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Maintenance of ground covers

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Lamium maculatum 'Aureum'
Photo: Mary.Do

Maintaining ground covers involves three simple steps:

1. Watering

In the year after planting, check the soil regularly and water it deeply when it begins to dry out. Watering frequency will depend on the site, soil composition, temperature, exposure to wind and amount of rainfall.

Once established, ground covers growing in suitable settings need to be watered only during extended droughts. Avoid frequent, shallow waterings and remember that overwatering is more damaging than allowing the plants to dry out temporarily.

2. Fertilizing

For plants that require rich soil, work in a 2.5 cm layer of compost around the base of the plants every year.

3. Weeding and division as necessary

Remove weeds as they appear to prevent them from spreading.

Some ground covers become less vigorous after a number of years. To revitalize them, divide clumps in spring or fall.

Firm the soil around ground covers

Repeated freeze-thaw cycles can cause low-growing plants with shallow roots to heave out of the ground. Check your plants for stability and firm them in the ground if necessary.

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