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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Create Rich Soil for Your Garden

Follow these guidelines for working your soil for maximum quality.

It's the dirtiest little secret among gardeners: Soil provides the key to plant health and a garden's vitality. The type and quality of your soil affects not only the success of your garden, but how you'll spend much of your time working there.

Ideal soil offers a hospitable environment for plants in a blend of air, water, and nutrients. But the ideal loam, a humus-rich balance of silt, sand, and clay, eludes most gardeners. Even those who are fortunate enough to start with good soil must contribute to its improvement regularly because soil is a living layer of earth that changes naturally with time and the weather.

Guidelines to Success

Follow these general guidelines in working your soil:

  • For long-term success, it's better to feed the soil than the plant.
  • Feed your soil every season and every time you plant, using organic matter, such as compost, rotted manure, and chopped leaves.
  • Don't dig when soil is too wet or too dry -- it damages the soil. Work soil when a fistful of it crumbles easily.
  • Don't walk on your beds. Stepping on soil compacts it, preventing air, water, and nutrients from reaching plants.
  • Avoid overtilling. Excessive rototilling or digging destroy the soil's structure, leaving it powdery or rock hard.

Learn how mulch can help your soil, too.

garden soil secrets

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