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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Drought Survival for Your Lawn

With water shortages hit your area, consider these helpful tips for keeping your lawn and landscape as healthy as possible.

Drought is a fact of life most of us have to deal with at some point. Whether the period of abnormally low moisture is long or short, you can prepare for your lawn's survival. Here are some tips from the Turf Resource Center, an international nonprofit organization.

Before the Drought

For existing lawns, maintenance 30 to 45 days prior to an expected drought, dry period, or excessively hot time of year can have a real impact on your lawn's survivability. The idea is to make the lawn as strong and healthy as possible beforehand. Here's how:

  • Reduce thatch and compaction.
  • Reduce or eliminate nitrogen fertilizer and increase potassium fertilizer.
  • Water the lawn late at night or early in the morning.
  • Water infrequently and deeply.
  • Sharpen your mower blade two or three times per season.
  • Mow often so you never remove more than the top third of grass blades.
  • Leave clippings on the lawn.
  • Avoid using herbicides and pesticides.

Do you need to patch a bare spot in your lawn? Figure out how much seed you need with our calculator.

Surviving the Drought

Once the drought hits, or once temperatures reach high levels for a week or more, take these additional steps:

  • Raise the mowing height 25 percent or more.
  • Reduce traffic on the lawn.
  • Increase watering on areas near buildings and other heat-reflecting surfaces as well as high or sloped areas.

Extended Droughts

If the drought is extended or water-use restrictions are implemented, take these additional steps:

  • Eliminate all traffic on the lawn.
  • Restrict watering to the areas that are most important to you.
  • Accept that the unwatered portion of your lawn will be dormant and brown until conditions improve.
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