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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How to Control Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew, a common disease, can quickly turn your garden from gorgeous to ghastly. These tips help prevent powdery mildew in your yard.

If your plants' leaves have a white or gray dust on them, powdery mildew is probably attacking your garden. It's a common disease, and different strains of powdery mildew attack a wide range of plants.

The bad news is that there's no good treatment of powdery mildew. Happily, though, you can control powdery mildew.

How to Control Powdery Mildew

Keep Your Garden Clean: Powdery mildew spores can overwinter in your garden -- so remove all affected fallen leaves from your garden during and at the end of the season. If you see leaves that are just beginning to show the disease, pluck them off the plant and throw them away to help keep powdery mildew from spreading to healthy plants.

Encourage Air Flow: Powdery mildew loves still, humid conditions, so keep spaces between your plants for air to flow through. Divide perennials every few years to keep them loose and open and prune trees and shrubs so they don't get too thick. Also: Consider airflow when you choose spots for your plants. Avoid planting mildew-prone plants in especially sheltered spots.

Apply Fungicides: Fungicides can effectively control powdery mildew from spreading, but they're not as good at killing the disease once it's established. So use fungicides -- either traditional or organic -- in wet, humid periods before you see a problem or just as the plants first start to show symptoms. Look for these products at your local garden center, nursery, or online.

Choose Varieties that are Resistant to Powdery Mildew

Some plants have been bred to resist the disease better than others. While they can certainly suffer from the disease, powdery mildew tends to affect them less than on mildew-prone varieties. Here are some top-performing mildew-resistant varieties:

Adirondack crabapple

Aurora dogwood

Blue Stocking bee balm

Bonica rose

Cherokee Brave dogwood

David phlox

Donald Wyman crabapple

Hopi crape myrtle

Iceberg rose

James McFarlane lilac

Marshall's Delight bee balm

Miss Kim lilac

Natascha phlox

Natchez crape myrtle

Olympiad rose

Prairifire crab apple

Profusion zinnias

Sexy Rexy rose

Sheer Bliss rose

Topaz Jewel rose

Violet Queen bee balm

Zahara zinnias

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