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In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook plants a no-fuss city garden.


1. Clear the garden surface of all weeds, leaves and concrete edging. Shovel all debris into a wheelbarrow and dispose of it.
2. Use a shovel to remove the upper 6 inches of topsoil from the garden. Save the topsoil for use later.
3. Remove another 6 inches of soil, shoveling it into the wheelbarrow and disposing it elsewhere.
4. Cover the garden with sand and compost. Turn the sand and compost into the soil with shovels.
5. Mix one bag of sand and one bag of compost into the topsoil removed from the garden earlier. Then spread the topsoil over the garden, then rake it smooth.
6. Set the potted plants in place along the rear of the garden.
7. Dig planting holes slightly larger than the pots.
8. Remove the plants from the pots, scratch loose the root ball, then set the plant into the hole with its best face facing forward.
9. Sprinkle a handful of starter fertilizer around the plant, then backfill with topsoil.
10. Dig planting holes for the dwarf species of shrubs and perennials, making sure to maintain the proper spacing.
11. Plant one vine at each end of the garden. When you set the plant into the hole, tip it toward the fence.
12. After backfilling the last plant, immediately water the garden, and then water it again the next day.
13. Cover ground between the plants with 2 inches of pine-bark mulch.
14. Water once a week until the ground freezes.