Edible Ground Cover Plants: In an edible garden, you can find flowers, herbs, seeds, berries, and plants you can eat. It doesn’t have to be a big space. Starting with a few pots and containers, or even just a few plants in a window box is a great way to start your garden. The planting of edible ground covers not only help you maximize your space for growing food but also attracts pollinators, provides habitat for beneficial insects, protects the soil, maintains moisture, and creates a beautiful, lush aesthetic for your home garden. Here’s is a six edible ground cover plants for your yard below.

Edible Ground Cover Plants

6 Edible Ground Cover Plants

  1. Sweet VioletsSweet Violets edible plant

Scientific name: Viola odorata

Sweet violets, also known as Heartsease, work well as a ground cover in the spring. They sprawl fast and come out in dense bunches of soft green leaves.

Culinary uses: 

Salads can be prepared with these flowers. Also, you can add them to jellies and candies.

Growing requirements:

A partially shaded or light-shaded environment is ideal for it. Make sure it receives regular irrigation, but do not overwater it. The plant should be grown in rich, well-drained soil and be fertilized in the spring to thrive. It is hardy into the low twenties Fahrenheit.

  1. Purslane
    Purslane-edible plant

Scientific name: Portulaca oleracea

The leaves of this plant look like succulents, and you can add them to salads as a garnish. The woody scent of purslane makes it feel cool and smooth underfoot.

Culinary Uses: Grilled vegetables and bread pair well with these leaves

Growing requirements:

Almost any soil will grow purslane, from heavy clay to muck rich in organic matter. Young plants will remain small and stunted under cool conditions. It does best in warm weather, and it won’t grow well if it’s cold outside. It can tolerate drought even though it prefers regular water.

  1. Sweet Potato Vine
    Sweet Potato Vine

Scientific name: Ipomoea batatas

Your landscape will look green and vibrant when you plant sweet potatoes as ground cover! You have to prune this vine regularly because it sprawls quickly.

Culinary Uses: Sauté the leaves with onions and jalapenos

Growing requirements:        

A sweet potato vine prefers soil that is moderately rich in nutrients but will grow in a variety of soil types as long as the soil drains well.

  1. Chickweed
    Chickweed-edible plant

Scientific name: Stellaria media

In Japanese cuisine, this herb is used for its soft blossoms and lush leaves. You can also feed it to chickens.

Culinary Uses:

Salads taste great with fresh flowers. You can stir-fry, stew, or make pesto with these leaves.

Growing requirements:

Chickweed grows best in cool, humid conditions, and it is a serious problem during the overwintering period for vegetable and flower bulb crops. In terms of size, habit, and overall appearance, common chickweed can vary greatly. In some cases, this may be genetic, while in others, it may be due to soil and environmental factors.

  1. American WintergreenAmerican Wintergreen

Scientific name: Gaultheria procumbens

The plant produces edible red berries, also known as boxberries or eastern teaberries. It is a great choice for shady areas because it is slow-growing and produces white flowers.

Culinary Uses: 

When making herbal tea, use these fresh leaves. The berries of this plant are used to make pies.

Growing requirements:

Early spring is the best time to plant wintergreen outdoors in Zones 3-8. Plant it in a sunny but shady location with organically rich, well-drained soil that is between 5.5 and 6.5 pH.

  1. French Sorrel
    French Sorrel-

Scientific name: Rumex scutatus

Lemon-flavored, low-growing ground cover for dappled sunlight, this plant is tasty and hardy. Don’t miss out on growing it if you love Italian food!

Culinary Uses: 

Italian dishes, such as pizza and pasta, give an enhanced taste through the leaves.

Growing requirements:

Seeds should be sown in pots 1cm deep and placed in a light place to germinate. After the rootball reaches a size that can be handled, divide it up and give each seedling a 5cm (2in) container. It is recommended to plant plants outdoors in late spring and to fill their pots with soil-based compost when they reach 30 cm (12 inches).

These are some edible ground plants. However, there are many out there; if you plan for those plants, you must follow some common steps, such as the plant you want to grow, climate, site, and many more.

Check this article if you want to sustainable garden 8 Vegetables You Can Regrow for Sustainable Gardening.

