are some- thing you’ve struggled with. Perhaps you are weary of battling en - croaching weeds and attacking insects. You likely are leery of using

Making Yr Best Choices Golden Ragwort Pflox

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Misty Kuceris, Reiki Master & Pathways Columnist

30—PATHWAYS—Spring 23

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