Best Ground Cover Plants for Lawn: Peanut Plant and Carabao Grass

The Peanut Plant is not a grass but makes an excellent ground cover.
The Peanut Plant is not a grass but makes an excellent ground cover.

Introduction

The lawn is commonly found in the front part of the house. Most homeowners take pride in having immaculately green grass on their lawns. A small fortune is invested on fancy sprinklers and lawn mowers for proper maintenance of the lawn. Lately, most lawns are being sacrificed due to shortage of funds. Lawn grasses are left to grow tall and unruly because mowing is not a weekly routine anymore. Or the grasses die because water is being conserved, too.

4 Types of Plants Used as Ground Covers for the Lawn

  1. Vines
  2. Herbs
  3. Shrubs
  4. Mosses

Vines are woody plants with thin and wide-spread stems. Examples: Common Ivy, Kudzu, Bougainvillea, and Morning Glory.

Herbaceous plants typically die at the end of growing season or after they had flowered and bore fruit; then they will grow again from seeds. Examples: Peony, Mint, Ferns, and Grasses.

Shrubs are also woody plants with multiple stems and small height. Examples: Lavender, Periwinkle, Common Juniper, and Mountain Pine.

Mosses are small and soft plants that do not have flowers or seeds but reproduce through spores. Simple-structured leaves cover wiry-thin stems.Examples: Red moss capsules, Wall screw moss, and Dawsonia superba (which is considered as the tallest land moss).

Close-up image of Carabao Grass. (Photo courtesy by jeyp from Flickr)
Close-up image of Carabao Grass. (Photo courtesy by jeyp from Flickr)
Lawn grass need not be expensive. (Photo courtesy by Pepitoni from Flickr)
Lawn grass need not be expensive. (Photo courtesy by Pepitoni from Flickr)

The Carabao grass is sturdy against drought and flood. It does not need much attention. No pesticides and fertilizers are used to grow this hardy variety of grass. Since it tends to grow close to the ground, the Carabao grass does not need to be mowed.

Because it is easy to grow, the Carabao grass is the best ground cover plant. You can grow it by seeding directly into the soil or by transplanting. Most plant stores and nurseries sell Carabao grass by small square pieces. You have to water the newly planted grass everyday on the first week to let the young roots grow into the soil. Of course, you must level the surface of the ground first if you're planting on new lawns.

Dawsonia superba with cone (Photo courtesy by Liddy2007 from Flickr)
Dawsonia superba with cone (Photo courtesy by Liddy2007 from Flickr)
Red moss capsules (Photo courtesy by Arielle from Flickr)
Red moss capsules (Photo courtesy by Arielle from Flickr)
Carabao plants tend to grow close to soil. (Photo courtesy by ryry17 from Flickr)
Carabao plants tend to grow close to soil. (Photo courtesy by ryry17 from Flickr)
Carabao grass is drought-resistant. (Photo courtesy by psycherika from Flickr)
Carabao grass is drought-resistant. (Photo courtesy by psycherika from Flickr)
Bougainvillea (Photo courtesy by speak-low from Flickr)
Bougainvillea (Photo courtesy by speak-low from Flickr)

How to Plant the Local Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass (Photo courtesy by RobW_ from Flickr)
Buffalo grass (Photo courtesy by RobW_ from Flickr)

The Buffalo grass is another type of sturdy ground cover plant for the lawn. It is also highly resistant to drought. However, this variety tend to grow robustly so you may have to mow the overgrowth to the desired length. Aside from transplanting, you may also grow the Buffalo grass through direct seeding method.

Management of Buffalo Grass

Barenbrug USA 70203 Quick Lawn Grass Seed
Barenbrug USA 70203 Quick Lawn Grass Seed

You can grow a beautiful lawn garden in just a short time with Barenbrug’s Quick Lawn Grass Seed. Just prepare the lawn soil before planting the grass seeds. Only 3 pounds of seeds can cover a brand new 450-sq.ft. lawn, or double this size for existing lawn. No soil requirement. Just water regularly.

 
Peanut plant is a type of ornamental grass.
Peanut plant is a type of ornamental grass.
Peanut plants are best to grow in rows.  (Photos by Connie Veneracion from houseonahill)
Peanut plants are best to grow in rows. (Photos by Connie Veneracion from houseonahill)

How to Grow Ornamental Peanut Plants

The Peanut Plant is a Good Ground Cover

This ground cover plant got its name 'peanut' from its flowers that are shaped like peanuts. Because this is categorized as an ornamental grass, the Peanut Plant is often used as accents along the lawn's front and sides of pathwalks. This plant is also sturdy.

