Plant by numbers

Plant by Numbers is a program for citizens who want beautiful, low-maintenance, pollinator-friendly landscaping but don’t know where to start. Inspired by paint-by-numbers, the program provides templates for full sun, full shade and partial shade areas that give guidance on what to plant where. There are currently two types of plans: plans for streetside gardens designed for easements and plans for streamside gardens designed for areas with wet soil.

Streetside plans
This set of plans is for planting in easements and areas along streets and sidewalks. Planting in easements provides the following benefits:

  • Improves water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces like streets and sidewalks
  • Food and habitat for local wildlife, including pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies
     

Select a link below to download* a Plant By Numbers: Streetside layout.

* Note: To save the layout document, select the download arrow (⭳). Do not select "Open with" or you will receive an error message.

    Streamside plans
    This set of plans is for areas with wet soils, such as in a greenway along a stream or pond, or in areas that collect water during periods of rainfall. Planting along streams provides the following benefits:

    • Improves water quality by providing a natural buffer that filters pollutants from stormwater runoff before the water enters a creek
    • Establishing roots to reinforce streambanks, helping prevent erosion
    • Food and habitat for local wildlife, including pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies
       

    Select a link below to download* a Plant By Numbers: Streamside layout.

    Note: To save the layout document, select the download arrow (). Do not select "Open with" or you will receive an error message.

      Preparing your lawn for planting

      Plant By Numbers features plants native to the Bluegrass region. These plants are low maintenance and typically thrive in Kentucky's climate, but may need help getting established and may require the removal of invasive plants competing for the same resources. Follow these steps from the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture to learn how to prepare and maintain your garden.

      1. Remove invasive species. The University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture has created a list of common invasive species including how to manage them.
      2. Perform a soil test. This will help determine if you need to add any nutrients to your soil and how much.
      3. Apply erosion control. A professional can also help you determine if your planting area will need erosion control, and what measures to take. Erosion control may include adding straw, mulch, or silt fences.
      4. Plant your plants. If you're new to gardening or are unsure how plants will grow in your soil, start small and see how a few plants grow before planting your entire garden.
      5. Keep an eye on your planting area: after rain events, check for signs of erosion and address them as needed.
      6. Watch your garden grow! What do the buds and leaves look like? What sort of wildlife are benefiting from your streamside garden? If you notice invasive plants reappearing, weed and properly dispose of them.

       

      Streetside planting tips

      • Plants in easements are not to exceed 2.5 feet in height, except for trees.
      • A permit is required from LFUCG Urban Forestry to remove and/or plant a tree in the easement area. Visit lexingtonky.gov/street-trees for additional information.
      • Allow for 10 feet of clearance around fire hydrants for accessibility.
      • Call 811 to have utility lines marked before digging.

       

      Streamside planting tips

      • If streambanks are steep or eroding, they are unstable. Contact a professional to determine if your streambank may need regrading and to see what permits are necessary to accomplish this.

       

      Where to buy plants
      The following shops carry Kentucky native plants. Be sure to ask if plants are free of neonicotinoids, which are harmful to pollinators:

      • Ironweed Nursery (online store)
      • King’s Nursery
      • Michler’s Greenhouses
      • Prairie Moon Nursery (online store)
      • Prairie Nursery (online store)
      • Redmond’s Garden Center
      • UK Horticulture Club
      • Springhouse Gardens
      • Wilson’s Nursery

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