Gardening Tips

with The Helpful Gardener

Winner of
BusinessWeek Magazine's
Best of the Web Award!

 

Fall Planting
Things to do in the fall for a beautiful garden

While the industry and many experts have touted fall as an exceptional time for planting many of you out there remain unconvinced. I am not talking about waiting until after the last of the turkey is consumed at Thanksgiving dinner to plant your entire garden bed for next year, but certain plants do very well (actually better) planted in fall, so let’s find out what garden planting can be done now to avoid clogging the planting schedule in spring and to establish your new plant BEFORE growing season begins. Read more

Tips for Fall: Mulch
Nature’s Way of Recycling

One of the chores that befall every gardener, often several times a year, is the laborious task of mulching. While many of us view this as an odious task best ranked with mucking stables or raking leaves (I rank these two very closely), I view this mission as my way of helping Mother Nature herself improve my garden. In my mind there is no better way to change the soil in your garden than mulching; not raining fertilizer and chemicals upon it, not amending soil, and no, especially not plowing, tilling, or cultivating. Mulching is the finest thing you can do for a garden bed and I will use the rest of this space to put to rest any doubts you may have as to the veracity of that statement... Read more

POINSETTIA CARE:
REBLOOMING AND CARING FOR YOUR POINSETTIA

Poinsettias are a widespread Christmas tradition both for gift-giving and holiday decorating. Yet many of these lovely plants end up in the trash once the holidays are over. Your poinsettia will not only make a beautiful indoor plant all year long, but can also be coaxed to bloom again each year in time for Christmas. Read the article about Poinsettia care

You too can Grow an Italian Herb Garden

Italy is said to have some of the best cuisine in the world and, at the heart of that cuisine are their famous herbs. Growing your own organic Italian herb garden is sure to be rewarding and delicious. Whether indoors or outdoors, as additions to your vegetable garden or on their own, Italian herbs are a delight to both grow and eat. read more

Growing Organic Fruit Trees

The advantages to growing fruit organically are obvious in the first bite. Your own organic fruit is not covered in arsenic (as some commercial apples are to lengthen shelf-life) or wax. Growing your own fruit means picking varieties for flavor, not looks or ability to travel. Your organic fruit may not be as picture perfect as the stuff you find in the grocery store, but fruit is to eat, not to take pictures of! read more

How to Choose and Grow Heirloom Carrots

Multicolored heirloom carrots have captured the imagination of diners. Now you too can grow these ancient carrots at home. Heirloom carrots come in a variety of colors, white, yellow, pink, purple and of course, orange.
read more

Control Insects with Garden Friendly Techniques

Pests in your garden are just that: pests. Unwanted insects may eat and destroy your crops, a frustration for any farmer or gardener.
Organic gardening is a means of controlling pests naturally, without the use of dangerous chemical pesticides. There are many ways to control garden pests naturally that are also cheap, easy and good for the earth. read more

Let's Take a Look at Heirloom Tomatoes

It is possible that there is nothing tastier than a home grown tomato picked right off of the vine. There is a world of difference between your own organic tomatoes and the tasteless things you find in the grocery store. Tomatoes are probably the most popular and rewarding crop and the many heirloom varieties available make it the most fun and interesting too. read more

Organic Heritage Vegetables

Those tomatoes, potatoes and carrots you see in the grocery all look relatively the same. The tomatoes are always red, round and shiny, and the carrots orange. These vegetables did not always look like this. There are hundreds of different varieties of these vegetables being grown around the world that you may have never even seen or heard of.
read more

Organic Gardening Means Befriending Beneficial Insects

Not all insects are pests. In fact, the majority of bugs living in your garden are helping your plants to grow in numerous, unseen ways. If you are having a problem with pests in your garden, you probably have an imbalance of fauna or an imbalance of soil nutrients. The more insects and other fauna in your garden, the less likelihood the “pesky” ones have of surviving. You will find that most insects eat those moths and maggots that are eating your plants. read more

Bring Your Garden to Life with Native Plants!

But a better model is starting to take hold. Gardeners like Sara Stein, who’s wonderful book Noah’s Garden chronicles her education from fresh new suburbanite to committed native plant gardener, have started to explore the idea of the garden as not just a tableau for aesthetic reasons, but an integral working part of nature. It is possible to provide the basic necessities for a large number of species in a small space if you make sure to keep in mind the four pillars of habitat: Food, Water, Shelter, and Cover. read more

About Organic Gardening and Why it Should Matter to You

Organic gardening is a simple healthful way to convert living organisms into carbon compounds in a way that considers the whole of nature and its integral place in that scheme. There, all the definitions in one sentence. I’ll consider that my mission statement for organic gardening... read more

How to Create a Beautiful Organic Garden!

