Plant by numbers

Plant by numbers is a program for residents 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. Guides are currently available in three categories:

  1. Front yard guides for planting next to buildings
  2. Streetside guides for planting in easements and around mailboxes
  3. Streamside guides for planting in areas with wet soil

* Note: Select a link below to download a guide. To save the guide document, select the download arrow. Do not select "Open with" or you will receive an error message.

Front yard guides
These guides deal with planting in front yards, next to buildings, and along the property side of sidewalks. Note: Plants in easements should not grow over two and a half feet. For planting along easements, please see our streetside guides, which focus on shorter growing plants.


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


Streamside guides
This set of guides 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:

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 garden? If you notice invasive plants reappearing, weed them and properly dispose of them.


Streetside planting tips

  • Plants in easements are not to exceed two and a half 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 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 regarding 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


Learn more
Visit these websites to find more information on individual plants: