www.alliancecom.net 5 If you’re new to gardening, the amount of information about it online may seem overwhelming. To help, we’ve harvested a collection of sites that offer critical basics like what you need to start a garden, how to compost, and how to grow specific plants. Read on to grow your gardening savvy. You Won’t Be a Beginner for Long with These Gardening Guides Gardening Know How gardeningknowhow.com This comprehensive site offers information about both edible and ornamental gardens, including sections on topics like plant diseases, fruit tree care, and even how to grow in the snow. You’ll also find a tool for posing your gardening question to a pro. Almanac almanac.com The annual Farmer’s Almanac is still published in book form and is packed with weather predictions, tips, recipes, and, of course, gardening advice. The online version is just as helpful, with sections related to weather, gardening, calendar, and food. BBC Gardening Guides – Basics bbc.co.uk/gardening/ basics/techniques The UK is known for its beautiful gardens and the country’s leading public service broadcaster has published an extensive gardening guide. Step-by-step instructions will have you performing basic gardening tasks like sowing, pruning, and cutting in no time. National Gardening Association garden.org/getstarted The mission of the National Gardening Association is to promote gardening. Its website includes “A Primer for Getting Started,” which is perfect for beginners with information on when to plant, where to buy seeds, and how to teach kids about gardening. Sunset Garden Basics sunset.com/home-garden/ garden-basics Sunset magazine has long been a resource for gardeners in the U.S. West. Its Garden Basics section offers dozens of guides for planting, design, and smart gardening hacks. You’ll learn about herb garden basics, plants to grow between seasons, and the best gardening gear. You’ll Want to Avoid These Common Gardening Mistakes Whether you’re growing beautiful flowers or bountiful veggies, you can keep your plants healthy by avoiding these common mistakes: • Poor watering technique. Avoid watering at the hottest time of day. Instead, do so first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Be sure to water the soil, not just the plants. • Ineffective weeding. If you just pull the leaves of a weed, it will grow back. Instead, remove the entire plant, including the root. • Planting in the wrong place. Some plants thrive on lots of sunlight while others do much better in shade. Research your plant before you choose a location for it. • Placing plants too close together. Plants don’t like to be crowded. Follow spacing instructions for each plant type, or thin out groupings as they start to grow. • Planting at the wrong time. Most plants have a specific time of the year that they grow best. Research your plant to find out their ideal growing season. The gardeners at your local nursery can help you avoid some mistakes by directing you to the right plants for your location and climate.