This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in May 2015.
Spring is a great time of the year to focus your efforts on transplanting and landscaping your yard. Ivy! Pachysandra! Myrtle! There are so many types of creative ground covers, many of which make for great garden edging, are easy to establish in yards that struggle to grow thick grass, and offer landscape solutions that are low-maintenance, lush, and sustainable.
In the springtime, plants are beginning to regenerate after the long winter, but are not yet at their seasonal peak. This makes it a great time to move them about without greatly disrupting their desire to generate new growth. Transplanting ground cover is one of the easiest ways to achieve low-maintenance curb appeal at a low-cost – but be patient – it takes a few years for the plants to begin to multiply, but once they start, it’ll be lush, lush, lush.
Here are some tips on how to create new beds using transplanted ground cover:
Find your host plants.
Scope out your yard to identify garden beds that are already thriving with ground cover (or reach out to your fellow homeowner friends to see if they want to lend you a scoop). Ground cover is dense, thereby making it one of the easiest plants to share. The plant I’m relocating in my own yard shown here is Pachysandra, which also sells for about $25/flat at the local garden center.
Remove clumps of the existing ground cover.
In a thick bed of Pachysandra, use a shovel to dig small clumps of the plants. The undisturbed surrounding growth will naturally re-fill this vacancy, so it won’t be barren for long.
Be sure to dig deep enough to gather the roots with the plants.
Loosen the soil in your new bed.
Create a landscape plan to decide how you want to add ground cover for curb appeal. Create trenches or holes for the roots. Plan to space your transplants 8-12″ apart, and 2-3″ below the surface of the soil. This will give the roots space to grow, and as the roots generate new shoots, the population will become more dense.
Gather your transplants into small clumps.
Though the individual planting holes will be spaced apart, I still find it helpful to bunch 2-3 lively plants together into the same hole. Better survival rate, and a slightly more lush appearance.
As with shrubbery transplants and vegetable seedlings, the roots of your new ground cover will need a lot of water to begin to regenerate in the new bed. Keep the soil wet for a few weeks, at minimum.
The leaves might look a little droopy for a day or two, but with regular watering you should see them pop back to life – the sign of a successful transplant.
Monitor for growth.
You might not see a lot of new growth on these plants in the first season, but by next year, you will. And within a few years, you will see the transplanted roots generate new offshoots, encouraging the new bed to grow more densely, and outwards in all directions.
For more tips on establishing your garden and landscape, check out these articles: