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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Annual Stakes and Supports

Keep your garden neat with these ideas for staking and supporting your annuals.

Tall plants like these larkspurmay need staking to keep thestems straight.

Many annuals are neat and tidy in their growth and habit. They amble along the ground or form low mounds of flowers and foliage that are always attractive, even after a heavy summer rainstorm. Some plants grow tall and straggly. Without the help of a few well-placed stakes or some string, their stems flop about, giving a decidedly untidy look to the garden.

After you've used stakes to tidy up your annuals, install edging for a neat flower bed border. Click here to learn how.

Fragrant sweet peas need a support to climb.

Pea-Staking Pea-staking is an ancient method of holding up plants. Branches pruned from trees are spread about and plants grow up between the twigs, eventually covering them with foliage. (The term "pea-staking" originated in English vegetable gardens, where such natural stakes were used to hold up pea vines.)

Cat's Cradle A cat's cradle results from winding green garden twine back and forth and diagonally across four wooden or bamboo stakes set at the corners of a plot. Bamboo Stakes Bamboo stakes (both real and plastic) or thin but straight wooden stakes can be used to support single-stemmed plants. Use special plastic clips, bits of string, or twist ties to hold the stems fast.

Many garden supply catalogues now offer interlocking stakes made of a green plastic-coated wire, which can be formed in many shapes, from a simple square to a long, spiral "S." And loops of the same plastic are now sold that ride up and down straight supports, enabling the loops to grow with the plants.

Climbing annuals, such as morning-glories, cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea scandens), hops (Humulus spp.), sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), and scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), need tall, vertical supports. You can grow most of these plants on trellises, latticework, or a series of vertical strings, as described below. Hop vines are heavier and need a sturdy support. Train hops on a tripod made of wooden poles lashed together at the top or on a stout trellis or arbor. Hop vines are excellent for shading a porch, and their large leaves make them a good choice to cover a dilapidated shed or to screen the compost pile from view.

Trellises Trellises for other climbing annuals can take a variety of forms. They may be either freestanding or placed against a wall. Flat trellises are usually made of wood strips that are arranged in lattice patterns, fans, or geometric shapes. You can buy them or build your own.

If your front porch is enclosed by a wooden railing, you can plant morning-glories or other thin-stemmed vines to screen, shade, and decorate the porch. Screw a series of small metal hooks (like the ones sold to hang coffee cups), spaced at regular intervals, into the railing and the roof above, then tie string or fishing line between the hooks. Plant the vines in pots or rectangular planters, so their stems can climb the strings.


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