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How to Revitalize a Landscape for Free

Ask This Old House landscape designer Jenn Nawada updates a landscape by moving around, dividing, and pruning the current plants in the yard.

Steps:

  1. First, remove any plants that have died with the shovel.
  2. To fill any big holes left behind by dead plants, look around the yard to find good transplanting candidates. Plants that appear to be in the shade of trees are good choices, since the shade of the tree might have grown over time and stunted the growth of those plants anyway.
  3. When moving larger plants, tie branches together using twine and mark where the face of the plant is. Be sure to replant it with the face in the right direction.
  4. To fill smaller holes, divide perennials in the yard and even them out across the blank spaces. Dig a decent-sized root ball around the plant with the shovel, then remove the plant.
  5. Using the shovel, cut the root ball in half. Then replant the two halves in different areas.
  6. Give all the transplanted plants a good watering. Fertilizing around the plants can help nourish them once they’ve been moved.

Resources:

Jenn used only plants that already existed in this homeowner’s yard, but they can also be found at nurseries. The tools Jenn used, including the tarp and shovels, can be found at home centers.

Expert assistance for this project was provided by Kelstrom Landscape, Inc. of West Roxbury, MA and Nawada Landscape Design.


Tools: