Ground Covers: The Infamous Perfect Replacement for Grasses in Texas
Ground cover to replace grass in your landscape or lawn is key to beautification. Are you tired of the high cost of mowing and maintaining your lawn? Rather than having an old traditional grass lawn that requires more time, money and water, consider ground covers.
In a 2005 NASA-sponsored study, it was estimated that the area covered by lawns in the United States to be about 128,000 sqm (the Texas Lone Star state is no exception of this large number), making it the nation’s largest irrigated crop by area. Therefore lawn care is a popular business in the United States; proper maintenance, construction and management of lawns of various kinds being the focus of much of the modern horticulture industry.
What is Ground Cover
Ground covers refer to anything that lies on top of the soil to protect it from drought and erosion. Encouraging nutrient cycling, biodiversity and inhibits weeds, they serve as perfect replacement for grasses. Land covers are evergreen plants ranging from low layer grasses in addition to powerful innovative grasses.
In the US, an average home uses over 50 gallons of water daily on lawns. Additionally to this over 10 hours are spent weekly on supplemental watering, trimming, weeding, edging, pruning, mowing and fertilizing. Adding to this, toxic herbicides and pesticides are washed off to streams, and mower fumes cause air pollutions and health complications.
In most cases ground cover maintenance takes very little effort when compared to the time and resources invested in lawn care. Ground covers, like any other plant, vary in their moisture needs, depending on the plant category and maturity. Soil texture and climate influence water needs as well.
Texas with an average annual rainfall of 34.25 inches and average temperature of 69.4oF is the perfect condition to plant native or improved innovative ground covers.
Types of Ground Cover Plants:
Asian jasmine is the most popular in Texas, and across the south west, thus making Asian Jasmin durable and inexpensive ground cover. There are different ground covers available for pathways, hedges or broad swaths. Varieties of ground covers that can be grown in lawns and landscape in Texas are:
- Asian Jasmine
- Silver Ponyfoot
- Desert Willow
- Scotch Moss
Mulch and landscaping rocks can also be used as a ground cover to replace grass.
These can be found in a broad variety at your home and garden store, as well as any local quarry distribution shops. Landscaping rocks come in an array of colors and textures, including chalky white marble chips, the soft blue-grey of Mexican beach pebbles, and the bright terra cotta of lava chips.
The only drawback with landscaping rocks is that they are generally not conducive to foot traffic. Thus, they should be laid in areas that are strictly ornamental, ideally with an adjacent pathway.
Plant-based ground covers can grow in sun and shade making it the perfect answer for your yard. Black-eyed Susan and Desert willow are good for landscapes, thus grows quickly and can be planted in central Texas.
Replacing your lawn with ground covers usually requires cutting out or spray of grasses, as well as preparation of soil and planting of the ground cover seeds. You can do this yourself or get the help of a landscape professional.
When choosing the perfect ground cover for your lawn, you should consider whether it is children and pet friendly. Drought-tolerance and climate friendly ground covers should also be taken into consideration as your primary landscape feature.
Choosing the right seedling and professional lawn care service is also important. Ground covers are perfect replacements for old and non-environmentally friendly grasses. These grasses form a cushy blooming carpet and can bear heavy foot traffic. TLC Landscapes, located in the North Dallas near Frisco Texas is a reliable and professional landscape solution for maintaining your home landscape and lawn maintenance needs.
I’ve been researching and sharing lawn care and gardening info since 2010. I’m no expert, but my neighbors think I am