The Q&A Archives: Fall/Winter Ground Cover

Question: Can you recommend a ground cover that I can 1) plant now, 2) that would last through the winter 3) I could replace with annuals in the spring.

Answer: The end of October is a bit late in the season to try a seasonal cover although you might still be able to start some annual rye grass now if the weather stays mild. Instead, I would suggest you spread a layer of mulch such as shredded bark over the area to protect it from erosion and keep any cool season weeds from sprouting. This can be pulled aside easily in the spring at planting time and then reapplied for the season. You might also want to work in a bit of organic matter to "feed" your soil such as compost or shredded leaves or aged stable manure and bedding and let it sit through the winter beneath that mulch -- this will help your planting move along quickly next spring.

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