ground cover

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ground cover

a. dense low herbaceous plants and shrubs that grow over the surface of the ground, esp, in a forest, preventing soil erosion or, in a garden, stifling weeds
b. (as modifier): ground-cover plants
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Ground cover

Low-growing plants often grown to keep soil from eroding and to discourage weeds.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ground Cover


in horticulture, low herbaceous and usually procumbent plants, 5–15 cm tall, with variously colored and patterned foliage, used to create ornamental patterns on the ground. Some ground covers consist of various species of Alternathera, Antennaria, Artemisia, Achyranthes, Helichrysum, Gnaphalium, Iresine, Coleus, Mesembryanthemum, Pelargonium, Pyrethrum, Santolina, Sedum, Sempervivum, Spergula, Stachys, Stellaria, Festuca, Cineraria, and Echeveria. Low flowering plants are also used, including lobelia, heliotrope, portulaca, ageratum, fuschia, and Begonia semperflorens.

The first step in creating ground cover is to draw an outline laying out how the plants of the desired colors are to be arranged. The cultivation of ground covers is labor intensive. The plants are propagated primarily by cuttings, which are rooted in green-houses in February and then transplanted into hotbeds. The care of ground covers includes watering, pruning and trimming, and regular weeding.

Because of changes in fashion in ornamental horticulture and the great expenditure of labor and materials, ground covers have lost their popularity and are seldom used. Gardens and parks are landscaped with groups of low spreading perennials which have brightly colored or patterned foliage and can survive the winter in the ground. Such perennials include arabis, aubrietia, speed-well, saxifrage, sedum, sempervivum; and species of Sagina.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ground cover

[′grau̇nd ‚kəv·ər]
Prostrate or low plants that cover the ground instead of grass.
All forest plants except trees.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ground cover

1. Low planting, often maintenance-free, used in masses.
2. A thin plastic sheet, or the like, spread over the ground in a crawl space to minimize moisture penetration.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Make sure you select groundcover plants that will adapt readily to the site conditions.
The objective of this work was to evaluate soil C and N mineralization due to different soil tillage systems and species of groundcover cultivated between rows of orange trees.
About 20 years ago, I tried to publish a paper on the benefits of installing a crawlspace groundcover, and a reviewer hacked it by saying we don't build houses without them.
As groundcover becomes denser, it acts as a living mulch preventing the seeds of annuals and perennials from germinating while the bold, sweeping drifts of plants employed as groundcover become features in their own right.
When the best groundcover has been identified, using no-till and other reduced-tillage practices in the corn-groundcover system will reduce the amount of fossil fuel needed to prepare and plant the crops.
Since the Rosa wichurana Groundcover cultivars are only cold hardy to Zone 5, on the Prairies they should be treated as an annual plant and only grown for one season.
Surfinias can look very effective grown as groundcover on a slope or bank side in full sun or light shade.
3 To add a circle or spiral of polished stones, arrange them on the groundcover and cut guidelines around them.
The weatherproof groundcover mats are 1/2 inch thick to support heavy equipment and include rope handles and hook holes for easy handling around the work site.
Major functions of a groundcover are to keep down dust, lessen water run-off, increase percolation of water into the soil, moderate soil and air temperatures, reduce the need to fertilize and use chemical pest controls, make maintenance easier, and improve the aesthetic appearance of our properties.
It's a mat-forming groundcover that sneers at dry soil and should only reach two to four inches tall.