Expert Advice on Improving Your Home

Dry Climate Gardening

Gardening in a dry climate can be a challenge but Southern Californian Tricia Craven Worley explains that it is possible to create a beautiful landscape if you choose your plants carefully. The staples of such gardens are drought tolerant plants such as Pride of Madeira, Rosemary and Thyme.

How to Get Control of Your Lawn: Weed Control

Controlling weeds is high on every homeowner's to-do list and Dr. Trey Rogers, Yard Doctor for Briggs and Stratton, explains that it may be easier than you think. Practicing proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing will actually prevent a lot of weed problems because healthy lawns leave little room for weeds.

How to Use Flour to Keep Pests Off Plants

Stop grasshoppers and other chewing insects from eating your plants by making them eat flour. Place three cups of all-purpose flour in a garden duster or saltshaker and then jiggle the plants to get the insects moving. Dust the insects and the leaves of the plant with the flour.

Tomato Wagon

A child's wagon makes an easy-to move base for off-season tomatoes. Two tomato plants in separate 10-gallon containers can easily fit in such a wagon. Let the plants grow outdoors as long as the warm weather lasts; as temperatures begin to fall, wheel the plants indoors overnight and back outdoors during the day.

How to Conduct a Soil Test

If your lawn or garden isn't developing like you want it to, the problem may be as elemental as the soil itself. A soil test is the answer. Some do-it-yourself tests are available at nurseries and home centers but for a really thorough test you may want to take a sample to your county extension agent.

Why You Should Shred Your Leaves

Turn leaves into fuel for next year's garden by shredding them before you compost them. Shredding one leaf into five or ten smaller pieces does several good things. First, it increases the surface area, giving microbes many more places to work.

Plant Drainage Prevention

Drainage is crucial to the health of container plants. That's why most pots are made with drain holes in the bottom. Unfortunately this also allows the potting soil to escape. Here's a simple tip to prevent that.