The Peanut Plant is also a no-fuss type of ground cover. Just buy several seedling plants in small black bags from the nursery or plant stores. Like other plants, the ideal time to transplant the Peanut plant seedlings into the soil is during the late afternoon. The young plants will be given time to adjust in their new environment during the night.

To further lessen the stress during transplanting, remove only the bottom of the black bag so the soil around the seedling will not be dislodged. This way, less roots will be cut during the process. Gently pack the lawn soil around the small plants. Since the Peanut plant grows horizontally rather than vertically, place an allowance of 6 to 12 inches between each plant. This will give the runners more room to spread on.

Watering is given in small amounts in the early mornings and late afternoons on the first few days. If you're using garden soil for the lawn, you don't have to fertilize the plants. But a sprinkle of organic fertilizer every now and then will help them grow strong and healthy. No need to use herbicide, too. Over-all maintenance care is very simple and easy. Just pull out the weeds that will sprout along with the Peanut plants.

Drainage is as Important as Watering to Ground Cover Plants

All plants need proper drainage system to protect the roots. Too much water causes the roots to rot and the plants to die.

During cultivation of soil or while laying on garden soil, make sure that the edges are in much lower elevation. Excess water must flow freely away from the plants after enough moisture was absorbed by the soil.

When proper sloping is observed in the planning stage of the garden, the actual maintenance of the plants would not be too much demanding.

When a new home has an empty lawn, the sight of the raw earth with a smattering of rocks and concrete bits could be intimidating. Do not lose heart. A garden takes time to develop so careful planning is a must.

Design a garden with long-term enjoyment in mind. The lack of trees in the vicinity should not be despairing. Shaded areas can be created by simply giving crawling plants freedom to grow all over a light structure made of welded steel for support and sturdy screen as roof.

To stop feeling overwhelmed with so much empty space in the outdoor part of the home, build a fence around it. A low concrete wall or tall wooden fence will look better when paint is applied. Several coats of paint also provide protection.

Look for small trees in plant nurseries. Overgrown seedlings have better chance of survival when transplanted. Fruit trees are good choices because they will provide fresh fruits after a few years.

A wide grassy space is the quickest way to make a green lawn. A simple trick is to create a gently sloping surface of packed garden soil. Place concrete hollow blocks around the edges to help prevent soil erosion. Plant small shrubs to give additional support to both the blocks and the earth.

A Japanese-style garden requires a bit of time and effort. This design is appropriate to build on naturally sloping area.

Carving the land into a series of steps will inspire the gardener to put together a variety of colorful and flowering plants, along with the choice of grass or ground cover plants.

