The Crepe Myrtle and ground cover encircling the tree were planted last year directly into the ground. Black plastic then sheet roofing cover the soil with holes cut out for the other plants which are in gallon size planting pots. We cut the materials about 18 inches away from the base of the tree. This area basically maintenance free except for watering during dry spells. After several years of trying numerous methods of ridding the wire grass, I decided to go this route. This is the second season and the shrub and other plants are thriving.