The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover To Replace Lawn

Question: I'm slowly replacing my ugly lawn (which is on a slight
slope). Tearing it out is a lot of work, so I've found
that I can cover it with a landscape fabric and it will
slowly die. I'd like to then plant a ground cover and mulch
around it. (full sun area). So, I need a plant that
doesn't spread via underground runners due to the
landscape fabric. I'm in zone 9.
Any suggestions would be very welcome!

Answer: Most groundcovers spread by underground roots, so your choice is limited to plants that sprawl from a central stem rather than those that multiply by producing rhizomes or stolons. How about heather, trailing euonymus, houttuynia, or sunrose for your sunny slope? Euonymus will root through the landscape fabric (or attach itself to it). Once your groundcover is established, it should be watered deeply during the hottest months of the year, but it will take far less water than a lawn. Enjoy!

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