• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to plant a shaded plant bed.


    1 Pull all the weeds from the planting area by hand.
    2 Create a planting bed with a loam mixture of compose, sand, topsoil.
    3 Rake loam over planting area to a depth of 4 inches.
    4 Mix starter fertilizer with superphosphorous and rake it into the loam.
    5 Randomly set plants in the planting bed, spacing them 12 to 16 inches apart.
    6 Press down on each pot to mark its location in the soil.
    7 Dig a hole at each pot impression with a cultivator.
    8 Place plants in the holes and backfill to the same depth as in the pot.
    9 Set up a sprinkler and liberally water the planting bed for the first two days.
    10 After three days cover the planting bed with 1 inch of pine-bark mulch.
    11 Water twice a week throughout the summer.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      depending on the amount of weeding you must do prior to planting.
Ask TOH users about Gardening

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • hand cultivator
        Three-prong cultivator

      Shopping List

      1. Shade-tolerant plants

      2. Starter fertilizer

      3. Superphosphorous

      4. Bark mulch