City Lawn (Photo courtesy by Robbie1 from Flickr.com)
City Lawn (Photo courtesy by Robbie1 from Flickr.com)
Clover (Photo courtesy by Alexcion from Flickr.com)
Clover (Photo courtesy by Alexcion from Flickr.com)
Colorful Leaves on the Lawn (Photo courtesy by Marco Arment from Flickr.com)
Colorful Leaves on the Lawn (Photo courtesy by Marco Arment from Flickr.com)
Cool Green Garden (Photo courtesy by Dominic's pics from Flickr.com)
Cool Green Garden (Photo courtesy by Dominic's pics from Flickr.com)
Crocus in the Lawn (Photo courtesy by Between a Rock from Flickr.com)
Crocus in the Lawn (Photo courtesy by Between a Rock from Flickr.com)
Crocuses in the Lawn (Photo courtesy by jhritz from Flickr.com)
Crocuses in the Lawn (Photo courtesy by jhritz from Flickr.com)
Freedom Lawn in Pennsylvania (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Freedom Lawn in Pennsylvania (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Grass Needs Cutting (Photo courtesy by somegeekintn from Flickr.com)
Grass Needs Cutting (Photo courtesy by somegeekintn from Flickr.com)
Green Elephants Garden Sculptures (Photo courtesy by epSos.de from Flickr.com)
Green Elephants Garden Sculptures (Photo courtesy by epSos.de from Flickr.com)
Green Grass After the Rain (Photo courtesy by Aussiegall from Flickr.com)
Green Grass After the Rain (Photo courtesy by Aussiegall from Flickr.com)
Hinton Ampner (Photo courtesy by Peter Curbishley from Flickr.com)
Hinton Ampner (Photo courtesy by Peter Curbishley from Flickr.com)
Lawn with Smal Flowers (Photo courtesy by shaire productions from Flickr.com)
Lawn with Smal Flowers (Photo courtesy by shaire productions from Flickr.com)
Mixed Garden (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Mixed Garden (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Munro's Greens (Photo courtesy by friedwater from Flickr.com)
Munro's Greens (Photo courtesy by friedwater from Flickr.com)
Stepping Stones on Grass (Photo courtesy by varun shinde from Flickr.com)
Stepping Stones on Grass (Photo courtesy by varun shinde from Flickr.com)
Spring in Bistrita (Photo courtesy by bortescgristian from Flickr.com)
Spring in Bistrita (Photo courtesy by bortescgristian from Flickr.com)
Shrubs in the Frontyard (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Shrubs in the Frontyard (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Rolled Grass (Photo courtesy by chrstphre from Flickr.com)
Rolled Grass (Photo courtesy by chrstphre from Flickr.com)
Sedum Acre and Clover (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Sedum Acre and Clover (Photo courtesy by Sustainable Gardener from Flickr.com)
Zigzag Grass (Photo courtesy by Andreanna Moya Photography from Flickr.com)
Zigzag Grass (Photo courtesy by Andreanna Moya Photography from Flickr.com)

More by this Author


Comments 38 comments

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

The Carabao sounds like an interesting option. Actually if I had my choice I would live in a woods and forget the plants and ground cover. Great info!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

That sound paradise to me. I'd feel like a nymph if I'd be living in the woods. :D Thanks for dropping by!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

The peanut plant, eh? Well, I'll have to try that. The red moss looks lovely as well. Thanks for the info.


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Great information and pictures. I have been looking for a good, fast-growing ground-cover that can withstand the attention of dogs - any suggestions?


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Thanks again, RKHenry. Yup, I love the red moss, too. Colorful and easy to maintain. :)

Hello, Shibashake. When we're living in the country, our ground cover plants were the peanut plant and the Carabao grass. We had 6 dogs that loved to romp on the grass. Afterwards, there are patches of grass scratched out from the soil. We just lay them back on the ground, sprinkle some water, and leave them alone for a day or two so the grass could recover from the stress. For some reasons, our dogs never bothered the peanut plants. Hope these info helped. Thank you for dropping by :D


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions. Btw. did you ever have a problem with snakes getting into your backyard? Any suggestions with that will also be greatly appreciated :)


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Whoa! Snakes! Yup, there were snake visitors but they were driven away quickly by our dogs. Disturbing the corner areas (especially the shady ones) by thumping a long stick on the ground, and removing clinging and climbing plants also helped. If you got squatter snakes, try burning a small pile of dried leaves near suspicious places in your backyard. The heat would drive those scaly creatures away. Thanks again for dropping by :D


Barbara Yurkoski profile image

Barbara Yurkoski 7 years ago

Interesting article with good information. In my province cosmetic pesticides have just been banned, so more people should be looking at options to grass.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Hello, Barbara! Thank you for reading :) Carabao and Buffalo are both sturdy types of ground cover. You can water them with the water you used in soaping and washing your clothes (as long as you didn't use warm or hot water, that is).


K.D. Clement profile image

K.D. Clement 7 years ago from USA

Gorgeous hub! Lots of relevant information. Going to bookmark this.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Thank you very much for dropping by, K.D. Clement :)


eaasi3574 7 years ago

Great Hub! Very informative with lots of sound advice. Works for me!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Thank you. It's been a pleasure writing this hub--plus hunting for the pictures. :)


Amy M profile image

Amy M 7 years ago from Manzano Mountains

I live in the woods. We have a very small area of grass and the rest is dirt. I have several different ground covers here and there. I will try this one.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Hello, Amy M. Thank you for dropping by. Yes, please try the carabao or buffalo grass. They are both sturdy and do not need much attention. Just water them everyday, preferably in the early morning.


greek girl profile image

greek girl 7 years ago

thanks for the great hub! I like the carabao grass and I think I'm gonna try it on the bald spot in my yard...


