Planning Your Garden

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Landscape Plan: Create a Side Yard Getaway

The side yard plan shown here makes the most of a typical long narrow side yard shape. Space in the side yard is often neglected, mainly because it’s a tight space that tends to be out of sight. Side yards [more…]

How to Landscape for Privacy

One challenge in landscaping is to provide privacy while creating an enjoyable and useable space. The landscaping plan here uses both plants and fencing for privacy. [more…]

Landscaping to Conserve Water

If you live in an area where water conservation is a priority, you may want at least part of your landscape to thrive without irrigation. (Keep in mind that almost anything you plant needs watering to [more…]

Landscaping around Play Areas

Whether you have a pool or just kids that need to run off energy in your yard, you can landscape your play areas so that everyone has space to enjoy the great outdoors. Landscaping around a pool involves [more…]

Matching Trees and Shrubs to Your Site

To match the right plants to the right place, consider your expectations: What purpose will your trees and shrubs serve in your landscape (privacy? beauty?) and how much maintenance you’re willing to do [more…]

Places to Avoid Planting Trees and Shrubs

Planting the right trees and shrubs in the right place is not just an aesthetic strategy. It promotes safety and prevents damage to the plants, nearby buildings and utilities, and relations with the people [more…]

Choosing Fragrant Rose Varieties for Your Garden

Because fragrance is a great selling point, mail-order rose catalog descriptions never keep fragrant rose varieties a secret. To further narrow your choices, you can always look for those that have been [more…]

Month-by-Month: Chores for Desert Gardeners at Extreme Altitudes

The Southwest deserts encompass mild-winter climates of the low-elevation deserts of Arizona and California. (The mountains of Arizona and New Mexico, as well as west Texas, have a more typical cold-winter [more…]

Month-by-Month: Chores for Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest, including the milder parts of British Columbia, has a long season from spring through fall. West of the Cascade Range, the lingering cool spring tends to favor cool-season annuals, and [more…]

Month-By-Month: Chores for Northern Gardeners

Gardeners in northern regions deal with warm summers and cold winters. But there is work to do in your garden through most of the year. Here is a month-by-month guide that keeps you in the gardening frame [more…]

Month-by-Month: Chores for Southern Gardeners

This garden calendar’s timing aims for the middle south in the middle of each month. For the lower south, the tasks will fall toward the beginning of the month. For the upper south, wait until month’s [more…]

Month-by-Month: Chores for California Gardeners

Gardeners in Southern California encounter some have the longest growing season in the United States. The gardening calendar offered here works for the majority of California, with two notable exceptions [more…]

Planning Paths and Walkways in Your Garden

As you are planning your flower garden, remember that paths and walkways through the garden serve a number of practical functions. They enable you to get up-close and personal with your garden. The viewer [more…]

Garden Shopping: Choosing Annuals for Flower Beds

When choosing annuals to plant in flower beds, the bedding-plant industry takes some of the guesswork out of shopping for seedlings: Early in the spring and again in the fall, expect to find annuals that [more…]

How to Use Bulbs to Naturalize a Garden Space

A naturalistic garden is more casual than flower beds and borders. Plants mingle together, giving the appearance of a setting that “just happened.” The intention is to provide the look of a part of a meadow [more…]

How Big Should Your Rain Garden Be?

The size of your rain garden determines how much of the runoff on your property you are able to manage. To determine how big your rain garden should be, you have to figure out how big your drainage area [more…]

What Is a Rain Garden?

When you create a rain garden, you situate your garden to use rainfall and runoff from gutters and storm drains. Planning a rain garden is water-wise and ecologically low impact — and produces a beautiful [more…]

Creative Ways to Garden in the City

City residents in many areas are challenging the notion that they can't grow gardens in their urban settings, by finding creative ways to garden in limited space. Some folks are even pulling up their small [more…]

Urban Farming: How to Determine Your Soil Type

When talking soil, a little knowledge goes a long way. And most important for urban farmers is recognizing your soil type and its health. Some soils are naturally fertile and need little altering, but [more…]

Farming with the Urban Sun

The urban farmer has to remember that urban environments typically experience higher temperatures than suburban areas because the paved surfaces that abound in urban areas lead to a lot more sunlight penetration [more…]

Farming with Seasonal Urban Wind Patterns

Understanding wind flow and how it affects your landscape may be useful to you in your sustainable farming efforts. Perhaps you would like to screen against harsh winter winds or channel in a cool summer [more…]

Urban Farming for Your Microclimate

Although you can't change your regional weather or macroclimatic conditions to be ideal for urban farming, you can figure out how to effectively analyze your own urban landscapes at a microclimatic level [more…]

Urban Farming: How to Check Soil Drainage

The soil particle size determines how well your urban garden will drain water. The microbes and plant roots need a balance of air and water in the soil to thrive, which is why proper soil water drainage [more…]

How to Protect Your Urban Farm from Soil Contaminants

A large concern with your urban farming site is the contamination from past use of your site. Old industrial cities, in particular, may have soils contaminated with a variety of chemicals. [more…]

Urban Farming: How to Create Composted Fertilizer

Compost can be a great way to reduce your trash and sustainably produce your own fertilizer for your urban farm. Compost is both the process by which many gardeners manage the decomposition of organic [more…]

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