Basics

Whether you're new to gardening or experienced, everyone needs some gardening basics to get going!

In this category, you'll find a wealth of information that spans a wide number of topics. From seed starting to grow bag gardening, pruning tips to raised bed tricks, you'll find the fundamentals of gardening awaiting you here.

While it's optimized towards new gardeners, even a pro can find useful tips in our Basics category. We all need to get back to basics sometimes, and there are always useful tools and tips that other gardeners have developed along the way to add to your own practices.

Our Basics category can inspire you to new gardening heights, too. Those who have experience with in-ground planting can learn about other techniques such as raised beds or vertical gardening.

native lawn alternatives

Gardening Tips

13 Best Native Lawn Alternatives for Your Landscape

Lawns do have their benefits, but there are also downsides to consider, from environmental impact to water usage and – of course – mowing. Gardening expert Madison Moulton lists 13 native groundcovers you can use to replace patches of lawn, saving you time and helping the environment in one go.

Dispelling seedling myths. Close-up of a gardener's hand adding potting mix to a young seedling in a starter tray. The young seedling has a short green stem with two small oval smooth cotyledons of a delicate green color.

Seeds

7 Seedling Myths to Stop Believing

Like anything in gardening, seed starting is surrounded by myths and ‘rules’ that aren’t quite true. These seven seed-starting myths, from watering to soil, are ones you can stop believing.

California growing zones. Close-up of a farmer's hand harvesting fresh organic green bell pepper in the garden. The pepper plant exhibits a bushy and compact growth habit with dark green, glossy leaves. The bell pepper itself is characterized by a vibrant green color, and its shape is blocky with three or four lobes. The skin is smooth and glossy. Ripe red peppers grow in a blurred background.

Gardening Tips

What Growing Zones Are in California?

California is the third largest state and top agricultural producer in America, but it includes a huge diversity of landscapes. Former organic Farmer Logan Hailey explains the diversity of growing zones in California and what plants you can grow in the Golden State.

A captivating garden unfolds with the radiant presence of purple cranesbill and anise hyssop flowers, their vibrant shades punctuating the verdant surroundings. Against a backdrop of lush greenery, the delicate blooms weave a picturesque tableau.

Gardening Tips

15 Plants That Benefit from The Chelsea Chop

The Chelsea chop is a method of pruning perennials used to delay or extend the flowering season, but can you simply chop all your perennials and get these results? Some plants benefit greatly from this method, while others suffer or it isn’t conducive to their growing habit. Join organic farmer Jenna Rich as she goes through 15 plants that benefit from the Chelsea chop.

This close-up features a cluster of vibrant orange and yellow black-eyed Susan flowers. Their dark, almost black, centers stand out against the cheerful petals. The flowers are clustered together, with delicate green tendrils winding around them.

Gardening Inspiration

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Black-eyed Susan Vines

If you are looking for a fast-growing vine filled with flowers that bloom all summer, look no further than Black-eyed Susan vine. This attractive vine can be grown in containers, up fences, and up and around other structures in your garden. Certified master gardener Laura Elsner will walk you through how to grow versatile and beautiful black-eyed Susan vine.

Close-up of a flowering ground cover plant, Phlox subulata, as a no-mow lawn. Phlox subulata, commonly known as moss phlox or creeping phlox, is a low-growing perennial with dense, needle-like foliage that forms a dense mat. The leaves are small, narrow, and evergreen, providing year-round interest. It produces a profusion of five-petaled flowers in a vibrant purple hue.

Gardening Tips

9 Best No-Mow Lawn Alternatives

Are you tired of dragging the lawnmower out of the garage or handing over cash to your local landscaper? Then replace your traditional lawn with a no-mow alternative! Briana Yablonski covers nine lawn options that thrive without a regular mow.

Tall hollyhock stems rise gracefully, adorned with lush leaves that catch the light. Soft and fuchsia pink flowers bloom delicately along the towering stalks. In the background, verdant plants create a rich tapestry of foliage, completing the scene.

Seeds

How to Grow Hollyhocks From Seed

If you’re looking to add classic charm to your property or start a cottage garden, you should include hollyhocks! In this article, organic farmer Jenna Rich will show us just how easy it is to start these herbaceous plants from seed.

Vibrant green leaves of a Quercus phillyreoides tree basking under the warm sunlight. The leaves are glossy and smooth, with their edges curled slightly upwards. The sky above is a clear and vivid blue, providing a perfect contrast to the lush greenery.

Seeds

When to Start Seeds in Zone 7

Wondering when to start seeds in zone seven? Join former vegetable farmer Briana Yablonski as she shares the optimal time to plant seeds for a healthy harvest.

A vibrant summer day at Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lush wildflowers in shades of red, purple, and yellow line a sidewalk along the Ohio River. In the distance, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge stretches majestically across the water, its steel towers reaching towards a clear blue sky.

Seeds

When to Start Seeds in Zone 6

Starting seeds allows you to grow a wide variety of crops and get a jumpstart on your growing season. Join former farmer Briana Yablonski as she shares when to start seeds in zone six.

Close-up of a bed of growing onions that can be planted in February. The Cabernet onion produces slender, upright leaves that emerge from a bulbous base. The leaves are dark green and hollow, growing in tufts from the bulb, which is a deep red or purplish hue.

Gardening Tips

What Can I Plant in February?

Winter may not be over, but there is a lot you can plant before spring! February is the perfect time to direct sow cold-hardy greens and start warm-weather crops indoors. Former organic farmer Logan Hailey digs into the best things to plant in February.