Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

What You're Not to Read 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book Is Organized 3

Part I: Preparing Yourself (And Your Garden) for Planting 3

Part II: Flowers and Foliage: Growing for Color 4

Part III: Stretching Your Garden Beyond Its Boundaries:

The Permanent Landscape 4

Part IV: Producing Your Own Produce 4

Part V: Designing Special and Fun Gardens 5

Part VI: The Part of Tens 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I: Preparing Yourself (And Your Garden)

for Planting 7

Chapter 1: Getting Ready for Gardening 9

Playing the Name Game 10

"Hello, my name is . . .": Getting used to plant nomenclature 10

Anatomy 101: Naming plant parts 11

Bringing in Beauty with Flowers (and Foliage) 12

Amazing annuals 13

Perennial plants 17

Bulbs and roses 19

Gardening for Your Dining Pleasure 20

Working with Woody (or Viney) Plants 20

Shrubs 21

Trees 22

Vines 23

The World Is Flat: Caring for Your Lawn 24

Chapter 2: Planning Your Own Eden 25

Taking Stock: Evaluating What You Already Have 25

Identifying problems and restrictions 27

Taking advantage of your yard's assets 30

Getting Ideas for Your Garden Space 31

Gardening with the kids in mind 32

Establishing a good garden for pets 32

Creating space for entertainment 34

Designing a sanctuary: The quiet garden retreat 35

Cooking up an edible garden: Gardening for your kitchen 36

Zeroing In on Your Ideal Garden Style 37

Gardening around a theme 38

An inspired idea: Perusing books, magazines, and local gardens...41

Making Sure Costs Don't Outgrow Your Budget 42

Bringing Your Garden Ideas to Reality 43

Sketching out the yard you have now 44

Making your drawing match your dream garden 44

Defining key areas so you know where to start 45

Getting Professional Help for Your Garden Plans 47

Landscape architects, landscape designers, and garden designers 48

Landscape or general contractors 49

Master gardeners 49

Chapter 3: Getting into the Zone — Your Garden's Zone 51

Different Hardiness Zone Maps for Different Folks 51

Taking a look at the world's plant hardiness zone maps 52

Warming up to the heat-zone map 53

Savoring the Sunset zones 54

Reading plant hardiness zone maps 54

Fathoming Frost Zones and Growing Seasons 56

Zoning Out: Breaking the Zone and Growing Season Rules 57

Managing your microclimates 58

Cheating the system: Creating microclimates 60

Stretching your growing season 61

Chapter 4: Live Long and Prosper: Giving Plants

What They Need 63

Let There Be Light! 64

Facing the Fertilizer Facts 65

What to feed: The great natural versus chemical debate 67

When to feed your garden 68

Compost: More than Just a Fertilizer 69

Demystifying Soil pH 71

Finding out your soil's pH 72

Adjusting your soil's pH 72

Much Ado about Mulch 73

Knowing your mulches 73

How to apply mulch — and how much 75

Water, Water Everywhere: Tackling Watering Issues 76

Providing plants with the right amount of moisture 76

Determining which watering system to use 77

Cutting back on watering 79

Dealing with drainage problems 80

Air! Air! Plants Need Air! 81

Chapter 5: Gathering Your Gardening Gear 83

Digging Those, Er, Digging Tools 83

Getting down with shovels and spades 84

Trowels: More than just little shovels 86

Garden forks: Not for dining! 87

Dabbling in dibbles (or dibbers) for poking holes 88

Clues to Quality Cultivating Tools 89

Weeding out poor weeders to get to the best 90

Making the Right Cut with Cutting Tools 92

Getting a handle on hand pruners 92

Hedging your bets on hedge shears 93

