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Fall Veggies to Plant Now

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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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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 How to Build a Raised Bed

      How to Build a Raised Bed

      Raised beds make growing any plant easier. Use these easy instructions to build your own raised beds.
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