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:

See More

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.

View Slideshow

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.

View Video

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.

See More

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.

View Video

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.

View Video

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.

View Slideshow
Popular in Gardening

Get Rid of Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats -- those annoying little insects that fly around your houseplants -- can be easy to deal with. Check out our tips.

Insects play an incredibly important role in our ecosystem; that being said, there's a place for them, and that place is outdoors. Fungus gnats are not at all harmful to people or pets. However, when you begin to find them swarming plants in the house or greenhouse, it's time to get rid of the fungus gnats.

First things first, make sure fungus gnats are the real culprit; they are often confused with fruit flies. Fungus gnats look like small mosquitoes just 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch long. They are weak fliers so they tend to remain stationary, and they are often discovered by flying up when disturbed from resting on the soil surface of houseplants, compost piles, or wet bags of soil. Adult females lay up to 300 eggs in moist organic debris or potting soil. In three or four days the tiny larva appear with dark heads and whitish bodies. The larva feed on plant roots; this can stress the plants and leave openings for disease. The first symptoms of damage you'll see are wilting and general decline of plant health.

There are several preventative measures that will be helpful to get rid of fungus gnats. Since fungus gnats thrive under moist conditions, especially in decaying vegetation and fungi, let potting soil dry out between waterings. Fungus gnats often become a problem in autumn and winter when plants are brought indoors. Inspect each plant before they're brought in and be careful not to overwater the adults or larvae. Plants with poor drainage will be more susceptible to infestation, so repot plants if that is a concern. In the greenhouse, be careful to keep extra potting soil dry in a closed container. Also try to avoid standing water and hose leaks, and clean up unnecessary piles of soil or compost.

To check for and monitor the number of fungus gnats you have, you may want to purchase nontoxic, yellow sticky traps. Lay them horizontally over the rim of the pot. The adult gnats will stick to the traps. If the numbers are high, repot your plant in sterile potting mix after washing the roots thoroughly. Or try another form of pest control: Using beneficial nematodes works well and eliminates all the problems associated with chemical applications or having to repot a large number of plants. These nematodes, sold under the names of Scanmask and Nemasys, are microscopic, wormlike creatures that will destroy the fungus gnats but are not harmful to people, pets, plants, or earthworms. These products can be used whenever the soil is not frozen and will keep working for many months. If your garden center does not carry these products, you can find them in your gardening catalogs and online.

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...