Importance of planning and selecting the right edible ground cover plants

Choose a proper site

The bigger, the better might seem like the best idea, but edible ground cover plants need special care. That’s why it’s best to start small and grow when you are ready. Depending on what plants you intend to grow, you’ll know exactly how big your plot should be. Here are some important points to remember while planning

  • It is important to know, approximately six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day are needed to grow most edible plants.
  • Pick a site that does not cast shadows over the plot from trees or structures.
  • Ideally, your garden should be situated so that it receives as much sunlight as possible from the south.
  • Gardeners with a west-facing orientation will benefit from the strong afternoon sun, while those with an east-facing orientation will benefit from the weaker morning sun.
  • You should consider the climate where you live when choosing plants.
  • If you are planting during a specific time of year, consider which plants will grow best at that time. Talk to a staff member at your local plant nursery about seed packets or labels on seedlings to get an idea.

Tips on how to choose the best plants for your specific needs

Consider the rainfall you get annually

  • Watering is necessary for most edible plants, but
  • Sage and rosemary can tolerate droughts.
  • Among the fruits and vegetables that are drought-tolerant are cassava, sweet potatoes, and pomegranates.

Consider the climate


The warm-season crops should be planted once the summer season begins. Summer is the time for cucumbers, tomatoes, and melons – all those things you crave when it’s hot outside. Growing leafy greens can be a challenge (many do not tolerate excessive heat), so choose varieties that flower slowly (those that will not bolt), and plant your basil during this time of year. The summer is the time for planting root vegetables like carrots and radishes.


The use of a mini greenhouse can help plants overwinter in climates that allow them to. As you go through September and October, you will be focusing on cool season crops as well as those that will overwinter well or grow rapidly.

  • Arugula, lettuce, green onions, garlic, cover crops, and any bulbing annual flowers, such as saffron crocuses, can all be planted.
  • If you want to time your sowing, it’s best to consult local resources.

Attract pollinators

Many herbs and native plants are attracted to birds, butterflies, and bees, including wild strawberries. Having bee-friendly plants in your yard is great for the environment, but if you have young children or a sting allergy, you should hold off.

Planting and Maintenance

How to plant an edible garden?

  • Your space – You can start an edible garden with as little as one plant in a pot.
  • The best location – preferably sunny with easy access to water, although many edible plants can also be grown in partial shade.
  • Soil type – organically rich soil with good drainage.
  • The type of food and plants you would like to grow and eat.
  • It is important to consider who will be using the garden and how they will have access to it – whether you will need to build raised beds and how much space is needed for wheelchair access.
  • How you plan to use the garden – may require space for meals or group activities.
  • Consider the infrastructure you’ll need – storage sheds, cabinets, and potting benches are useful for potting plants and storing materials.

How to efficiently maintain the edible ground cover plants:

Sunlight in abundance

It is recommended to find a site with at least six hours of full sun per day — eight to ten hours would be even better. It is ideal to have southern exposure. Root and leafy crops can tolerate light shade; however, most edible plants prefer full sun.

Rich soil

Fertile, loamy soil with proper drainage and water retention is ideal for edible crops.

Drainage of 2.5-15 cm per hour (one to six inches) implies proper drainage. You should be able to grow most edible crops well.

Fast drainage is a characteristic of sandy soils and is generally greater than 15 cm (six inches) per hour.

Mulch as a layer

Mulch protects plant roots from heat, suppresses weeds, and protects against moisture loss. Maintain at least 2-3 inches of space between the mulch and the plant itself as you spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch throughout your garden bed.

Water your garden regularly

Generally, fruits and vegetables like to be watered 1-2 times a week. It is important to water the top 6 inches of soil when deep watering.  The best way to ensure effective and efficient irrigation is with drip irrigation.


It’s important to check your edible ground cover plants as they grow for diseases and pests to make sure you can harvest them.

  • The foliage of an herb can be harvested at once up to 75% of the time.
  • Harvest edible plants in the early morning after the dew has dried.
  • For maximum flavor, harvest before plants flower.


When young plants are growing rapidly, liquid fertilizers work best since they penetrate the soil quickly and are absorbed by the roots rapidly. It is recommended that these fertilizers be applied once or twice a week. Fertilize your plants with organic fertilizer spikes or granular fertilizer once they have reached maturity. Your plants will receive time-released food from both products, and you will need to apply them less frequently.

Control pests and diseases

A crop rotation reduces pest concentrations in specific areas, confuses pests, and improves soil fertility.

Pests can be deterred by planting strong-scented herbs near vegetables. You can take this simple step to reduce the number of garden pests in your yard.




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