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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Best Plants for Butterflies for the Northeast

These plants promise to attract a variety of butterflies to your garden.

One of the best ways to encourage butterflies in your garden is to grow food plants for caterpillars. Adult butterflies spend their short lives looking for mates and laying eggs. Where better to congregate than in a garden where their offspring can hatch and grow safely to adulthood? Nectar-rich flowers feed them while they search, so plan your garden to satisfy both needs.

Violets, pansies, and Johnny-jump-ups feed the young of many fritillary species. Drifts of these hardy, sweetly scented flowers attract the dramatic, 3-inch-wide great spangled fritillary as well as smaller meadow fritillary and their intricately patterned relatives. New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) and related species host the caterpillars of butterflies such as clouded sulfurs, checkered whites, and pearl crescents. Many adult butterflies, especially the monarch, depend on its abundant nectar for energy in late summer and early autumn. Other important late-season nectar sources include zinnia, marigold (Tagetes spp.), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium spp.), and sedum (Sedum spectabile).

To encourage the widest variety of butterflies, let your garden go wild around the edges; leave room for wild grasses, clover, nettles (Urtica spp.), willows, sassafras, and milkweed (Asclepias spp.). Thickets, marshes, meadows, and wooded edges provide the rich habitats that butterflies call home.

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