Branching out with loppers 94

Moving up to pruning saws 95

Putting Power Tools to Use 96

Safety first: Controlling your power tools

(so they don't control you) 96

Chewing through chores with chainsaws 97

Working with weed trimmers and weed whackers 97

Tilling soil with rototillers 98

Wading through Wondrous Watering Tools 99

Hoses 99

Nozzles 101

Hose-end sprinklers 102

Water timers 103

Part U: Flowers and Foliage: Growing for Color 105

Chapter 6: Growing Annuals: Adding Yearly Variety to Your Garden 107

Finding Flowers that Fit Your Garden 107

Some like it hot: Warm weather annuals 108

Some annuals like it cool 109

Mixing and Matching Annuals 109

Good habits: Taking advantage of shape, height, and structure 110

Combining colors 113

Buying Annuals 114

Starting with seed packets 114

Starting with nursery, well, starts 114

An Annual Event: The Whens, Wheres, and Hows of Planting 115

Filling in the garden after the last frost 116

Deciding where to plant annuals 117

Getting annuals in the ground 117

Feeding the Flower Power: Taking Care of Annuals 118

Watering 118

Fertilizing 118

Mulching 119

Grooming 119

Dealing with annual pests 119

Chapter 7: Growing Perennials: Plants That Make a Comeback . . .121

Looking at Perennials, the Repeat Performers 122

Hardy perennials 122

Tender perennials 122

Planning Long-Term Strategy for Your Perennial Garden 123

Choreography: Timing perennial blooming 124

The living palette: Keeping colors in mind 125

Designing perennial beds and borders 125

Finding and Buying Perennials 128

To the market: Getting perennials in containers 128

Buying perennials through mail-order 129

Acquiring free divisions from other gardeners 130

Planting Perennials 131

Figuring out where to plant perennials 131

Deciding when to plant perennials 134

Preparing for the actual planting 137

Show the Love: Taking Care of Your Perennials 138

Supporting with stakes or rings 138

Practicing good grooming habits 139

Dividing perennials 141

Preparing perennials for winter 142

Dealing with perennial pests and diseases 142

Chapter 8: Brightening Up the Garden with Bulbs 145

Shedding Light on Bulbs 145

Defining terms: Bulbs aren't always, well, bulbs 146

The time of the season: Looking at early and late bloomers 149

Getting acquainted with the most popular bulbs 150

Social Mixers: Choosing to Combine Your Bulbs 151

Combining various types of tulips 151

Mixing up your daffodils 152

Combining different kinds of bulbs 153

The Search: Where to Get Your Bulbs 155

Buying bulbs from home stores and nurseries 156

Purchasing bulbs through mail-order 157

Getting Down and Dirty: Planting Bulbs 158

When to plant bulbs 158

Where to plant bulbs 160

How to plant bulbs 161

Taking Care of Bulbs 163

Watering your bulbs 164

Fertilizing bulbs 164

Mulching 165

Fighting bulb pests 165

Chapter 9: Coming Up Roses 167

What Makes a Rose Be a Rose Be a Rose 167

Checking out blooming habits 168

Looking at hardiness 169

Identifying the various rose types 169

Deciding Where to Put Your Roses 173

Planning your beds and borders 173

Using roses as groundcovers 175

Screening with roses 176

Using roses as vines 177

Buying the Best Roses 178

Getting a potted rose 178

Purchasing a bareroot rose 179

Planting Your Roses 182

Putting containerized roses in the ground 182

Planting bareroot roses 183

Taking Care of Your Roses 185

Watering 185

Fertilizing 185

Keeping roses in shape 186

Maximizing winter hardiness 188

War of the roses: Tackling rose pests 189

Part HI: Stretching Your Garden Beyond Its Boundaries: The Permanent Landscape 191

