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© 1984, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide describes how to plant and maintain ground covers to take advantage of their low-maintenance features.

Ground covers are low-growing plants, usually less than 12 inches tall, that spread to form dense mats which bind and hold the soil in place. Many also have a season of effective bloom. Turfgrass is the most common ground cover. However, sites that are less suitable for turfgrass, such as slopes, steep banks, and shaded areas, can often grow other ground covers successfully.

A well-established ground cover generally requires less maintenance than the typical turfgrass lawn. Ground covers are not totally maintenance-free, nor will they always tolerate conditions that will not support a turf.