Organic Gardening Basics: Lawns
If you'd like to learn to grow a lawn without spending hours each week pampering it or applying chemical weed killers and fertilizers, Organic Gardening Basics: Lawns (Rodale Inc., 2000; $14.95) is the book for you. It's a great little reference book with friendly advice for growing your lawn organically. It contains the basics of choosing the right kind of lawn grass for specific areas, how to apply organic fertilizers, and tips on how to suppress weeds, diseases, and other pests.
Favorite or New Plant
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) come in a several sizes -- from dwarf to tall -- and a range of colors, which makes them useful as edging or bedding plants in nearly any sunny spot in the garden. They're easy to grow, either from seed or from young transplants, and besides brightening the garden, they make excellent cut flowers. Taller varieties sometimes require staking to keep them upright. For best display, position taller varieties toward the middle to back of a border and smaller varieties at the front. The dwarf and intermediate types don't require staking. I use the dwarf varieties, such as 'Floral Carpet' and 'Tahiti', in containers surrounded by trailing bacopa or Swedish ivy for a punch of color on my deck. Snapdragons grow best in full sun and well-drained soil.