Chapter 10: Growing a Perfect Lawn 193

In the Beginning: Getting Ready to Make a Lawn from Scratch 193

Preparing your yard for a lawn 194

Designing the lawn 195

Seeding and Sodding: Adding the Grass 196

Determining the kind of grass you want or need 196

Cool-season and warm-season grasses 197

Growing lawns from seed 201

Your own turf: Growing lawns from sod 204

Watering a Thirsty Lawn 207

Getting the water balance right 207

Boosting watering efficiency 208

Feeding and Fertilizing 209

What's your type? Deciding on the kind of fertilizer 209

Knowing your serving sizes: How much fertilizer is enough 211

Checking out the feeding schedule 211

Mowing the Lawn, Cutting the Grass, and Otherwise Giving the Yard a Shave 212

Warring with Weeds 214

Preventing lawn weeds 215

Treating already-weedy lawns 215

Chapter 11: Reaching New Heights with Trees and Shrubs 217

Knowing Your Trees 218

Exploring evergreen trees 218

Falling for deciduous trees 220

Choosing the Right Tree for Where You Live 222

Getting Treed! Planting Trees 223

Not just for Arbor Day: Deciding when to plant your tree 223

Finding a suitable location 224

Planting your tree 226

Taking Care of Your Tree 229

Giving trees a tall drink of water 229

Fertilizing trees 231

Life and limb: Pruning judiciously 231

Raising the stakes: Offering some support 235

Knowing Your Shrubs 236

Nonflowering shrubs 236

Flowering shrubs 237

Planning Practical Uses for Bushes 237

Planting Shrubs 238

Deciding when to plant your shrubs 239

Situating your shrubs 239

Perfecting your shrub-planting skills 240

Caring for Your Shrubs 241

Watering 242

Fertilizing your shrubs 242

Pruning for shape and rejuvenation 243

Chapter 12: Climbers and Crawlers: Growing Vines and Groundcovers 245

Looking at How Vines Hold On 245

Twining 247

Tendrils 247

Adhesive discs 247

Holdfasts 248

Sprawling 248

Choosing the Right Vines for Your Garden 248

Considering your basic options 249

Love me tender? Deciding whether you need cold-hardy vines...250

Sizing up your vines 251

Examining site considerations for vines 252

Planting and Supporting Vines 253

Giving vines a little backup: Trellises, fences, and arbors 254

Using trees and shrubs as living supports 255

Maintaining Perennial Vines through Pruning 256

Looking at Groundcovers, a Living Carpet 257

Examining groundcover varieties 257

Reaching out: How the groundcover spreads 259

Spacing out: Considering the room the groundcover takes up 260

Exploring site considerations for groundcovers 261

Planting and Maintaining Groundcovers 262

Watering 263

Fertilizing 263

Mulching 263

Keeping groundcovers in shape: Pruning and pegging 264

Getting weeds out (and keeping them out) 264

Part IV: Producing Your Own Produce 265

Chapter 13: Food, Glorious Food! Growing Your Own Veggies 267

Varieties of Veggies 268

Growing vegetables by seasons 268

Defining hybrids 271

Appreciating heirlooms 272

Designing for Dining and Getting Your Vegetable Garden Ready 274

Sketching out your plan 274

Working with the sun: Where to plant vegetables 276

Using planting patterns and systems 277

Prepping your soil 278

Finding Your Vegetables 280

Planting Your Vegetables 282

Deciding when to plant your veggies 282

Sowing and planting your veggies 283

Composting for Vegetable Gardens 288

Fertilizing Your Vegetable Garden 290

Using Frames and Supports for Veggies 292

Dealing with Vegetable Pests 295

Rodents, rabbits, and other miscreants 296

Deer 296

Birds 297

Bugs 297

Chapter 14: Adding Spice to Your Garden: Growing Herbs 301

Planting Herbs: A Lesson in Adaptation 302

Getting the timing right 302

Helping herbs find their place in the world 303

Putting herbs in their place: How to plant 306

Raising herbs from seed 307

Taking Care of Your Herbs 308

