Groundcovers and other creeping plants should be used sparingly in bushfire prone areas. These plants can accumulate large amounts of fine fuels and trap embers and other wind-driven debris. Dry groundcovers will light up almost instantaneously when it meets an ignition source, so keep these plants green and watered and use non-combustible breaks to separate areas of vegetation.
- Select plants that have favourable flammability characteristics. Evergreen plants that don’t produce a lot of dead plant material are best.
- Break up large or continuous areas of groundcovers with strategically placed pathways and open spaces of non-combustible surfaces.
- Keep groundcovers short, well-watered and clear of debris, especially during warmer weather.
- During a bushfire, keep any groundcovers wet until long after the fire front has passed.
- Avoid plants that are highly flammable, or which produce a lot of dead plant material.
- Avoid planting large, continuous areas of vegetation.
- Manage waste vegetation in a way which does not create an additional risk. For example, don’t slash during hot weather and don’t store waste vegetation in large compost piles, as these are very vulnerable to fire. Large, dry stacks of waste vegetation are vulnerable to ember and flame attack and can spread fire to other parts of the garden.
Groundcovers and other creeping plants should be used sparingly (source: TrongNguyen/Shutterstock)