• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and gardening expert Carrie Kelly create and maintain a garden on a small scale.

    1. Line the bottom of the planting container with pieces of broken crockery.
    2. Add soil-less potting mix to planting box, filling it about halfway.
    3. Sprinkle time-release fertilizer into the box and mix it in by hand.
    4. Add about one teaspoon of water-absorbing crystals to the mix and work it in by hand.
    5. Install a small wooden trellis against one end of the planting box.
    6. Plant a patio-variety tomato plant at the base of the trellis.
    7. Add more soil to the planting box.
    8. Remove basil plant from pot and loosen the roots. Plant basil in the center of the box.
    9. Plant an oregano plant close to the end of the box opposite the trellis.
    10. Mix liquid fertilizer with water, then thoroughly water the plants.
    11. Spread about ¾ inch of cocoa shell mulch around each plant.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      No land or green thumb required
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      Tools List

      • watering can
        Watering can

      Shopping List

      Glazed ceramic, clay or plastic pot with drainage

      Pot raisers

      Cedar planting box

      Broken crockery, for lining bottom of container

      Soil-less potting mix

      Time-release fertilizer

      Water-absorbing crystals, added to potting mix

      Liquid fertilizer


      Cocoa shell mulch