Providing an herb's basic needs 308

Dealing with herb pests 309

Chapter 15: Sweet and Crunchy: Growing Fruits,

Berries, and Nuts 313

Fruit Basics: Knowing and Choosing the Right Fruits for Your Garden 314

Examining the types of fruits 314

Getting the lowdown on chill factors 315

Studying your size accommodations 317

Going solo or in pairs: Looking at pollination 321

Finding and Buying Your Fruit Bearers 321

Planting Your Fruit 322

Making the prepared soil deep and wide enough 323

Choosing the best time to plant fruits 323

Deciding where to plant your fruits 324

Getting your fruit in the ground 325

Taking Care of Fruits 329

Watering 329

Fertilizing 329

Cutting back on mulch 330

Supporting and training your fruit 330

Pruning 332

Dealing with fruit pests 336

Part V: Designing Special and Fun Gardens 339

Chapter 16: Mini Gardens and Microcosms:

Gardening in Containers 341

Exploring Different Kinds of Containers 341

Examining standard container materials 342

Thinking outside the pot: Alternative choices and offbeat containers 344

The Inside Track: Getting the Container Soil Right 346

Purchasing a soil mix 346

Whipping up your own soil mix 347

Picking the Best Plants for Your Containers 349

Up close and personal displays 350

Tucked in attention-grabbers 351

Containers of mixed company 351

Arranging Containers for a Container Garden 352

Taking Care of Your Container Plants 353

Gauging your container garden's water needs 354

Fertilizing your container plants 355

Chapter 17: Taking the Plunge: Gardening with Ponds and Fish . . .357

Planning Your Water Garden 357

Looking at location 358

On the level: Deciding between aboveground and in-ground gardens 359

Choosing the best lining 362

Picking Out Your Water Garden Parts and Supplies 363

Pumps 366

Bubblers and fountains 366

Filters 367

Installing and Filling Your Pond 368

Choosing Plants for Water Gardens 368

Waterlilies 369

Lotus 370

So-called marginal plants 371

Floaters and submerged plants 371

Adding Fish to Your Water Garden 372

Maintaining Your Water Garden 374

Taking care of the plants 375

Winterizing your plants and fish 375

A sea of green: Controlling algae in troubled waters 376

Part VI: The Part of Tens 379

Chapter 18: Ten Common Questions from (and Ten

Common Answers for) Gardening Beginners 381

What's the Difference between an Annual and a Perennial? 381

What's Organic Matter? 382

Why Does Everything I Plant in My Flower Bed Die? 382

How Do I Prepare the Ground for a Brand-New Bed? 382

Do I Have to Spray Chemicals on My Rosebushes? 383

Do Any Vegetables Grow in the Shade? 383

It's Hot and Dry Here and I Don't Want Cacti.

What Are My Options? 383

What Can I Plant on a Steep Bank to Prevent Erosion? 384

How Do I Remove the Weeds from the Lawn without

Pulling Them One by One? 384

Is There Anything Deer Don't Eat? 385

Chapter 19: Ten Quick, Fun, or Handy Garden Projects 387

Set Up a Hammock 387

Put Up a Rubber Tire Swing 387

Install Stepping Stones 388

Set Up a Trellis 388

Plant a Teepee 388

Create Whimsical Garden Art from Castoffs 389

Decorate the Front Steps with Potted Plants 389

Make Some Plant Labels 389

Make a Simple Compost Bin for Your Own Organic Matter 390

Combat Garden Pests with Homemade Pepper Spray 390

Chapter 20: Ten Garden Projects for Children 391

Create a Dinosaur Garden 391

Grow a Sunflower Fort 391

Make Sunprints 392

Plant Mini-Pumpkins 392

Write with Seeds 392

Trap a Zucchini 392

Make a Home-Grown Salad 393

Grow Paperwhites 393

Set Up a Birdbath 393

Attract Butterflies to the Garden 394

Appendix: Basic Gardening Resources 395

Index 401

100 Gardening Tips

100 Gardening Tips

100 Gardening Tips EVERY Gardening Enthusiast Should Know!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment