• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares tips for selecting, planting and growing low-maintenance ground cover.

    1. Use a spade fork to loosen and turn over the soil in the garden bed.
    2. Spread 2 inches of compost over the bed, and then turn it into the soil with a spade fork.
    3. Sprinkle starter fertilizer over the bed and lightly rake it into the soil.
    4. Use a garden trowel to dig a hole for a ground-cover plant no deeper than the root ball.
    5. Remove the plant from its pot and loosen the compacted roots by hand.
    6. Set the plant into the hole, backfill around it with soil.
    7. Continue planting ground cover, spacing the plants about 12 inches apart.
    8. Use a watering can to thoroughly water all plants. Water frequently for the first few weeks.
    9. Spread about 2 inches of bark mulch around each plant, but don't pile it up too tightly to the base of the plants.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Digging is minimum and the plants are small
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      Video Directory

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      Tools List

      • spade fork
        Spade fork
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • hand trowel
        Garden trowel
      • watering can
        Watering can
      • wheelbarrow

      Shopping List

      Ground-cover plants, such as pachysandra, English ivy, hay-scented fern, sweet woodruff, low-bush blueberry, thyme and sedum


      Starter fertilizer

      Bark mulch