What is Natural Ground Covers?

Natural ground covers are plants or materials that are used to cover and protect the ground in outdoor spaces. They serve multiple purposes, such as preventing soil erosion, reducing weed growth, improving soil quality, and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the area. Natural ground covers can be used in various settings, including gardens, parks, pathways, and landscapes. They are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional ground covers, as they require less maintenance and are more sustainable.

The Benefits of Natural Ground Covers

There are several benefits to using natural ground covers in outdoor spaces. Firstly, they help prevent soil erosion by providing a protective layer over the soil. This is especially important in areas with steep slopes or heavy rainfall, where erosion can be a significant issue. Natural ground covers also help retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. They act as a natural mulch, keeping the soil cool and moist, which is beneficial for plant growth.

Another advantage of natural ground covers is their ability to suppress weed growth. By covering the soil and blocking sunlight, they create an unfavorable environment for weeds to thrive. This reduces the need for chemical weed control methods, making natural ground covers a more sustainable option. Additionally, natural ground covers can improve soil quality by adding organic matter to the soil as they decompose. This enhances soil fertility and promotes healthy plant growth.

Types of Natural Ground Covers

There are various types of natural ground covers available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. One popular option is grass, which is commonly used in lawns and open spaces. Grass provides a soft and comfortable surface for walking and playing, and it also helps cool the surrounding area. Another common natural ground cover is moss, which thrives in shady and moist environments. Moss adds a lush and vibrant look to the landscape and requires minimal maintenance.

Groundcovers such as clover and thyme are also popular choices. Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant that enriches the soil with nutrients, while thyme releases a pleasant fragrance when stepped on. These ground covers are both attractive and functional, providing a low-maintenance solution for covering large areas. Other options include sedum, which is drought-tolerant and adds a unique texture to the landscape, and vinca, which produces beautiful flowers and spreads quickly to cover the ground.

How to Choose the Right Natural Ground Cover

When selecting a natural ground cover, it is important to consider the specific needs and requirements of the area. Factors such as sunlight exposure, soil type, and climate should be taken into account. Some ground covers thrive in full sun, while others prefer shade. Similarly, certain plants are better suited for sandy soils, while others can tolerate clay or loamy soils. It is also essential to consider the maintenance requirements of the ground cover, as some plants may require regular trimming or watering.

Additionally, the desired aesthetic effect should be considered when choosing a natural ground cover. Different plants have different growth habits and appearances, ranging from low-growing and spreading to upright and bushy. Some ground covers produce flowers or colorful foliage, while others have a more subtle and natural look. By selecting the right combination of ground covers, it is possible to create a visually appealing and cohesive landscape.

Installation and Maintenance of Natural Ground Covers

The installation of natural ground covers typically involves preparing the soil, selecting and planting the appropriate plants, and providing initial care. It is important to clear the area of any existing vegetation and weeds before planting the ground cover. The soil should be loosened and amended with organic matter to improve its fertility and drainage. Once the plants are in place, they should be watered thoroughly and regularly until they become established.

Maintenance of natural ground covers is generally minimal, especially compared to traditional turf grass. Regular watering may be required during dry periods, but most ground covers are drought-tolerant once established. Some plants may benefit from occasional pruning or trimming to maintain their shape and prevent overgrowth. It is also important to monitor for any signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate action if necessary.


In conclusion, natural ground covers are a versatile and sustainable option for covering and protecting outdoor spaces. They offer numerous benefits, including soil erosion prevention, weed suppression, improved soil quality, and enhanced aesthetics. With a wide range of options available, it is possible to choose the right natural ground cover for any area, taking into consideration factors such as sunlight exposure, soil type, and desired aesthetic effect. By properly installing and maintaining natural ground covers, it is possible to create a beautiful and eco-friendly landscape.