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In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to properly plant an elevated garden.


1. Use a garden trowel to dig holes for plants no deeper than the root ball.

2. Pull the plants from their pots, and loosen compacted roots by hand.

3. Sprinkle a little starter fertilizer into the holes and mix a little more into the soil removed from the holes.

4. Set the plants into the holes, then backfill around them with amended soil; don't pack soil too tightly.

5. Arrange the taller plants along the rear of the bed, and put the shorter-growing plants in front. That way, taller plants won't block the sun from the other plants.

6. Thoroughly soak the garden with a watering wand.

7. Spread 2 inches of alfalfa straw around all the plants and over all bare soil.