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Hello, greek girl! Thanks so much for dropping by again. btw, I received your message. I think it's a bug. You should report it. :)


manlypoetryman profile image

manlypoetryman 7 years ago from (Texas !) Boldly Writing Poems Where No Man Has Gone Before...

Thanks for all the great info...going to use some of the plants you mentioned in a new above ground flowerbed that I made to raise a low spot in my yard. Thank you for this hub...it helped me with many ideas!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago Author

Hello, manlypoetryman! I'm glad you like the hub. It's been a pleasure doing this :)


Lawn Grubs Queensland 6 years ago

Herbs are my favorite for the ground cover as they have a medicinal value for home remedies in case of a cold or any other small time problem faced everyday.


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago

Awesome hub!

Loved all the pictures and bookmarked the hub to see them again and again. Would love to try zigzag grass and then walk on it barefooted.


Fred Thoburn - Lawn Mower Guy 6 years ago

Carabao grass, that I already have. Next on my list is the bougainvillea. I think there are lots of colors to choose from.


wicklesscandles 6 years ago

For some reason we have been having a problem with our grass dying in spots. So bad, that my neighbor put in fake grass. I can't do that, so I am considering the Carabao.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

Thank you for the comments: Lawn Grubs Queensland & Fred Thoburn - Lawn Mower Guy... Hope you'd join HubPages :D


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Ultimate Hubber... I'm glad you liked the pictures :D


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

I'm sorry about your grass plants, wicklesscandles. From my personal experience, dry or dead spots in our lawn grass were sometimes caused by trampling, too much acid level in soil (maybe too much fertilizer or chemicals), and too much water (uneven ground level that retains water). If trampling and leveling were not the causes, you may want to change the soil in the troubled spots. Hope this helps :) Thank you for the visit!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Fantastic hub - very thorough and useful. Some beautiful pictures of groomed yards.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

hello elayne001 - Thank you for reading and the warm comment :)


Maryanne Maguire profile image

Maryanne Maguire 6 years ago from Santa Monica, CA

Beautiful photos! Hopefully our yard will be in one someday :)


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

Thank Maryanne :) We have the same dream haha


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

I planted only last July the peanut plant to cover a long stretch of path leading to our nipa hut (bahay-kubo). Only 3 months and I now see only few small patches of ground uncovered. From a good distance, it looks so beautiful teeming with small yellow flowers. Dragonflies and butterflies make the view a sight to behold.

I don't appreciate much the carabao. I prefer the blue grass for my lawn as it is finer. This is a very beautiful and useful garden hub. Voted up!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Lita :D When we had a catfish pond, I planted peanut plants around the edges to prevent soil erosion -- and it worked! I put rock slabs as foot path to avoid trampling the cute yellow flowers. I missed the view when we moved to the city. :( I envy you. lol


Anne 5 years ago

Do you know how to remove peanut plant from areas where it doesn't belong? I planted a berm with it and it is wonderful but very aggressive. It has moved into areas I'd prefer it not be, and its roots are extensive, deep and horizontal, creating a thatched effect. I would like to eradicate it from these areaa but don't know the best system. It's almost impossible to pull up by the roots. Thanks so much for any suggestions!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 5 years ago Author

Hi Anne, thanks for reading :)

I suggest you cut the plant down to its roots, using a pair of garden scissors, rather than pulling it out. This way, the level of your soil won't be destroyed. To inhibit or slow down the plant from over-growing to forbidden areas, surround it with flat stones or wood planks. Regular trimming is also recommended to maintain control. Hope this helps :)


daviddwarren22 profile image

daviddwarren22 4 years ago

Amazing, this is interesting article.


jimmy 4 years ago

where does one buy the carabao plants or seeds. have a lawn that needs ground cover , not grass that needs to be mowed and cared for. am in florida.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the visit, daviddwarren22! :)

Hi Jimmy, I'll search for you about this one and create a hub. Thanks for the question. :)


jimmy 4 years ago

from my own searching, it appears carabao grass or plants is something grown for philipino cows? to graze on.. not a specific plant... but hope lives on. which led me to cow pasture foliage here which looks good as you drive by but i assume it needs to be munched on or it will grow tall etc. goal is to have something fairly short like mowed grass but not mowed. not sure it's out there.

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