Guide to Gardening at Home

Gardening is a relaxing physical activity that people of all ages can enjoy without ever leaving home. Parents who garden often introduce their children to the activity, while other families may take it on as a hobby that they can learn and do together. There is a significant amount of knowledge that can be gained before the first plant is ever planted. This includes learning the basics about soil, suitable plants and trees, and how to properly care for and maintain them. Beginning gardeners who prepare and educate themselves increase their chances of starting a thriving garden, regardless of the type.

Trees

  • Planting Trees and Shrubs: Click this link to visit the Royal Horticultural Society's tree-planting guide for beginners. It includes a list of links to guides for various individual trees and the areas where they're most suited to grow.
  • Planting and Transplanting Trees and Shrubs: The University of Minnesota Extension website provides information about trees on their Yard and Garden pages. Other links can be found in the panel to the left that lead to subjects like diseases, flowers, insects, soils and composting, and other interesting topics.
  • The Right Tree in the Right Place: Those who are interested in planting trees can visit the Arbor Day Foundation for some advice. The article contains links to additional guides, and to the left, readers will find links to a size guide, buying trees online, and tree care.
  • How to Plant Trees: Go to the Morton Arboretum website to read a guide about planting trees. A long list of horticulture-related links can be found on the right side of the page.
  • How to Plant a Tree (PDF): Visit the the Clemson University Extension website for a document about planting trees. This document is an illustrated guide that talks about mulching, soil preparation, watering guidelines, and more.

Plants

  • Gardening Basics to Keep Plants Healthy: Birds & Bloom magazine offers advice on managing a garden on their website. See additional articles at the bottom of the page.
  • How to Care for Potted Plants: Real Simple explains how to keep potted plants healthy in this article.
  • How to Care for Your Plants: Learn about proper watering, lighting, and feeding techniques for plants on the HGTV website. This article also talks about when it is necessary to repot a plant, and there are additional tips for low-maintenance gardens and other subjects at the bottom.
  • How to Water New Plants: Open this page on the Saving Water Partnership website to get tips and learn how to properly water new plants. The instructions on this page are meant to make plants healthier and more water-efficient in the event of a drought.

Kids' Gardening

  • Safe Gardening Guidelines: Visit this website for information about gardening safely with children. Additional articles are available on the right side of the page.
  • Tips for Gardening With Children (PDF): The National Association for the Education of Young Children talks about gardening advice for youngsters in this article. Readers will find information about how to prepare the soil for a garden, child-sized gardening tools, what to grow, tending crops, and other important topics.
  • Gardening With Children: The UNH Extension website offers information about children and gardening here.

Herbs

  • Easy Vegetables and Herbs for Beginners: The NCSU Cooperative Extension provides some advice for people looking to start a herb garden. It starts with the easiest herbs to grow and includes details about free gardening classes.
  • Herbs for the Beginner (PDF): Click this link to go to a document about planning a herb garden. It covers topics such as selecting a proper location, dealing with diseases and pests, house-grown herbs, and more.
  • Growing Herbs at Home: Go here to read an article by the University of Missouri Extension about herb gardens at home. A free PDF download is available via a link on the left side panel.

Vegetables

  • Planning a Vegetable Garden: Go to the Plant Talk Colorado website to read about planting a vegetable garden. In the panel to the left, visitors will find links to information about wildlife issues, annuals and perennials, house plants, insects and diseases, and more.
  • Vegetable Gardening (PDF): Visit the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences for a guide to vegetable gardening. This 64-page document covers everything from selecting a site for gardening to managing weeds and how to grow vegetables.
  • Plant Your Vegetables Right: The University of Illinois Extension offers an in-depth guide on how to plant vegetables on their Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide website. It covers when and how to plant as well as transplanting.
  • Getting Started With a Vegetable Garden (PDF): Click this link for a four-page fact sheet about planting a vegetable garden. It talks about easy-to-grow vegetables, and it has a list of planting dates for various types of vegetables.

Flowers

  • Ten Steps to Beginning a Garden: Get basic tips about starting a garden from this article by Better Homes and Gardens.
  • Ten Great Flower Garden Design Tips: Read Sunset magazine's 13-page article about flower gardens here.
  • Flower Garden Design Basics: Visit this page by Cornell University to read about designing flower gardens. It covers topics such as matching plants to the local climate, soil conditions, and where to plant flowers.
  • Planning a New Flower Garden (PDF): Get advice about growing a flower garden by clicking this link to an article by the Daviess County Extension agent for horticulture.

Gardening Resources

  • Smart Gardening Resources: Michigan State University provides a list of video and advice links about gardening in Michigan on their website. Look to the left for additional resources about subjects like home lawns, backyard fruits, and flower-gardening.
  • USDA Hardiness Zone Map: Read about what plants are best suited to grow in various areas at the USDA Agricultural Research Service website.
  • Organizations: Find out about organizations dedicated to edible gardening, landscape design, or other topics on this Web page by the American Horticultural Society.

Composting

  • What and How to Compost: Visit the Boston Botanical Garden website for advice about composting.
  • Compost it, Don't Waste it (PDF): South Carolina residents interested in composting will find useful information in this guide by the Department of Health and Environment Control. It discusses the necessity for composting, how to get started, what can go into a compost pile, and other important topics.
  • Composting Yard and Food Waste at Home (PDF): The city of Seattle, Washington, offers advice on recycling plant waste in the form of this 12-page document. The benefits of composting, composting systems, and compost recipes are some of the topics covered here.

Landscaping

  • Water-Efficient Landscapes (PDF): Read about water conservation during landscaping projects in this document by the state of California. Planning ahead, irrigation techniques, and troubleshooting landscaping problems are some of the topics covered.
  • Earth-Kind Landscaping: Click this Texas A&M University link to read about landscaping. It contains illustrations that cover landscaping in various areas around the home.
  • Landscape Design: Ten Important Things to Remember: Visit the University of Florida EDIS website for advice about landscaping. It covers ten major points about the design process, from plant selection to sustainability.