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

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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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Stop Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles can be a huge hindrance to a healthy garden. Getting rid of Japanese beetles can seem like a difficult task, but we show you how to kill Japanese beetles, along with tips for Japanese beetle control and management.

Hand-Picking Japanese Beetles

If Japanese beetle infestations are light, the safest and most inexpensive route to killing the beetles is to pick them off the plants by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

Pesticides for Japanese Beetles

A number of pesticides are available against Japanese beetles. Some ingredients to look for on pesticide packaging include carbaryl, acephate, and permethrin.

Organic, neem-based pesticides can also provide good control, as can insecticidal soaps. Note: Insecticidal soaps will kill the beetles, but don't provide any ongoing protection to your plants.

Click here to learn about 10 common garden pests and how to treat them.

Get Rid of Grubs

While it's the adult Japanese beetles that cause the most damage, their larval form -- grubs -- can also cause lawn problems. If your lawn has a grub infestation, treating for the grubs will kill most of them before they can emerge as adult beetles.

A number of grub-killing products are quite effective. There are also organic options including beneficial nematodes.

Learn more about stopping grubs.

Kill Japanese Beetles Quickly

The beetles release chemicals called pheromones into the air. These pheromones attract other beetles. So if you see a few of the bugs, they'll probably attract more. Get rid of Japanese beetles early, before they can invite more of their friends to feed on your plants.

Learn more of the best ways to get rid of bugs.

Avoid Japanese Beetle Traps

University research indicates that using Japanese beetle traps can actually make problems worse. The traps are intended to trap and kill the beetles in your yard. However, they use pheromones to attract the beetles to the traps. And these pheromones bring more beetles into your yard than the traps can catch.

Timing

Japanese beetles tend to be most active when temperatures are over 85 degrees Fahrenheit and the air is relatively still. Be especially watchful for new beetles coming into your yard during these conditions.

Pick the Right Plants

While Japanese beetles eat hundreds of different plants, they do tend to avoid:

Arborvitae
Boxwood
Dogwood
Firs
Hemlock
Holly
Junipers
Lilac
Magnolia
Oaks
Pines
Redbud
Red maple
Rhododendron

See the secrets to eliminating other types of garden pests.

Easy Lawn-Care Tips

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