Urban Gardening

Starting Plants From Seed

Seeds are little marvels. If someone needs proof of miracles, have them plant a tiny carrot seed and then harvest a fat carrot weeks later. Or sow a gritty morning glory seed and ... more »

Spring Soil Preparation

The arrival of spring makes gardeners rejoice. The sun is warmer, buds swell, and the early bulbs like winter aconite are in full glory. Another sign of ... more »

Updating Your Garden to Reflect You

Change is the air - literally. As the seasons shift and winter gives way to spring, it's time to assess and evaluate. In the garden, this may mean planning a complete renovation ... more »

Q & A

Question: I am planning to begin a small-space container gardening component within the group-counseling program I run for adolescent teens at Covenant House in Florida. Do you have any suggestions about which plants are likely to give these kids the best chance of success?more »


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William Moss
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Gardening Tips

  1. Start cleaning containers and pots so they are ready for planting. Take out old soil and any trellises and scrub the pots to remove dirt. You can go a step further and sterilize them by soaking them in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach. Rinse well.
  2. Once the garden thaws, remove old garden debris, such as leaves, stalks, and seed heads, to reduce the presence of any overwintering diseases and pests. This also helps to encourage new growth on perennials. Once the garden is cleared, mulch with a light layer of compost for aesthetics and extra nutrients.
  3. Wait until the soil is warmed and somewhat dry to dig planting holes or work the soil. Test it by squeezing a handful of soil; if the particles stick together tightly even when you open your hand, it's too wet. Wait until it holds together loosely. Working in wet soil can turn it into heavy clods and lead to compaction problems.

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