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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Popular in Gardening

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Basil

Ocimum basilicum

Basil dishes up classic Italian flavor in eye-catching bushy plants suitable for garden beds or containers. Grow this tasty beauty in a sunny spot, and you'll reap rewards of flavorful foliage in shades of green, purple, or bronze. Basil lends a distinctive taste to salads, pizza, and pasta dishes. Use small leaves whole; chop larger leaves. Add leaves to dishes just before serving for greatest taste and aroma. Basil plants are exceedingly sensitive to cold; start basil seeds indoors or plant basil outside after all danger of frost has passed.

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1 to 3 feet

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1-3 feet wide

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more varieties for Basil

'African Blue' basil
'African Blue' basil
Ocimum 'African Blue' is a hybrid basil that can grow up to 4 feet tall and wide. Young leaves have a purplish-blue cast but turn green when mature. Flowers are pink, making it an attractive ornamental plant. It has a camphor scent and less desirable flavor than most culinary basils, but it can be used in cooking.
'Aristotle' basil
'Aristotle' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Aristotle' forms a neat, compact mound of tightly packed leaves that reaches up to a foot tall. Start harvesting the fine leaves when the plant reaches 6 inches in height. It is especially suited to growing in containers.
'Boxwood' basil
'Boxwood' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Boxwood' is a hard-working variety that grows only 6 to 12 inches tall, but is big on flavor and makes an excellent edging plant in a bed near your kitchen door. Or try growing it in pots and window boxes.
'Cardinal' basil
'Cardinal' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Cardinal' is named for its reddish-purple flower clusters that resemble celosia. It also has attractive burgundy stems on plants that reach 24-30 inches tall. Harvest and use the green leaves as you would other culinary basils.
'Cinnamon' basil
'Cinnamon' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Cinnamon' is grown specifically for its tasty, cinnamon-flavor leaves. It grows 18 inches tall and wide and thrives in hot, sunny locations.
'Genovese' basil
'Genovese' basil
Ocimum 'Genovese' is perfect for fans of fresh pesto. This large-leaf Italian basil yields plentiful foliage packed with aromatic oils, ideal for true Neapolitan-style cooking. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
'Greek Column' basil
'Greek Column' basil
Ocimum x citriodorum 'Greek Column' is a tall, narrow variety that bears lemon-scented leaves. It grows 36 inches tall and 10 inches wide.
Lemon basil
Lemon basil
Ocimum x citriodorum is a summer treat; there's nothing as refreshing a sprig of lemon basil. This easy-to-grow herb produces leaves with a light lemony fragrance and flavor. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
'Magical Michael' basil
'Magical Michael' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Magical Michael' has a compact, well-branched growing habit, making it ideal for container culture. An All-America Selections winner, it's prized for its bold white and purple flowers. It grows 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
'Mrs. Burns' Lemon' basil
'Mrs. Burns' Lemon' basil
Ocimum x citriodorum 'Mrs. Burns' Lemon' is a heat-loving heirloom basil variety from New Mexico. It grows 18-24 inches tall and has an intense lemony fragrance and flavor. Grow it in herb gardens, vegetable gardens, or containers.
'Napolitano' basil
'Napolitano' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Napolitano' (also called Italian large-leaf basil) is one of the best varieties for pesto. The large, fragrant leaves can be harvested all summer long. It's a productive variety that grows 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide.
'Osmin' basil
'Osmin' basil
Ocimum 'Osmin' offers glossy, deep purple leaves that give off a sweet, fruity aroma that lends pungent color to culinary creations. Tidy plants grow 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide and thrive in pots.
'Pesto Perpetua' basil
'Pesto Perpetua' basil
Ocimum x citriodorum 'Pesto Perpetua' is a fragrant variety that produces bright green leaves edged in cream. It grows 36 to 48 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
'Purple Ruffles' basil
'Purple Ruffles' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Purple Ruffles' is an award-winning selection that has eye-catching wavy, purple leaves. It is a tough annual that works well in pesto, salads, or garnishes. It grows 24 inches tall and 16 inches wide.
'Red Rubin' basil
'Red Rubin' basil
Ocimum 'Red Rubin' dresses up garden-fresh dishes with purple-toned leaves. This basil grows about 2 feet tall and 14 inches wide, making it ideal for containers or garden beds.
'Serrata' basil
'Serrata' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Serrata' is quite ornamental with its frilly leaves on compact plants that reach 12-16 inches tall. The foliage makes great filler for flower arrangements. It is a Southeast Asian type with good basil flavor.
'Siam Queen' basil
'Siam Queen' basil
Ocimum 'Siam Queen' is beautiful and bushy, soaring to 3 feet tall. Pick leaves or purple flowers to infuse stir-fry, oils, or salad with traditional Thai flavors.
'Spicy Bush' basil
'Spicy Bush' basil
Ocimum 'Spicy Bush' is a compact variety (12 inches tall and wide) with tiny leaves, making it an ideal plant for edging gardens or growing in containers.
'Spicy Globe' basil
'Spicy Globe' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Spicy Globe' is one of the best basil varieties for growing in small spaces, reaching only 6-10 inches tall. It has a piquant flavor, tiny leaves, and compact form. It makes a great edging plant for herb gardens or flower borders.
'Sweet Thai' basil
'Sweet Thai' basil
Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Thai' has a pronounced anise flavor and pretty reddish-purple stems on plants that grow 12-18 inches tall.
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