The Best Flowers for Wet Soil

Turn a wet, poorly drained spot in your yard into a colorful landscape feature with these perennial flowers and ornamental grasses.

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Fall Veggies to Plant Now

Grow these cool-season vegetables and herbs to extend your garden's harvests in spring and fall. This list of vegetables includes seasonal vegetables, green vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, winter vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fall vegetables and more.

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Improve Poor Drainage

Follow these tips to transform a poorly drained area into an easy-care garden.

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Tips and Tricks to Keep Plants Blooming

Deadheading is a popular practice ¿ but do you know all the ways to keep flowers on your plants longer? Follow these easy tips for keeping your favorite shrubs and flowers blooming longer.

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Top Plant Picks for Late-Summer Color

Keep the color coming on strong through the end of the growing season with these easy-care, reliable annuals and perennials.

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Plan for a Gorgeous Fall Landscape

See how two great gardeners -- one on the East Coast and one on the West -- created knock-your-socks-off fall yards -- and learn how you can do the same.

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Best Plants for Rock Gardens

Transforming an unsightly slope or mound in your backyard into a colorful rock garden is easy when you chose the right plants. These amazing, low-maintenance ground huggers don't mind poor soil but do need good drainage to survive. Here's a list of our top plants for rock gardens.

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First Year Tree Care

Newly planted trees are among the biggest landscape investments but also among the most vulnerable, particularly in winter.

Establishing trees on your lot is an important step, both for aesthetic reasons and more practical ones, such as lowering your energy bills in summer and winter. You can keep trees strong and healthy through the winter and beyond by avoiding some common mistakes.

Water Requirements
Lack of water is the biggest threat to young trees. It takes a new tree up to three years to develop roots to make up for those lost in the transplanting process. During that time, trees are especially vulnerable to drought, which leads to branch dieback and stem damage.

To get water directly to the roots, where it's needed the most, make a doughnutlike depression a few inches deep and 2-3 feet from the trunk so water will not run off. Not long ago, a dishlike depressing extending around the tree was considered ideal. But the doughnut works better because it prevents puddling around the trunk, where water could cause rot.

Learn more about successfully growing trees and shrubs.

Failure to Protect
Wrapping and staking are sometimes required by nurseries if their tree guarantee is to be honored. Wrapping the lower trunk with tree wrap or heavy paper will prevent sun scald until the canopy of leaves grows thick enough to shade the trunk. Wrapping also helps insulate the tree from the cold.

Staking was, until recently, a rule without exception. New research, however, has shown that some flex and sway is necessary for trees to develop strength and resilience- although too much movement in the wind will keep the roots constantly under stress and prevent them from settling and spreading. So, use the minimum staking necessary, perhaps none for small transplants, and take out stakes once they're no longer needed.

Girdling
Girdling can kill a tree quicker than any other type of injury because it can entirely cut off the flow of nutrients and water to the branches farther up the tree. To avoid girdling, remove anything that could bind around the trunk. Run guy wires through pieces of hose. When possible, tie branches with soft string or pieces of nylon hose that will stretch or break before they bind.

As winter progresses keep an eye on young trees. Don't let the harsh weather keep you from providing necessary care.

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