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Need help estimating ground cover install


LawnSite Member
Coatesville, PA
I have to admit that I have never dealt with planting any type of ground cover. I have a customer that wants me to give him an estimate on how much it would cost to plant ground cover in his backyard. Area that I would be planting is on a slight slope and not a great deal of sun. He did try to grow grass there, but he has not had much luck. Thats why we are contemplating some type of ground cover. My questions are as follows: (I must apologize ahead of time if these questions are stupid)

1) Best type of ground cover to use (his only criterias are: fast growing, does well in not complete sunlight, and most cost effective way to do it)

2) does he have to kill the little bit of grass he currently has there? ( he was talking about using roundup to kill the grass on the hill, but he does want to keep the area at the bottom that is flat, I have heard that you should separate the areas of grass that you are going to kill (with roundup) from the ones you wont(by digging an edge as a dividing line? )

3) And how do I go about estimating this? Whats the going rate? I know that I have to find the square footage that I need to plant on, which I will get tomorrow. ( I have heard that spacing should be 6" or 12", depends I guess on how full you want it to look). I know that with all other aspects of landscaping that I try to make at least $60/ man hour. But this would only work if I had any idea of how long it would take me. Which I do not know.

4) Is there a preferred time of year to do this? Spring or Fall (my preferred time is now because it is slow and I need the money :) ) But I would like to know if there is a better time, to do a good job.

I would like to be able to get this job since he is a new lawn cutting customer. So any help would be truly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Sorry about the long post.



LawnSite Platinum Member
pachysandra, English ivy are 2 choices if still available. Do not kill the grass its stopping erosion. The easiest method to plant a few hundred plants is a 19 volt drill with a 2" arbor on it, if you don't want to buy an arbor bit then a round steel stake and a hand sledge will make the holes fast an easy just be sure to make them a little larger than needed and add a a small amount of peat moss in each hole. the ground cover will soon overwhelm the grass that was left will spread quickly.


LawnSite Platinum Member
No you have to know what your cost are and how much profit you need to make, but if you can't get at least $1 per plant then I would not do it. Plant every 6" and figure out how many plants you need, less that 100 plants and the price would still minumum $100. Its no fun working on the side of inclines.


LawnSite Senior Member
Ground cover should be planted a 6" apart for the best coverage the quickest.
Figure out your measurements and determine the amount you will need.

Ajuga --- ----Bronze Beauty----- 45.00 per flat installed
Hypericum ----St.Johns Wart -----57.90 per flat installed
Pachysandra ---------------------43.79 per flat installed
Vinca minor ---Periwinkle ---------47.90 per flat installed