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Aha! Guide to Gardening

Dreaming of updating your backyard or making over an outdoor space? Even the most novice gardener can create something beautiful. Get started with these gardening tips.

Gardening Advice

How to Save on Garden Supplies
Ideas to sow your seeds a little smarter―and reap the financial benefits.

How to Compost
Composting reduces your home’s waste, helps the environment, and refreshes your flower beds.  Get started with these FAQs.

11 Secrets to the Best-Looking Yard on the Block
Find out the most common landscaping mistakes and how you can avoid them.

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Plant a Garden by Color

A simple way to choose plants (issues of sun and soil aside) is by color. Even the most basic approach yields gorgeous results, as seen here.
Photo: Getty Images, Dorling Kindersley 

A Guide to Gardens That Look Best After Dark

How to create a yard of plants and flowers that shine by the light of the moon.
Photo: Richard Felber

Shortcuts to a Backyard Makeover

Gardening and decorating tips to transform your space.
Photo: Minh & Wass

Gardening New Uses for Old Things

Can a flower pot come in handy to hold garden tools? Find the answer—and many more innovative ways to use everyday items for gardening.
Photo:  Beatriz Da Costa
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Garden
Outdoor plants
Banana peel with soil and yellow roses

Garden-to-Table Eats

Mesclun

How to Grow Salad Greens
Plant seeds in the earliest days of spring, and you’ll have the makings for fresh salads in summer.

Yellow and red tomatoes in a crate

Tomato-Planting Tips
Want to feast on homegrown tomatoes this summer? Just follow these planting tips.

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Bag filled with gardening supplies

9 Steps to Planting a Garden

Before getting your hands dirty, refer to this handy checklist.

  • Assess your exposure. If you are planting vegetables, keep in mind that most need at least eight hours of full sun every day. Flowers and other decorative plants have different sunlight needs, depending on their type. Study what sort of light your yard gets during the day, particularly noting the sunny and shady areas.
  • Designate your planting areas. You need a plan before you plant. A four-by-four-foot plot of land is a good start for vegetables. For flowers, decide where you’d like to dig the beds.
  • Consider a fence. Fences are especially important if you are planting vegetables (although some flowering plants may be enticing to critters, too). Build it before you plant the garden, so rabbits or raccoons never get a glimpse (or a taste) of that lettuce.

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