Holiday-Inspired Outdoor Decorating that Lasts

Dress up your front porch and yard with these holiday outdoor decorating ideas that last from the first days of fall through the New Year. They look great on a porch or just outside your door.

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Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Make the outside of your home as ready for the holiday season as the inside with these outdoor Christmas decorating ideas. Our holiday decorating ideas, including beautiful Christmas greenery, festive light displays, and more, are sure to get your yard Christmas-ready.

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Grow Beautiful Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are easy to grow from bulbs and great for adding color to your holiday decor.

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Deer-Resistant Shade Plants

Gardening in the shade where deer are plentiful can be a challenging situation. But there are plants that thrive in the shade that aren't tempting to hungry deer. Although no plant can be considered completely deer-resistant, here's a list of shade dwellers that most deer avoid. Plus, we've added some fun facts about deer that might help you understand them better.

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Shrubs with Winter Interest

A winter landscape has a beauty all its own. An unexpected plant feature -- winter blooms that perfume the air, bright berries, colorful or textured foliage or unusual bark -- add a welcome element to gardens. These winter shrubs will not disappoint.

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Tips for Moving Plants Indoors

Here's a handy guide for moving your favorite plants inside once the weather turns cold.

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Grow Perfect Pumpkins

Whether you want festive jack-o'-lanterns or tasty homemade desserts, here's a guide to growing pumpkins.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Choose Wisely

      Not all pumpkins are created equal. Select the right variety for your climate. In short-season areas, it's helpful to grow quicker-maturing varieties or start them early indoors.

    • Start Out Right

      Compost is a soil miracle-worker. By adding compost before you plant, you'll loosen the soil, giving pumpkin roots an easier time growing. Compost also feeds the soil as it decomposes and helps your soil retain moisture better. Increase the effects by using compost as a mulch after your plants are up and growing.

    • Pick the Right Spot

      Plant pumpkins in a spot that sees sun all day long. The vines hate shade and love heat, so try to plant where the sun shines at least 6 hours a day.

    • Thin Your Seedlings

      One rule of the pros is to plant generously, thin ruthlessly. The classic pumpkin hill is a slight hump planted with three to six seeds. Wait to plant until the daytime temperatures in your area reach the 70s and the nights are frost-free. Once the seeds germinate, pluck all but the most robust seedlings in each hill.

    • Water Well

      Water regularly: Pumpkins are up to 90 percent water, so give your vines frequent drinks, especially during hot summer weather. For best growth, water under the foliage with a soaker hose. This will also help deter leaf diseases such as powdery mildew, which can make plants look unsightly by season's end.

    • Keep Them in Check

      Prune the vines if you must. Feel free to lop off any shoots that are swallowing your yard. If you want the largest, highest-quality pumpkins, prune off extra fruits so each vine produces only a few.

    • Get the Perfect Shape

      For top-notch jack-o'-lanterns, make sure the bottoms (lower ends) of growing pumpkins rest on the ground. If you need to adjust your pumpkins, wait until the fruit has established itself for several weeks. Be gentle -- the stems are easily separated from the vine.

    • Harvest at the Right Time

      Be patient. Wait to pick pumpkins until they turn bright orange and the foliage looks tired and ready to retire for the winter. Harvest usually ranges from September through October.

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      Next Slideshow Grow Longer: The Best Cold-Tolerant Veggies

      Grow Longer: The Best Cold-Tolerant Veggies

      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.
      Begin Slideshow »



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