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Yes, it is generally recommended to remove old grass before planting ground cover plants. Removing the old grass allows the ground cover plants to establish themselves more effectively and ensures better overall growth and coverage. Here's why:
When you plant ground cover plants, you want to give them the best chance to thrive and spread. Old grass can compete with the ground cover plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight. By removing the old grass, you eliminate this competition and create a clean slate for your new ground cover plants.
There are a few methods you can use to remove old grass:
1. Manual Removal: This method involves physically digging up the old grass using a shovel or a garden fork. Start by cutting the grass into manageable sections and then lift them out, including the roots. Be sure to remove as much of the root system as possible to prevent regrowth.
2. Sod Cutter: A sod cutter is a machine that cuts through the grass and removes it in strips. This method is more efficient for larger areas but may require renting or borrowing the equipment.
3. Sheet Mulching: This method involves smothering the old grass with layers of newspaper or cardboard and covering it with a thick layer of compost or mulch. Over time, the grass will decompose, and the ground cover plants can be planted directly into the mulch.
Once the old grass is removed, you'll need to prepare the soil for planting the ground cover plants. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Clear the area: Remove any remaining debris, rocks, or weeds from the soil.
2. Improve the soil: If the soil is compacted or lacking in nutrients, consider adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will help improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients for the ground cover plants.
3. Level the ground: Use a rake or garden fork to level the soil and create a smooth surface for planting.
4. Plant the ground cover: Follow the specific planting instructions for your chosen ground cover plants. Be sure to space them according to their recommended spacing to allow for proper growth and coverage.
5. Water and mulch: After planting, water the ground cover plants thoroughly and apply a layer of mulch around the plants. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
Remember to choose ground cover plants that are well-suited to your specific growing conditions, such as sun exposure and soil type. Consider factors like height, spread, and maintenance requirements to ensure a successful and visually appealing ground cover planting.
By removing the old grass and properly preparing the soil, you'll give your ground cover plants the best start possible, allowing them to establish and flourish in your garden for years to come.