In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner maintain an overgrown perennial garden.
Steps for Maintaining an Overgrown Garden
- Spread a plastic tarp on the ground in front of the garden bed.
- Dig up the perennials with a transplanting shovel, then set the plants on the tarp. Fold the tarp over the plants.
- Use a reciprocating saw to trim the lower ends of fence pickets, removing any rotted wood.
- Remove all loose, blistered paint from the fence with a wire brush, a triangle scraper, and a putty knife.
- Brush a fresh coat of solid-body latex stain onto the fence.
- Use the transplanting shovel to cut each perennial into three or four parts.
- Trim the plant leaves very short with bypass pruners.
- Arrange a few of the divided perennials in the garden bed.
- Dig a shallow hole for each perennial, then sprinkle a little starter fertilizer into each hole.
- Set the plants into the holes, checking to be sure that they're at the proper depth.
- Backfill around each plant with excavated soil.
- Plant crocus, daffodil, and allium bulbs in between the perennials to produce colorful flowers in early spring.
- Spread 2 to 3 inches of pine bark mulch over the planting bed.
- Transplant the remaining divided perennials to a different garden bed.