Are you tired of dealing with overgrown ground cover in your garden or landscape?
Evergreen ground cover can be a beautiful addition to your outdoor space, but it can also become a nuisance if left unchecked.
Removing it may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done easily and efficiently.
In this article, we’ll explore different methods for removing evergreen ground cover and provide tips for ensuring success without damaging other plants in your garden.
So, let’s get started!
How To Remove Evergreen Ground Cover
There are several methods for removing evergreen ground cover, and the best one for you will depend on the size of the area, the type of ground cover, and your personal preferences.
One method is to dig down near each root on a shoot with a pickax to loosen the soil. The roots may be as deep as 5 inches from the surface. Grasp each shoot and pull it from the ground when all of the roots are exposed. Remove each shoot in the same manner on each plant.
Another method is to use a gas-powered weed trimmer with a plastic line to cut all of the ground cover close to the ground, removing everything but 1 or 2 inches of growth. Ground cover plants are used to cover bare ground in flowerbeds or landscapes. In some cases, thick ground covers around homes harbor pests such as mice and snakes and need to be removed. Rake over the ground cover to remove pieces cut with the weed trimmer. Ground covers can sprout from pieces left on the ground. That’s why you must clear out pieces as completely as possible.
Spray the stumps with a weed killer containing glyphosate right after cutting with the weed trimmer. You must spray the stumps while they are freshly cut, before the cut ends can heal. Healing can take place within 20 minutes. After one week, spray glyphosate on any part of the ground cover that is still green or actively growing.
For the best ground cover control, wait until fall to apply an herbicide. During fall, plants begin storing energy for the next growing season, so this is the best way to prevent the ground cover from popping back up in the spring. If you’re going to use a spray-on herbicide, you’ll want to protect your other plants by tying up any vegetation growing near a ground cover.
Understanding Evergreen Ground Cover
Evergreen ground cover plants are low-growing, mat-forming plants that provide year-long interest and texture to your garden. They are typically used to cover bare ground in flowerbeds or landscapes, and they offer several benefits such as limiting weed growth, preventing soil erosion on slopes, and reducing yard maintenance.
When selecting evergreen ground cover plants, it is important to consider their growing needs and match them to their location. Some evergreen ground covers prefer full sun and are suited for xeriscaping, while others tolerate shade or require more water. For example, creeping phlox is a great option for full sun areas due to its stunning flowers, while deadnettle is a good choice for shaded areas because of its bright variegated foliage.
It is important to note that some evergreen ground cover plants can become invasive and difficult to remove. This is why it is essential to choose the right plant for your garden and to monitor its growth regularly. If you need to remove evergreen ground cover plants, there are several methods you can use such as digging down near each root on a shoot with a pickax, using a gas-powered weed trimmer, or applying an herbicide.
Reasons For Removing Evergreen Ground Cover
There are several reasons why you may want to remove evergreen ground cover from your yard or garden. One of the main reasons is that some ground covers can become invasive and take over an area, crowding out other plants and potentially becoming a pest. This can be especially problematic if the ground cover is growing close to your home, as it may harbor pests such as mice and snakes.
Another reason for removing evergreen ground cover is if you want to change the look or design of your landscape. Ground cover plants can limit weed growth and add interest and texture to your yard, but they may not fit with your overall vision for your outdoor space. Removing them can give you a fresh start and allow you to create a new look that better suits your preferences.
Additionally, evergreen ground covers may not be suitable for all climates. In colder regions, many ground covers die back and go dormant during the winter months, leaving the ground bare and exposed to potential weed issues and soil erosion. If you’re looking to provide year-round cover for a particular garden area, you may need to consider alternative options such as mulch or hardscaping.
Finally, removing evergreen ground cover may be necessary if it is causing problems with erosion on slopes or embankments. Some ground covers have shallow root systems that can quickly be washed or blown away in heavy rains or high winds. In these situations, it may be necessary to remove the existing ground cover and replace it with a more suitable option that has deeper roots and can better secure the soil in place.
