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.

The native ladybug has larger and not many distinct black spots on an orange background, while the Asian lady beetle has a red background with frequent black spots.

Gardening Tips

How to Tell The Difference Between Native US and Asian Ladybugs

You probably already know that ladybugs are beneficial insects that are good for our gardens. These brightly colored beetles are easily recognized by their bright colors and black spots. But did you know that there are more than 5000 species of ladybugs around the world? In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen compares the most common native and non-native ladybugs in the United States.

A raised bed bursting with lush green foliage and a variety of bright, blooming flowers in shades of blue, purple, and white.

Raised Bed Gardening

21 Best Flowers for Growing in Raised Beds

Thinking of adding some beautiful flowers to your raised beds? Flowers can attract pollinators to beds with vegetables or stand alone as a beautiful flower bed. Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss lists 21 gorgeous flowering plants that work well in raised beds.

A close-up of raised garden beds in a vegetable community garden, featuring lush green plants growing in wooden beds with white pebbles around them.

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Beds vs. In-Ground Gardening: 9 Pros and Cons

Not sure if you should plant in raised beds or opt for in-ground gardening? Raised bed popularity is on the rise due to clever new designs, though in-ground gardening has a classic appeal. Gardening enthusiast Emily Estep explores the pros and cons of both options so you can make the best decision.

A close-up of beautiful forest mushrooms, featuring a brown mushroom with textured cap, growing amidst lush green grasses in a serene forest setting.

Gardening Tips

Are Mushrooms Bad For Your Lawn?

Did you wake up one morning to find your beloved lawn covered in mushrooms? Are you wondering where they came from and if you should be worried? Good news: there’s no cause for alarm. Plant biologist and amateur mycologist Emily Estep will walk you through the basics and alleviate your concerns about mushrooms in your lawn.

Columbine flowering plants are popular choices for shaded raised beds, characterized by delicate, lobed leaves and distinctive, spurred purple flowers.

Raised Bed Gardening

21 Best Shade Plants for Raised Beds

Shade garden displays bring bold color and texture to dark garden zones. Shady raised beds offer the opportunity to showcase dynamic foliage and flowers while solving challenging garden situations. Garden expert Katherine Rowe explores plant selections perfect for brightening the shade in raised garden beds.

raised bed greenhouse

Gardening Tips

How to Turn a Raised Bed into a Greenhouse

If you’re gardening in raised beds and want to extend your growing season, consider converting your bed into a mini greenhouse. Briana Yablonski shares how to complete this process with some PVC, a sheet of plastic, and a spare afternoon.

View of a two-story brick house with a stunning flowering rooftop garden including Orpine, Echinops, Common juniper, Verbena, and other perennials.

Gardening Tips

How to Grow a Productive Rooftop Garden

If you live in an urban setting but still want to grow your own vegetables or just enjoy the peace and beauty of a garden, consider a rooftop garden. Gardening expert Melissa Strauss has some tips to help get you on the right track.

Reishi mushrooms are large, woody fungi with a kidney-shaped cap that is shiny and varnished red to dark orange, growing in moist soil.

Gardening Inspiration

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Reishi Mushrooms

Have you ever wanted to feel like royalty or dreamed of living forever? Let me introduce you to the reishi mushroom. These mushrooms have been used in ancient medicine for over 2,000 years. A mushroom that was reserved for nobility and was known as the “mushroom of immortality.” The reishi mushroom works well in containers or even companion planted in a vegetable garden, and it’s probably easier than you think. In this article, mushroom expert Amy Horrigan shares how to grow this beautiful conk mushroom that flourishes in many environments.

A blue and yellow Swallowtail butterfly perches on the golden center of a violet-hued zinnia.

Gardening Tips

15 Plants to Grow This Pollinator Week

Are you wondering what you can do this Pollinator Week to help sustain and protect integral pollinator populations? In this article, gardening expert and beekeeper Melissa Strauss shares some of her favorite pollinator plants for your garden.