The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover and Lawns

Question: I would like to cut down on my lawn mowing by planting ground cover in a sunny location. Is it necessary to remove the grass that is growing at that location? Some ads state that the ground cover will choke out the grass and take over the location. Can you suggest such a hardy ground cover?

Answer: Pachysandra and English Ivy are two common groundcovers that should fill the bill. You need not remove turf to get them established, but it helps to mow grass very low a few times before planting the groundcover, as this will weaken the grass and reduce its capacity to regrow. You may have friends or neighbors who'd be willing to give you transplants of either ivy or pachysandra, since they're very common. Another option is houttuynia 'Chameleon', which offers more color than the ivy and pachysandra.

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