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

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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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

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil ¿ but you don¿t have to live with it! Learn how to get the best garden soil possible through amendments, composting, and more.

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Top Shade Perennials

Shade plants are perfect for those tough spots in your yard. Learn about the best shade-loving perennials, including flowering shade perennials, partial shade perennials, and full-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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Fall Garden Checklist

Use this timely guide to prepare your garden for winter.

Water

Give all of your plants a good drink, especially your trees. Their roots need plenty of moisture to make it through the upcoming months.

Before autumn begins, find out how to tend your garden at the end of summer.

Shop for Bulbs

Order from catalogs or visit garden stores early for best selection.

Test Garden Tip: If deer or rabbits are a problem in your area, select pest-resistant bulbs such as daffodils, Siberian squill, and fritillaria.
Learn about some of the best spring-blooming bulbs.
Discover more bulbs that pests leave be.

Clear Debris from the Base of Roses

Fallen rose foliage can give diseases a safe place to overwinter and create problems in your garden next year.
Learn more about getting your roses ready for winter.

Plant Shrubs and Evergreens

Early fall planting gives new plants enough time to get their roots established before winter.
Get tips for planting trees and shrubs.

Amend Your Soil

Get the ground ready for next year's beds and your fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding home-made compost.
Learn to make and use your own compost.

Plant Fall Annuals

Once your summer blooms fade, add color to your garden with fall annuals, such as mums, pansies, and ornamental kale.
Beautify your yard with our fall container garden ideas.

Lower the Height on Your Lawn Mower

Grass grows more slowly in fall, but it still needs to be cut to prepare for winter. A lower cutting height helps the soil dry out more quickly in spring.
Learn more about lawn mowers.
Don't miss out: More fall lawn-care secrets.

Feed the Birds

Don't forget your feathered friends; their food supply grows scarce in autumn.
Learn more about bird feeding.
Discover top berry plants for attracting birds.

Divide and Cut Back Perennials

While you're digging them up to divide them, try rearranging plants if they haven't been working in their current location.

Test Garden Tip: Hold off dividing asters, chrysanthemums, and other fall-blooming perennials. It's best to split them in spring.
Get step-by-step tips for dividing your perennials.

Dig Summer Bulbs

Love the way your favorite summer bulbs performed this year? Save them for a repeat show next year! It's easy: Dig and store dahlias, cannas, caladiums, callas, and other tender bulbs in peat moss or sand in a cool (around 50 degrees F is best), frost-free spot for the winter.

Note: If you live in an area where the bulbs are hardy, you can leave them in the ground. Digging and storing summer bulbs is only necessary if they can't take the amount of winter cold your area experiences.
Get more tips on storing tender bulbs.
Discover our favorite summer bulbs.

Rake and Mulch

 Left unattended, fallen tree leaves may suffocate your lawn. Shred them and they make great mulch.
Find the best kind of mulch for your garden.

Get Bulbs in the Ground

Plant your favorite bulbs now for colorful springtime blooms.

Test Garden Tip: You can usually get away with planting bulbs late, up until the soil freezes solid enough you can't get a shovel in the ground.
Don't miss our bulb planting tips!

Force Bulbs Indoors for Winter Color

Get an early touch of spring by planting bulbs now to bloom indoors in January or February. Bulbs such as narcissus and hyacinth work well if you plant them now and keep them cool until you're ready to enjoy the blooms.
Discover more on forcing bulbs.

Feed Your Lawn.

 Don't let your lawn go into winter without the nutrients it needs to battle the long sleep.
Know how much lawn food to use with our fertilizer calculator.

Bring Tender Container Plants Indoors

Remove dead foliage and break up any hardened soil before hauling your cherished tropical plants (such as mandevilla, passionflower, and citrus) indoors for the winter.

Test Garden Tip: Keep an eye out for pests, too. Before bringing plants indoors, spray them, if necessary, to keep aphids, mealybugs, or other harmful insects out of your house.
Get more tips.

Empty Hoses, Fountains, and Drip-Irrigation Systems

 Ensure any standing water is removed from your watering equipment; store items in a dry place.

Clean up the Vegetable Garden

Remove weeds and debris so pests won't make your garden their winter home.

Dig Up Annuals

Spent and dead, your summer annuals can now nourish the compost heap.

Protect Cold-Sensitive Plants

Shrubs, roses, and perennials that might succumb to blasts of cold should be protected with mulch or another protective covering. Place these frost barriers after the first freeze.

How to Plant a Tree

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