10 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Gardening

You might not believe it, but you were born with a green thumb. It may have gone untended for a while, but it's there waiting for you to nudge it awake. Put away your theory of being a plant killer, that anything dies under your care. Forget those nagging thoughts of where your garden will live or when you'll find the time, it's there somewhere. It doesn't have to cost a fortune and you'll get more than you give. So, here are 10 tips for conquering your fear of gardening:

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Gardening Tips for Renters

Want to bring more green to your house or apartment? Using a few easy, inexpensive techniques, <a href="http://www.thehorticult.com/">The Horticult</a> shows how you can garden like you own the place -- without risking your security deposit. You don't have to own your home to create a garden that reflects your personal style. Grow your favorite plants and create an inspired landscape -- or patio, interior, or balcony -- using these fun, low-commitment methods. (Although you might want to check with your landlord about the larger projects!) And if you move, you can take it all with you. These 10 tips for renters will give your garden a new lease on life.

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Summer Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Drought-Tolerant Grasses

Drought! The word itself strikes fear into the hearts of gardeners everywhere. Scarce water resources, especially in hard hit areas such as California and Texas, are making it almost impossible to maintain traditional style lawns. That's why many people are replacing their lawns with groundcovers and native plants. But for those who want a lush green lawn, here are some less-thirsty options.

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How to Improve Garden Soil

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil ¿ but you don¿t have to live with it! Learn how to get the best garden soil possible through amendments, composting, and more.

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Top Shade Perennials

Shade plants are perfect for those tough spots in your yard. Learn about the best shade-loving perennials, including flowering shade perennials, partial shade perennials, and full-shade perennials.

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Landscape Ideas

Landscape ideas provide inspiration, and studies show that upgrading your landscape will add value to your home. Here are some great landscape ideas to improve your home's outward appeal.

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Storing Tender Flower Garden Bulbs

How to put dahlias, cannas, and glads into winter hibernation.

Frost brings an abrupt end to the growing season for tender bulbs -- cannas, callas, caladiums, dahlias, tuberous begonias, gladioluses, and tuberoses, to name some of the most common. Some might survive a winter outdoors in Zone 7 or warmer, but in colder climates they perish if left in the ground. You might think that the cost of new bulbs is low enough that it's not worth the hassle of digging and storing the bulbs. The thrifty among us dig them, however, and keep the same bulbs from year to year. Here's how.

The spectacular leaves and flowers of cannas are always a favorite of visitors to the Test Garden. But once the temperature drops to 28 degrees F. or so, the show ends and the leaves turn brown. Our dahlias, elephant ears, and glads look the same, so at that point it is time to bring them in.

To start the job, dig around the plant, being careful not to slice into the bulbs as you dig. lift the clump of roots from the ground and knock off as much soil as you can. Put the clumps in a dry, cool spot (but not where they might be exposed to freezing) for a week or so. When digging several varieties of bulbs, be sure to label each clump.

Once the clump has dried for a week, the remaining clods will crumble away easier. Don't worry if some dirt remains wedged among the roots. Place the roots in dry peat moss or vermiculite in a sturdy cardboard box. The peat moss will slow the loss of moisture from the roots and keep them from shriveling. Store the box at about 45 degrees F. (never below freezing) in a garage, crawl space, or basement. Warmer temperatures allow the roots to sprout in midwinter, and you don't want that to happen.

If you intend to divide the clumps, that's best left until you bring the roots out of storage in spring.

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