Discover the Delight of 7 Edible Ground Covers for Your Garden

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Brock Ingham
Brock Ingham
Wild Strawberry 3

Ground covers are often the unsung heroes of garden design, providing a lush, low-maintenance carpet that keeps weeds at bay and soil moist. But did you know that some ground covers are not only beautiful but also edible? Here’s a list of some of my functional favorite ground covers that can add both charm and flavor to your garden.


1. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Creeping Thyme 2

Imagine walking through your garden and releasing the enchanting aroma of thyme with every step. Creeping Thyme is a low-growing herb with tiny, aromatic leaves and delightful pink or purple flowers. It’s not only great for culinary uses, adding a fragrant touch to your dishes, but it also attracts pollinators like bees, making your garden a buzzing paradise.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 4-9
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
  • Water Needs: Low, drought-tolerant once established
  • Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil

2. Wild Strawberries (Fragaria vesca)

Wild Strawberry 2

Wild Strawberries are a sweet treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. They produce small, flavorful berries and feature attractive three-lobed leaves. Perfect for nibbling as you garden, these berries are a nostalgic nod to childhood summers. This ground cover grows prolifically in my garden among my garden beds. I like to let it creep into places I’d often keep tame. The surprise of little summer berries are too hard to pass up. 🍓

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 3-8
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Water Needs: Medium, regular watering
  • Soil Conditions: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil

3. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

Creeping Jenny

With its cheerful yellow-green leaves, Creeping Jenny can add a pop of color to your garden. While not typically consumed in large quantities, its slightly sour taste can add a unique twist to salads or garnishes.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 3-9
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Water Needs: High, keep consistently moist
  • Soil Conditions: Moist, well-drained soil

4. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantine)

Lambs Ear

More commonly known for its soft, woolly leaves that kids love to touch, Lamb’s Ear is also an edible plant. Its leaves can be used in salads, adding a unique texture and mild flavor.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 4-9
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Water Needs: Low, drought-tolerant once established
  • Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil

5. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile

Chamomile’s dainty, daisy-like flowers are more than just pretty; they’re a garden’s answer to tranquility. Use the flowers to brew a calming tea that can help you unwind after a day of gardening.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 2-9
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Water Needs: Medium
  • Soil Conditions: Light, sandy soil

6. Creeping Bramble (Rubus calycinoides)

Creeping Bramble

A lesser-known delight, Creeping Bramble is a type of dwarf raspberry. It produces small, edible berries that can be a sweet surprise scattered throughout your garden.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Water Needs: Medium, regular watering
  • Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil

7. Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Sweet Woodruff 2

Known for its sweet, hay-like fragrance, Sweet Woodruff is often used to flavor drinks and desserts. In Germany, it’s a traditional ingredient in May wine, adding a unique aromatic quality to beverages.

Growing Chart:

  • USDA Zone: 4-8
  • Exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Water Needs: Medium, regular watering
  • Soil Conditions: Moist, well-drained soil

I hope you found a few new plants to keep your ground covered and your stomach full. By incorporating these edible ground covers into your garden, you’re not only enhancing its beauty but also creating a space that’s as delicious as it is delightful. From the aromatic allure of Creeping Thyme to the nostalgic sweetness of Wild Strawberries, these plants offer a feast for the senses all summer long.

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