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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Mums in the Fall Garden

Here's how to use mums in your garden.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • The Right Mum for the Right Place

      With so many colors and varieties, mums are both a blessing and a challenge. In this slide show, you'll see some of the best mums for your garden, and learn how expert garden designers make the best use of this versatile plant.

    • Zesty Jean

      With its bright coral outside petals and slightly darker center, this spreading mum brings early color to the fall garden. Knowledgeable garden center staff can help you select mums that will bloom in early, middle, and late fall, maximizing the weeks of color in your garden.

    • Sunny Robin

      This cheery yellow mum is another early bloomer, flowering in mid-September. Strong yellows can be a challenge in the summer garden, when so many other colors are present. In the fall garden, however, when light levels are lower, a mum like 'Sunny Robin' can brighten things up.

    • Delano

      Mums come in many forms, from a simple "single" daisylike look to the more complex "decorative" form of this variety. When selecting mums, look at the form as well as the color, and don't be afraid to experiment with forms you haven't tried in the past.

    • Spoon-Form Mum

      This unidentified mum is a good example of one of the more unusual mum forms: spoon. The name derives from the shape of the petals. Mums with distinctive forms deserve a spot in your garden where they can be enjoyed at close range, such as near an entry.

    • Autumn Red

      Because some mums are not reliably hardy, many gardeners treat all mums like annuals, planting new ones each spring or fall. If you'd prefer to hold over your mums, look for varieties that have been bred to snap back from bitterly cold winters. 'Autumn Red', shown here, was developed by the University of Minnesota and has withstood -30 degree F temperatures.

    • Florist Mums

      Most of the potted mums sold by florists are tender and will not survive winter. That doesn't mean that they can't be added to your garden for a season of color. The benefits of florist's mums, as this unidentified variety illustrates, are larger, more interesting flower forms and a range of interesting colors and color combinations.

    • Jasper

      Don't get hung up on a particular variety of mum. Breeders introduce hundreds of varieties each year, meaning that some older varieties have to fall by the wayside. 'Jasper' was widely available a couple of years back, but now may be hard to find. In most cases, with the aid of a good supplier, you can find mums that meet your needs.

    • Blizzard

      Don't overlook the fact that mums can be wonderful potted plants. Purchase them in bloom at a garden center, pop them into a window box or decorative pot, and enjoy them throughout the fall. Here, a potted white 'Blizzard' mum adds an eye-catching accent in a sea of pink blooms.

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      Just Plant It!

      Even if your garden plans or experience are modest, you owe it to yourself to plant some mums. One glance at these gorgeous, carefree workhorses is payment enough for the modest investment of your time and money.

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      Autumn Red in the Garden

      Although mums are probably the most widely planted fall flower, don't overlook other ways to dress up for autumn. Here, 'Autumn Red' mums combine with violet asters, brick red sedum, and ornamental grasses.

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      Next Slideshow 20 Best Perennials for Your Garden

      20 Best Perennials for Your Garden

      Here's an easy-grow collection of the best perennial flowers that are perfect for any garden -- especially if you're a beginner!
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