The urge to muck about and create plant habitat goes hand-in-hand with the urge to grow more and more species of plants that need individualized growing conditions. As your species list increases, you will probably feel motivated to prepare specific plant habitats. After all, making your plants happy is a way to spread a groundcover of happiness into yourself.
Living groundcovers can be of great benefit to the garden and the gardener. The best ones are evergreen or at least remain trim and green for most of the year: pleasing to the eye, softening the edges of the landscape around pathways, beds and walls; discouraging weeds; preventing erosion; conserving water and nutrients, these are the many attributes of the groundcover. Classic examples are: the Roman Chamomile lawn that dresses rich soils in full sun; Corsican Mint or Creeping Thyme grown on rocks, over steps or between stepping stones; Rupturewort grown over rock, gravel and scree; European Speedwell or Brahmi growing in muck at the margins of the pond; Bugle or Self-Heal grown in loose mulch under trees in acidic woodlands or in moist, open meadows. An added benefit is that each of these and other groundcovers also has medicinal use, uses as diverse as their preferred environmental niche, uses as diverse as the gardeners that choose to live with these groundcover allies. This article will give an overview of herbal groundcovers and how to get them established, including a few notes on their medicinal uses and preferred habitats.
Site preparation and planting. A good groundcover can be achieved only if the slate is wiped clean. A monotypic stand cannot be achieved by sprinkling seeds into an existing lawn, grasses or weeds. These must be removed prior to the planting of the groundcover. Various options exist, but the general plan is to grub out the weeds and prepare a new seedbed, either by working the existing ground or by bringing in soil, sand, compost, pumice, coir and/or peat. Although gardeners sometimes have success with direct-seeding groundcovers into a prepared seedbed, the reality is that more control gives more results. Most groundcover species have very small, sometimes dust-like seeds, and in most cases it works better to start the plants indoors and transplant young bare-rooted or potted groundcover plants into the receptive soil. A six-inch spacing is usually very effective–the groundcover will root in, spread and interlock.
View original post at: Richo’s Blog ~ Where and How to Grow an Herbal Groundcover