Now that Chicago’s snowiest February on record has ended, many Chicagoans are thinking about Spring and planning gardens. I enjoy spending time outside in my backyard from April through October, but so far, I’ve only had time to complete smaller garden projects. This year, that will change, as I have high hopes and big plans for a magnificent garden.

I have found that there is a wealth of useful information and tips for do-it-yourself gardeners in the blogosphere. Furthermore, I like to read about green thumbs in other climates. The following is a list of the Top 10 Gardening Blogs I visit frequently, in no particular order.

1.Nadia Knows Gardens

One of the best ways to save money when planning a garden is to start the plants indoors. I have tried this unsuccessfully, and so I found the blog Nadia Knows Gardens to be extremely helpful. Nadia’s blog explains different techniques for all gardening projects and her tips are perfect for amateurs. One of my favorite features is the photo gallery, where Nadia demonstrates practices and puts different plants on display. For the clients, one of my favorite gardening websites is horticulturalnut.wordpress.com. A visit at the website will be beneficial for gathering information about the roots and the plants. The gallery of the experts will be fulfilled with the amazing pictures. 

2.Life on the Balcony

If you’re a Chicagoan who only has a small amount of garden space, like perhaps a patio or balcony; container gardening could be a great only option for you. The blog Life on the Balcony focuses on the unique needs of apartment dwellers, but the information is practical for anyone wanting to plant on a balcony or deck space.

3.Notes from a Small Garden

If you live in a big city, you’re lucky to have a backyard for planting a garden and landscaping. Still, it is quite small compared to the spacious yards of suburban living. I find that the gardening blog Notes from a Small Garden offers excellent tips and techniques for planning, giving special consideration to effective use of small spaces.

4.Container Gardening Magazine

Another valuable source for advice on planting in containers is Container Gardening Magazine Blog. As the name implies, this site is maintained by the same experts who publish the print version of the magazine, so their suggestions carry a great amount of authority for amateurs like me.

5.BG Garden

Of course, living in the Midwest carries with it certain expectations on our climate. The growing season is approximately half of the year, but there are many projects that must be completed during the winter months. BG Garden is a gardening blog that takes into account the particular needs of those of us planting in Zone 5. The best feature about this site is that the author is a freelance photographer and takes amazing shots of her accomplishments.

6.Central Florida Gardener

When the cold doldrums of Chicago’s winter start to give me a case of seasonal affective disorder, I head to Palm Bay, Florida for a visit with my snowbird parents. While I do not lend a hand with their garden, I can appreciate their do-it-yourself efforts by following the Central Florida Gardener blog. This site is particularly useful when I want to find out more about the strange and unfamiliar foliage that grows in the this temperate climate.

7.Tomato Gardening

I know it sounds ridiculous, but while I love recipes containing tomatoes, I really hate them raw. Still, I feel compelled to grow them in my backyard because they are truly superior to tomatoes you purchase at the store. The best growing techniques I have discovered are at the blog Backyard Gardening, which covers starting them from seed and transplanting them outside. There is also great information on how to protect plants from pests.

8.Growing Strawberries

My grandfather always grew strawberries in the summer, and has offered me a tip or two. However, Growing Strawberries is an excellent gardening blog for those new to the practice. There are several tips on growing plants in the backyard, and useful techniques for planting in containers.

9.Gardenscapes

Because I reside in the Zone 5 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone system, I rely on the advice from the Gardenscapes blog focusing on my region. I particularly enjoy reading the monthly feature that offers timely recommendations on projects for do-it-yourselfers.

10.In My Kitchen Garden

About the only way for me to grow plants, especially herbs, in the winter is to tend a kitchen garden. It is not difficult to do, as the blog In My Kitchen Garden, relates. Any kitchen with a window that gets a fair amount of sun is sufficient, and I much prefer cooking with fresh herbs over dried.