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

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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

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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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Popular in Gardening

Herbal Window Box

Dress up your windows, indoors or outdoors, with a window box full of fragrant and flavorful herbs.

Eye-level Bounty

Planting in a plastic liner that fits a wood, metal, or other box makes changing the plantings easy. Toward the end of the gardening season, remove annuals from the window box and compost them; transplant perennials to the garden, doing so early enough to give them time to establish themselves before winter.

What You Need:

Fresh culinary herbs will bewithin arm's reach once you'vecreated this window box.
  • 6 to 10 herb plants in 3-inch pots (rosemary, parsley, oregano, lavendar, mint, etc.)
  • Lightweight potting mix
  • Compost or composted manure
  • Water-retentive polymer crystals
  • Window box and plastic liner sized to match your windowsill
  • Watering can

Edible flowers are a great addition to an herb window box; click here for growing tips.

Instructions:

1. Plan. Before planting, set the potted herbs in the window box. Arrange them as you please. Consider plant heights, as well as growth habits, such as spreading, upright, and trailing. Punch drainage holes in the bottom of the liner if there are none.

2. Fill the box halfway. Use lightweight potting mix enriched with compost or composted manure. Mix in water-retentive crystals, following directions on the package label.

Try fragrant mint in your window box; find growing tips here.

3. Unpot. Unpot the plants. Gently loosen the root balls; in particular, loosen roots at the bottom of the root ball. As you set the plants in the window box, spread the roots over the soil to ensure that the roots will spread into the new soil after planting instead of continuing to encircle the root ball.

4. Plant. Set plants at the same depth they were growing in their nursery pots, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Add potting mix, filling the box and gently tamping it to settle the soil. Leave about 1 inch of space between the soil surface and the rim of the box.

5. Water the soil thoroughly. For best growth, set the box in an east or west window outdoors or a south window indoors.

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