The leap from gardening with chemical fertilizers and pesticides to truly organic gardening can feel like a leap of faith. I came to this point of view gradually, as I work in the green industry, which is just starting to recognize the benefits of organic products (Here’s another place you can help save the planet; vote with your almighty consumer dollar by buying organic). read more

How to: Organic Vegetable Gardening

Creating a successful organic vegetable garden may take practice and your practice may span over several seasons. Do not become discouraged! Even one delicious homegrown tomato may make all of your work worthwhile. Organic gardening is the oldest method of cultivation, it's good for your family, and it's less expensive to do! You will find that organic vegetable gardening may become the most rewarding hobby, or lifestyle, you have ever undertaken. read more

Give Your Roses a Head Start
Planting Requirements for a New Rose

A new rose bush can provide decades of beauty and enjoyment if properly planted and tended. The planting requirements for a new rose are both simple and important. The first months in a new home are crucial for the plant’s survival. While it’s true that roses will grow and thrive without the benefit of your expertise, a little knowledge can go a long way. read more

Zen and it's Influence on the Japanese Garden

There have been other philosophies that have found their way into the garden. Persia had its paradise gardens. Descartes theories of a mathematical ordering of the universe were clearly defined by Versailles’s geometric layout. But rarely has any one philosophy had such a clear and defined impact on a garden style as the indelible mark left by Zen on the Japanese garden. While many of the stylings now thought of as Zen had their roots in earlier forms, it was the discipline of Zen thought that helped give them the ageless quality we associate with the Japanese garden. read more

Growing Organic French Country Herbs

There is no reason to grow French country herbs in any other manner than organic. It’s easy and we’ll show you how to grow healthy and robust plants that are weather and pest resistant. The most common French country herbs are Winter Savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon and lavender, all simple, fragrant and delicious additions to your organic garden. And you won't have to visit Provence to enjoy them. read more

Herb Gardens

A small herb garden is an essential part of any country kitchen. But fresh, organic herbs are not just for amateur chefs and California housewives. Any city-dweller can have a fragrant window box kitchen herb garden with just a little maintenance and care. read more

Gardening is tough on hands: Protect them with Gloves!

It is that time of year when gardeners face the inevitable; the season is closing down and it’s time to clean and prep those tools for a winter rest. It is also the time when we begin to turn our thoughts to procuring gifts for friends and family for the holidays. This raises two intriguing questions. First, what is Scott rambling on about now? Secondly, how can he possibly link these two incongruous points? Read more

Recent Threads from our Gardening Forum

Don't let this happen to your tree! Tips for a Sick Bonsai

Have a new Bonsai?

How to keep rabbits out of your garden

Native Plants - Gardening with Mother Nature

My first remembrance of becoming interested in the plant world takes me back to my mother’s childhood home in the Berkshire foothills of Northwestern Connecticut. We were hiking up the hill across the stream from the house she grew up in... read more

Helpful Gardener Announces new Forums

By popular demand of it's forum members, HelpfulGardener.com has created a Cactus Forum for Cactus and Succulents. We have also feature a popular Organic Gardening Forum.

Helpful Gardener's Gardening Tips

Mulch
Nature’s Way of Recycling


Compost
The Mother of All Composting Articles!

NATIVE PLANTS
Going Native: Improve your garden with native plants


Garden Design Tips

Basics of Landscape Design

Facts to remember when designing a butterfly garden

Butterflies linger in sunny places

Bird Gardening
How to attract birds to your garden

More Gardening Articles

Advanced Japanese Garden Design Tips
Expanding your knowledge

GARDENING REFERENCE BOOKS
Great Books to Help You "Dig Deeper."

A BOOKWORM HITS THE GARDEN
Gardening books that will help you become a better gardener

GARDEN TOOLS
An inside look at the tools that make gardening a pleasure

COMPANION GARDENING
Use shape, color and texture to create a showcase quality garden

CARE OF A PERENNIAL GARDEN
Keep your Perennials happy and your garden healthy

BONSAI
How to choose your Bonsai tree

Bonsai Soil

Bonsai Pots

UNLEASH YOUR HYDRANGEA'S FLOWER POWER
Secrets of proper care and feeding for your hydrangea

Hydrangeas are full sun to partial shade plants that appreciate moist, well-drained soil. Lots of organic matter will help here, although the nicest hydrangeas I’ve seen were all on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard in virtually pure sand. I suspect it’s simply the moist part that’s important... read more

Heard in the Forums:
We have a new Permaculture Forum so please visit it. And we also have created a new Lawn Forum and a new addition for discussing Herb Gardening. And do consider visiting our Rose Forum. If you enjoy blogs, then check out our picks of what we feel are the best Gardening Blogs!

Selected Bonsai Forum Threads

Bonsai forum
Visit our bonsai forum!

Bonsai watering

New to bonsai

Bonsai watering tips