How to Get Blue Hydrangeas

If you love blue flowers (and who doesn't?), one of the most popular must-have plants for your garden is hydrangea. These versatile shrubs produce giant ball-shape flowers that look stunning in the landscape surrounding your home, as specimen plants in your garden, and make gorgeous (and easy!) bouquets.

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Flowering Perennials from Spring to Fall

Turn your garden into a color show spring through fall. Here are 17 easy-to-grow flowering perennials.

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Garden Pictures That Inspire

Garden pictures can provide inspiration. Browse our gallery of garden pictures, including landscape garden pictures, to find the picture of a garden that will give you your perfect landscape.

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Growing Lilies and Daylilies in Your Garden

Daylilies and lilies are two big-impact, easy-to-grow plants for your summer garden.

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How to Grow Potatoes

Growing potatoes is easy, and you'll find the taste of homegrown potatoes much better than that of store-bought versions. You can grow potatoes in just a few easy steps. Learn how to grow potatoes, as well as how to harvest them for maximum flavor.

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Urban Gardens

Living in a space-challenged urban environment shouldn't stop you from enjoying fresh air. Check out these great ideas from some amazing city landscapes.

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How to Get Beautiful Texture in Your Garden

Add beauty and texture to your garden with leafy and flowering perennials, annuals, and grasses.

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How to do a Soil Test

A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks -- so you won't have to buy unneeded additives or the wrong plant.

A soil test has been noted by successful gardeners as the most efficient and money-saving step toward better gardening. A soil test measures levels of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in your garden soil that are available to plants, as well as what your soil lacks.

The test also indicates your soil's pH level -- the relative acidity or alkalinity -- that affects how plants take up nutrients and thrive. Soil pH ranges from 1.0 (acid) to 14.0 (highly alkaline), with 7 being neutral. In certain regions, soil is typically more acid (in rainy regions) or more alkaline (in desert areas) and needs to be amended accordingly for plants to thrive there. To raise too-low pH (acidic): add lime, dolomite limestone, or wood ashes. To lower too-high pH (alkaline): add horticultural sulfur, composted oak leaves, or pine needles.

How to Do a Soil Test

  1. Collect soil from six different areas around the garden, using a trowel or spoon. 
  2. In each area, dig six inches deep and remove a sample of soil without collecting roots, mulch, or stones. 
  3. Mix samples in a quart jar. 
  4. Place the sample in a paper bag and send it to a soil lab or nearby county extension service. 
  5. Use a soil test kit from a garden center or nursery to test the sample yourself.
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