• In this video, This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows how to replace grass with lush ground cover. If you can't stand mowing every week, this one's for you!

    1. Use grub hoe to remove all grass from planting area.
    2. Loosen up soil with tiller.
    3. Spread peat moss across area and till it into soil.
    4. Hand-broadcast low-nitrogen fertilizer onto the soil.
    5. Add bark mulch and rake out to create a 3-foot-wide planting strip.
    6. In shady area, use garden trowel to dig holes for individual ivy plants; space the holes about 10 inches apart.
    7. Plant the ivy in the holes, then spread another 3-foot-wide strip of mulch and repeat.
    8. In sunny area, spread fertilizer and mulch and plant pachysandra 4 to 6 inches apart.
    9. Water two to three times a week.
    10. If any weeds sprout, pull them out immediately.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      The planting itself isn't all that difficult, but it takes some time and effort to properly prep the soil
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      Tools List

      • hand hoe
        Grub hoe,
        used to strip off the grass
      • rotary tiller
        Gas-powered tiller,
        used to loosen up soil prior to planting
      • hand trowel
        Garden trowel,
        for digging plant holes
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake,
        used to spread mulch

      Shopping List

      1. Ivy
      for planting in sunny areas

      2. Pachysandra
      for planting in shady areas

      3. Peat moss
      used to maintain soil moisture

      4. Low-nitrogen fertilizer

      5. Bark mulch
      used to deter weeds and hold in moisture