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How to Plant a Shaded Plant Bed

In this how-to video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook transforms a barren patch into a lush planting bed

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to plant a shaded plant bed.


1 Pull all the weeds from the planting area by hand.
2 Create a planting bed with a loam mixture of compose, sand, topsoil.
3 Rake loam over planting area to a depth of 4 inches.
4 Mix starter fertilizer with superphosphorous and rake it into the loam.
5 Randomly set plants in the planting bed, spacing them 12 to 16 inches apart.
6 Press down on each pot to mark its location in the soil.
7 Dig a hole at each pot impression with a cultivator.
8 Place plants in the holes and backfill to the same depth as in the pot.
9 Set up a sprinkler and liberally water the planting bed for the first two days.
10 After three days cover the planting bed with 1 inch of pine-bark mulch.
11 Water twice a week throughout the summer.