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10 Great Vegetable Garden Ground Cover Ideas

Vegetable Garden Ground Cover Ideas

The truth is, vegetable garden ground cover ideas are a “dime a dozen”. There are endless ways to provide ground cover protection for your garden.

Why do you need ground cover for your vegetable garden?

Vegetable garden ground cover ideas are important for maximizing your garden space. It’s not just an aesthetic decision – it’s important to provide shade and protection from the elements.

Ground covers will also provide nutrients for the soil.

There are many types of ground cover you can use in your vegetable gardens, but there are also some that should be avoided.

Some ground covers that should be avoided in vegetable garden include black locust, Bermuda grass, creeping juniper, and laurel oak.

Ground cover is usually used to create an attractive appearance, but it can also be used to help prevent erosion or suppress weed growth.

It’s best to choose ground cover with low-growing plants that won’t compete with vegetables for sunlight.

If you’re looking for ground cover ideas for vegetable gardens, we will look at ten options in this article.

10 Vegetable Garden Ground Cover Ideas

Groundcover blooming purple flowers
Groundcover blooming purple flowers

As I mentioned above, the ideas are numerous for vegetable garden ground cover. Here are ten you should consider.

1. Native Plants – they’re native to your area and will really acclimate well to the climate and conditions you have there – this also means they won’t be hard to maintain.

2. Mulch – it’s a really great way to naturally attract insects that feed on pests and can help your plants grow more quickly.

3. Living Fence – these are very easy to make but can be a nice decoration as well as a way of protecting against animals that may want to munch on your plants.

4. Organic Matter – this is just another great way of attracting bugs and other critters that will keep away any pests that may want to eat your plants.

5. Shrubs and Trees – while shrubs and trees aren’t necessarily considered ground cover, they can add a lot of interest to your garden.

6. Annuals – annuals are a great choice because they’ll come back every year.

7. Evergreen – evergreens are great choices if you live in colder climates where winter temperatures get down into the single digits.

8. Perennials – perennials are great because they’ll stay around for years to come.

9. Grass – grasses are probably one of the most common ground cover plants. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to care for.

10. Wildflowers – wildflowers are great because they’ll bloom all summer long.

More Ground Cover Ideas

Pachysandra vegetable garden ground covers
Pachysandra creating a green carpet from leaves

Ground cover plants are plants that grow on the ground without any support. These plants can be used as a substitute for mulch to help maintain moisture and moderate soil temperature which is important for vegetable gardens.

Some of the best vegetables garden ground cover ideas include:

Carpet Grass: Is a low-growing ornamental grass with a creeping root system which spreads by runners and seeds.

Pachysandra: A plant with dark green leaves and dark purple flowers which is commonly used as an understory in formal gardens.

Vinca: Is a trailing, semi-evergreen vine with showy, violet or white flowers that grows well in shady areas.

Maidenhair Fern: This perennial has fronds that resemble maidens’ hair that grow up to 18 inches tall.

Liriope: Has rounded, heart-shaped leaves that grow close together and form clumps.

Aster: Has daisy-like flowers that grow in clusters and can reach heights of 4 feet.

Sedum: Has succulent rosettes of blue or pinkish-purple foliage and small yellow flowers.

Hostas: Has broad, lance shaped leaves and spikes of bright red flowers.

Aloe Vera: Has thick, fleshy leaves and produces masses of tiny white flowers.

Fuchsia: Has trumpet-shaped blooms that range from deep pink to pale lavender.

Oxalis: Has sword-shaped leaves and produces masses of star-shaped flowers in shades of orange, red, yellow, and cream.

Zinnia: Has large flower heads usually colored in shades of pink, red, or orange.

The main thing when choosing what kind of ground cover to use is to choose something that fits your environment. You don’t want to put yourself through too much work trying to maintain something that’s going to die out after a season or two.

Planting Tips For Ground Cover Plants In The Vegetable Garden

Popular hostas ground covers
Popular hostas emerges in Spring sunlight

Ground cover plants are best when they are planted in small groups rather than in long lines.

If you want to plant taller plants in the vegetable garden, it is best to plant them at the back of the garden where they will not block sunlight from reaching shorter plants.

Some ground cover plants like lamb’s ears, creeping thyme and creeping raspberry will also help suppress weeds.

You should also consider planting ground cover plants during the late spring or early fall so that they have time to establish before cold weather arrives.

Another tip is to make sure that you water your ground cover plants regularly. If you let them dry out, they won’t survive.

When selecting ground cover plants, look for ones that are drought tolerant.

It is also a good idea to use fertilizer sparingly to encourage growth.

If using ground covers indoors then choosing the right size pot is also very important. It should be big enough to allow the roots to spread out.

In addition, you should avoid putting the ground cover plant in a container that is too small.

Ground cover plants can be grown both outdoors and indoor. They can even be placed on top of brick walls or fences.

However, if you do decide to place them inside, remember to keep them away from heat lamps or other sources of light.

They may need additional lighting if they are being grown indoors.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts

purple rock cress ground cover plants
These are white and purple rock cress ground cover plants

If you’re growing ground cover plants outside, select a spot that receives full sun throughout the day.

You should also ensure that there isn’t any shade cast by trees or other obstacles.

If you notice that your ground cover plants are getting leggy, cut off the tips to encourage new growth.

This technique works particularly well with hostas.

As mentioned earlier, ground cover plants are great for hiding unsightly spots in the vegetable garden.

If you’ve got a patch of bare soil in your yard, try planting some ground cover plants next to each other.

This will create an attractive border around the area that you’re working on.

Growing ground cover plants in pots is another way to add color and interest to your vegetable garden.

You can grow ground cover plants in containers year round and you can move them around as needed.

If you plan on moving your ground cover plant into a different part of the vegetable garden, take care to remove all of its old leaves first.

This will prevent disease from spreading to the rest of the plants.

Make sure that you water your plants thoroughly once they are established.

If you live in a humid climate, you might need to fertilize your ground cover plants more often than those living in drier climates.

The most common problem with ground cover plants is that they tend to become invasive.

To prevent this from happening, don’t plant them near sidewalks or driveways.

If you find that your ground cover plants start looking sickly, it could mean that you’re over-fertilizing them.

Try reducing the amount of fertilizer you apply to your plants.

Ground cover plants are generally easy to maintain and require little maintenance.

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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