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.

Between rows of thriving bell pepper plants, a lengthy, dark tarp stretches out on the ground, providing a stark contrast against the vibrant greenery. The morning sun cascades over the lush plants, casting a golden hue on the leaves.

Gardening Tips

Occultation: 8 Ways to Use Tarp in the Garden

What if your garden beds could clear themselves of weeds and old crop residues? Former organic farmer Logan Hailey explains how you can use tarps to make gardening easier. With these weed-smothering, soil-protective uses, a tarp may become your new favorite tool in the tool shed!

View of a monoculture garden with growing rows of lettuce. Lettuce presents a crisp and vibrant appearance with its rosette of tender, leafy greens. The leaves are smooth and round with a slightly wrinkled texture, form a dense cluster at the base of the plant.

Gardening Tips

What is a Monoculture?

Monoculture plantings can cause big problems with pests, diseases, and soil health. Garden expert and former organic farmer Logan Hailey explains the meaning of monoculture, why it’s problematic, and how to create more sustainable gardens and farms.

Close-up of olla clay jug on green grass in the garden. The olla clay jug is a traditional, handcrafted vessel made from terracotta or clay, distinguished by its bulbous body and narrow neck.

Gardening Tips

How and Why to Use an Olla to Water Your Garden

If you accidentally underwater or over-irrigate your plants, an olla makes it simple to water your garden with the perfect moisture balance. Former organic farmer and garden expert Logan Hailey digs into the benefits of an olla and how to use it for even, consistent watering.

get rid of autumn olive. Close-up of a large lush Autumn olive bush (Elaeagnus umbellata) in a sunny garden. The Autumn olive is a deciduous shrub notable for its silver-green foliage and abundant clusters of small, fragrant flowers. Its lance-shaped leaves are silvery on the underside, giving the plant a distinctive shimmering appearance.

Gardening Tips

How to Get Rid of Autumn Olive Shrubs

Although autumn olive shrubs’ silvery leaves and red berries are beautiful, these plants also have an ugly tendency to choke out other vegetation and take over your garden. Join plant expert Briana Yablonski to learn how to remove these invasive shrubs.

low-maintenance cottage garden. View of a large cottage garden with various plants. The garden has raised beds and vertical wooden trellises with climbing vines of roses and Clematis. The beds contain various flowering plants such as yarrow, lavender, roses, and various herbaceous plants such as rosemary, thyme, basil and others.

Gardening Tips

9 Tips for a Low-Maintenance Cottage Garden

If you want to plant a cottage garden but don’t think you have time to maintain one, we have some tips that will help get you on the right track. Gardening expert Melissa Strauss can help you get started on a low-maintenance cottage garden!

spring rose care. Close-up of women's hands applying compost fertilizer to a rose bush in the spring garden. The rose bush consists of strong, upright, trimmed green stems covered with small sharp thorns and several young deciduous shoots of a reddish hue.

Gardening Inspiration

5 Spring Rose Care Tips

Spring is a crucial season for rose care. Now is the time to complete tasks like pruning, feeding, and tidying to set the stage for a productive season. Gardening expert Madison Moulton lists five spring rose care tips to tackle now.

Pennsylvania growing zones. Close-up of a garden with native plants in bloom. Bright yellow Heliopsis helianthoides, lavender Wild bergamot, and purple Echinacea-purpurea bloom in the flowerbed.

Gardening Tips

Which Growing Zones Are in Pennsylvania?

Known for its Philly cheesesteaks and Amish communities, Pennsylvania is a diverse state for gardening. It encompasses three main growing zones and beautiful native perennial plants. Garden expert Logan Hailey explains the key growing zones in Pennsylvania and gives advice for choosing winter hardy plants.

Hugelkultur is one of the popular ancient gardening methods. The Hugelkultur method is a gardening technique characterized by its raised beds built from mounds of decaying organic matter, such as logs, branches, leaves, and other plant materials. The gardener's hands in yellow gloves add branches to the garden bed.

Gardening Tips

5 Ancient Gardening Methods That Work in the Modern Garden

From passive clay pot irrigation to clever combinations of plants, we can leverage natural ancient gardening methods by using our local resources to create more ecological modern gardens. Former organic farmer Logan Hailey digs into five ancient methods for nourishing your soil and improving crop yields without fancy technology.