Tools And Materials Needed For Removal
Removing evergreen ground cover requires a few tools and materials to make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some of the things you’ll need:
1. Pickax: This tool is essential for the method of digging near each root on a shoot to loosen the soil. It helps to make the process faster and less strenuous.
2. Gas-powered weed trimmer: This tool is useful for cutting all of the ground cover close to the ground, removing everything but 1 or 2 inches of growth. It’s important to use a plastic line to avoid damaging the roots of other plants.
3. Rake: A rake is necessary for removing pieces cut with the weed trimmer. It helps to clear out pieces as completely as possible since ground covers can sprout from pieces left on the ground.
4. Glyphosate weed killer: This herbicide is effective in killing the stumps of evergreen ground cover. It’s important to spray the stumps while they are freshly cut, before they have a chance to heal.
5. Protective gear: When using herbicides, it’s important to protect yourself by wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. You should also wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
By having these tools and materials ready, you’ll be able to remove evergreen ground cover efficiently and effectively.
Manual Removal Techniques
Manual removal techniques for evergreen ground cover can be time-consuming, but they are effective and non-toxic. One method involves digging down near each root on a shoot with a pickax to loosen the soil. This allows you to grasp each shoot and pull it from the ground when all of the roots are exposed. This method is ideal for smaller areas of ground cover.
Another manual removal method involves using a gas-powered weed trimmer with a plastic line to cut all of the ground cover close to the ground, removing everything but 1 or 2 inches of growth. This method is best suited for larger areas of ground cover. After cutting, rake over the ground cover to remove pieces left behind by the weed trimmer.
Once the ground cover is cut back, it’s important to spray the stumps with a weed killer containing glyphosate right away. This must be done while the stumps are freshly cut, before they have a chance to heal. Healing can take place within 20 minutes, so time is of the essence.
For those who prefer a non-toxic removal method, manual removal is still an option. Make a 2-foot trench around the area and loosen the first section of roots. Pull as you dig further into the bed, loosening the soil as you go. The next season, if you see any small plants forming, immediately dig them out. In this way, you will be rid of the ground cover permanently in a couple of years and other plants can take over the area.
Chemical Removal Techniques
Chemical removal techniques can be an effective way to remove evergreen ground cover, especially for larger areas. However, it’s important to use caution and follow the instructions on the herbicide label.
One method is to use a glyphosate-based herbicide, which is a non-selective herbicide that will kill any plant it comes into contact with. This type of herbicide is best used when the ground cover is actively growing, and it should be applied directly to the leaves of the plant. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application rates.
Another option is to use a selective herbicide that targets only specific types of plants, such as grassy weeds or broadleaf weeds. These herbicides are often sold under brand names such as Over the Top or Grass B Gone. Be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that the herbicide is safe to use on your specific type of ground cover.
When using herbicides, it’s important to protect yourself and other plants in the area. Wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants to avoid skin contact with the herbicide. If you’re spraying near other plants, cover them with plastic or cardboard to prevent overspray.
Chemical removal should be considered a last resort, as organic methods are generally more environmentally friendly. However, if you have a large area of evergreen ground cover that needs to be removed quickly, chemical removal may be your best option.
Preventing Regrowth Of Evergreen Ground Cover
Once you have removed the evergreen ground cover, it is important to prevent regrowth. One effective way to do this is to cover the area with a layer of black plastic or landscaping fabric. This will block sunlight and prevent any remaining roots or seeds from sprouting. Leave the plastic or fabric in place for several months to ensure that all regrowth has been suppressed.
Another option is to plant a different type of ground cover that is better suited to your needs and easier to maintain. Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil by removing any remaining roots or debris and adding compost or other organic matter to improve soil quality. Choose a ground cover that is well-suited to the growing conditions in your area, such as shade-loving plants for a shady spot or drought-tolerant plants for a sunny area.
Regular maintenance is also important to prevent regrowth of evergreen ground cover. Keep the area free of debris and monitor for any signs of regrowth. If you notice any new shoots, remove them immediately before they have a chance to establish themselves.
By following these steps, you can effectively remove and prevent regrowth of evergreen ground cover, allowing you to create a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape that meets your needs.