Living Mulch? Use Ground Cover Plants!

Use Living Mulch to protect plants! It is well known that gardeners are encouraged to use mulch to cover the bare soil in garden beds. Mulching promotes several positive factors including

  • Assisting to maintain a constant temperature for the roots of plants as it can provide wonderful insulation against the elements.
  • Helping to discourage the growth of weed seeds that may blow in as they cannot take root directly into the soil and acts to suppress seeds that may be harboured in the soil.
  • Keeping moisture in the soil so the hot sun cannot penetrate and evaporate the topsoil – a bit like wearing a hat on a summer day.
  • Stopping soil from being blown away in strong wings or eroded in heavy rain.
  • Looking aesthetically pleasing – much better than looking at dry, dusty soil.

So basically, plants that have their root zones covered in mulch grow better!

Mulch can be inorganic such as pebbles or gravel or can be organic such as bark chips or sugarcane mulch. However, both can be messy or may break down over time and re-mulching can be an on-going chore.


Many landscapers, landscape architects and permaculturalists promote the use ground  covers as a living mulch.

A living mulch is a low growing ground cover that not only assists with the list of the positive factors mentioned above, but also provides a softer backdrop to the larger plants. The roots of ground covers also help to bind, the soil together . This is particularly useful during storms or floods when other mulches may wash away.

Living mulches can be ground covers with interesting textured or coloured leaves and flowers. Depending on the variety, the ground covers may add humus and nutrients into the soil. This provides a micro environment to harbour, and attract, beneficial insects such as bees to your garden.

Ground covers are any low growing, mat forming plants. This may include herbs such as thyme or Corsican mint or the many other perennial plants which are easily available from most nurseries.

As many urban house lots become smaller, so do the size of the gardens. Many people still want an open space but do not want the maintenance of the historical backyard lawn. Just the cost of purchasing a mower for a small area is not economical and time poor owners do not want the ongoing chore of mowing a lawn.


Ground cover plants can make wonderful no mow lawn alternatives and are right on trend.

In The Past

Establishing large areas of ground covers for living mulch or an alternative lawn was extremely time consuming and a lot of work.

To cover even a small area, gardeners needed to purchase many small pots or plugs, which had to be laboriously planted individually, and tended for weeds, whilst waiting months for the plants to slowly grow together. Areas not covered by ground covers had to be regularly tended for weeds.


Our unique Plant Tiles of low growing ground covers come in custom designed ™ trays measuring 330 mm x 330 mm and just 22 mm deep.

The Tiles are incredibly easy to install, can be cut or shaped as required, and, having air pruned roots, will take to the bed you have prepared or sculptured in no time! Instant results!

Plant Tiles provide full ground cover for the area giving the immediate, positive effects of mulching.

There are several varieties available to suit your particular situation. For more information to assist you in choosing which variety is right for you visit or email