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Covering New Ground with Ground Cover

Covering exposed soil is absolutely critical to locking moisture in and giving plants a chance to establish a strong network of roots. Our go to recommendation is typically mulch because it is quick, cheap, and effective.

But maybe you are looking for something a little more lush, but still water-wise….

Groundcover, you know—those low growing plants that are usually sold in square-foot flats, spreads quickly and provides a beautiful green layer of protection. Depending on your needs, some groundcovers can be stepped on and are perfect to fill the gaps between garden pavers. Others can grow as tall as a foot and provide texture to your garden.

All ground covers need to be well watered initially while they are building up strong roots and getting established. That makes the fall and rainy season a great time to plant so that they can provide the underlying soil that much needed shade and cover in the following summer.

If you need help, here’s a list of California Friendly ground covers and all of the support you’ll need to find the right one for you. Have an even more nuanced question? As always, the UCCE Master Gardeners are an email away with a tailored answer!

UCCE Master Gardeners Hotline

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