We, aka Dane, have a total of 128 plants to plant in our landscaping! totally changing the look of our 1860s home! Dane, being the inventor he is, came up with a pretty slick #landscaping hack to get these plants in the ground faster + cleaner! . Auger // @Lowes . And he looks pretty damn good doing it . #checkitout #landscapinghacks #diylandscaping #landscapingprojects #plantingseason #diyoutdoors #handyman #handyhusband #houseprojects #diyhack #learning #diyvideos #auger #powertools #homeimprovement #lowes #loweshomeimprovement

Bejeweled – Taylor Swift

In this TikTok video making the rounds on landcaping-Tok, a couple shows off a clever planting hack they used to efficiently add 128 plants to their home’s landscape. In it, they use a wooden jig with a circle cut out of the middle to:

burn a circular hole in the landscape fabric;auger a hole into the ground;place a plant inside; and thenremove the jig, along with the excess dirt the jig is holding.

Anyone who’s ever been tasked with putting multiple large plants into the ground knows how laborious that process can be, so this is a tempting, un-messy solution.

“This helps not only with backfilling after planting, but also containing the remaining soil nicely to dispose of it rather than spreading it out over the weed fabric,” says Greg Niewold, owner of Power Planter, Inc.

Overall, the planting hack is clever, which is likely why this video is going viral. However, several elements must be considered when using this method.

What To Watch Out For If You Use a Wooden Jig for Planting

Burning landscape fabric with a torch is not good for your health or the environment. Instead, says Niewold, use a box knife to cut an X in the fabric, which is also better for weed prevention.The jig will cost a bit of money to build, but is only useful for one size of plant container and can’t be used to plant multiple plants that are clumped together, says Niewold.The jig would likely not work on an incline or if it were sitting atop mulch or landscape rock because dirt would get under the box.The diameter of the hole relative to the size of the plant appears to be on the small side. It should be at least two, but up to four times bigger than the plant in order to give the roots optimal room for growth. This is especially important in clay soils.Compost or other nutrient-rich amendments should be added to the hole prior to planting, and it’s important to lightly break the plant root ball. (It’s possible that they were doing this but just didn’t show it in the video editing.)

Beyond those considerations, the landscape fabric appears to be incorrect, says Jeremy Martin of Willow Gates Landscaping. The video shows a nearly waterproof fabric, but home weed barrier should be more porous to let water flow through. Martin actually recommends not using a weed barrier at all, except for in gravel-mulched yards.

“Weed barrier doesn’t really stop weeds, period,” he says. “It’s an unnecessary add-on that is promoted by suppliers and/or contractors looking to find an additional sale and has little value under organic mulches.”

How to Make a Wooden Jig for Planting

To make the jig, use a circular saw to cut the square board and sides and a jigsaw to cut the circle and the handholds. Screw in the sidewalls, leaving a gap in the corner where dirt can be dumped out. An exterior sealer would also help protect it from moisture from the dirt. “Making a box jig like this would be a great weekend project,” says Niewold.

About the Experts

Greg Niewold owns Power Planter, Inc., which makes garden-friendly earth augers and was founded by his grandfather more than 50 years ago. Niewold has also taught high school agriculture, industrial technology, woodworking and carpentry.Jeremy Martin is owner of Willow Gates Landscaping in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, which he founded in 2005. He shares his passion for the industry by teaching installer courses, plus speaking at industry events.Read More