August is now upon residents of the Gauteng Highveld area, and is traditionally a month of gusty winds, the harbinger of spring rains and the cause of lots of unpleasant dust in the air before then – largely minimised in and around your home or office if your surrounding garden features lots of ground cover plants.
Dust control, however, is really only one reason to cover otherwise bare soil with ground cover plants, since these low growing beauties provide so many more benefits to human environments and gardens. Besides being rather unattractive, having empty flower beds and bare soil is not an eco-friendly practice.
Virtually only pests such as ants and termites are likely to thrive in such barren areas. When rains arrive, precious topsoil will wash away, creating damaging erosion and altering the terrain. If it is hot, exposed soil dries out quickly, adversely affecting any vegetation in the general vicinity.
Retain Moisture and Topsoil
Plants and ground covers secure and hold precious topsoil in place, preventing destructive erosion and helping to retain plant and soil moisture levels, a very important factor in a country such as South Africa, which is prone to periodic droughts, making water a particularly precious resource.
Most gardens in the country feature lawn grass, the most commonplace of all ground covers. However, certain types of lawn grass require regular watering, so it is best to select a hardy species which grows well in your area, is easy to maintain, and needs minimal watering and less frequent mowing.
Environmentally friendly indigenous grasses make most attractive bedding features, fillers and ground covers against the backdrop of other taller plants. Most of these species are hardy and grow perfectly well while relying on rain water only.
Alternative to Lawns
Modern garden design trends no longer focus on creating expansive lawns, around which other focal areas are established with other, taller plants, especially in smaller properties. Attractive paving blocks, set a little distance apart, feature ground covers planted in the spaces between them and are virtually maintenance free and water wise, whilst still being green.
Edging the borders of flower beds, lawns and pathways with the use of ground covers adds a glorious dimension and texture to your outdoor spaces. Certain species remain very low growing, even when mature and are perfect for establishing a multi-layered look with taller species installed behind them.
Some feature flowers, adding additional glorious colour to the picture. All secure the soil in which they are planted, help prevent evaporation and serve as a deterrent to weed growth, much as mulch application would do, but a lot more aesthetically appealing in appearance.
Aerated Soil, Rich in Organic Matter
Healthy, well balanced soil enables healthy plants to thrive and a quick way to evaluate your soil is by the number of earthworms who live below the surface, where it is nice and damp. These amazing worms aerate the ground and add organic matter to their environment, especially below ground covers which keep soil cool and moist.
Wholesale Prices All Year
No garden is truly complete without ground cover plants and we grow most of those, which we offer for sale at wholesale prices, so ensure that you get more top quality, healthy plants for much less, completing and complimenting your garden paradise.