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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Caring for Your Herb Garden

Regular pruning will make your garden look its best.

1. Pinching. Whether you grow herbs outdoors or indoors, keep the plants lush and bushy by regularly pinching 2 to 3 inches off the tips. If you desire more leaves, pinch off any flowers that form. When transplanting, remove the top two leaves from each plant to encourage root growth.

Get inspired to grow even more herbs with this list of an herb-lover's favorites.

Use soil enhancements, fertilizers, and mulch to improve herb growth.

2. Fertilizing and mulching. Herbs grow best in well-drained soil. Unless you already have the alkaline or sandy soil that herbs tolerate, throw a handful each of sand, powdered lime, and powdered gypsum into every planting hole. If you have clay soil or extremely sandy ground, add compost and chopped leaves each season. At planting time and each spring, build the soil by scratching in 3 inches of compost and rotted manure. If plants appear weak, pale, or otherwise unhealthy, give them a drink of diluted fish fertilizer. Feed potted herbs every two to three weeks. Too much fertilizer (particularly nitrogen) results in lots of green leaves without much fragrance or flavor. Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as cocoa bean hulls or wood chips, on bare ground between plants to suppress weeds and help preserve soil moisture. Replace mulch as it decomposes. If you live in a cold climate, use chopped leaf mulch to help protect plants over winter. After the ground freezes, lay a 4-inch layer of leaves around plants. Lay evergreen boughs over gray-leaf herbs, which need extra protection from the cold.

3. Spring pruning. Prune and clean up dead stems of last year's growth on plants, such as lemon balm, mint, artemisia, and tansy, that weren't cut back in autumn. Some perennial herbs become woody or lanky after several years in the garden. In spring, prune them back by one-third before new growth begins, in order to encourage bushy, more compact overall forms, as well as more foliage and flowers.

4. Fall cleanup. After the first frost in fall, pull up spent annual plants, such as calendula, dill, cilantro, and chervil. Shake the soil off their roots, leaving it in the garden, and toss the plant remains on the compost pile. Many gardeners prefer to leave the remains of perennial plants in the garden over winter. The stems catch leaves and snow that provide a natural blanket for the plant during the cold months. After the weather warms in spring and perennial herbs start to show new growth, trim off any dead parts and compost them.

herb-growing tips

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