Garden analysis

The EasyBloom plant sensor is designed to take some of the guesswork out of gardening.

The gadget can be placed in any spot in your garden for 24 hours to measure the sunlight, temperature, soil moisture and humidity in that particular place. Then you plug the sensor into your computer, where it will analyze the data and search a database of more than 5,000 plants to find those that are hardy in your area and will thrive in the conditions it detected.

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You also can use it to match houseplants to

conditions in various parts of your home and to help diagnose problems with ailing plants.

EasyBloom sells for $59.95 on For more information, visit

Bring outside in

Use the plants in your garden to decorate your home's interior.

P. Allen Smith's "Bringing the Garden Indoors: Containers, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room" (Clarkson Potter; $32.50; hardcover) teaches you the benefits and beauty of growing a citrus tree in your kitchen or using boxed plants as a centerpiece for your dining table.

Smith shares 65 projects with easy-to-follow instructions for every room, helping you transform your house into a garden home.

Chapters cover en-trances, kitchen and dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms and outdoor dining areas.

Grow organic

Whoever said you have to own a big backyard to grow a vegetable garden lied. "Organic Crops in Pots: How to Grow Your Own Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs" by Deborah Schneebeli-Morell (Cico Books; $24.95; hardcover) is proof produce can be grown almost anywhere, even small yards, balconies and sunny windowsills.

Starting with an overview of organic gardening, the book helps readers choose containers (options are endless and include traditional terra cotta pots, empty olive-oil cans and fruit boxes) and covers composts and soils; sowing and growing; watering and mulching; and dealing with diseases and pests.

Learn to grow essential herbs such as basil and cilantro, and summer favorites such as potatoes and tomatoes, beans, fruits and berries.

Grass-cutting tip

If you are buying a new lawn mower, make sure it can cut grass to 3 inches. Shorter cutting of cool-season grass in the mid-Atlantic will stress lawns and encourage weed growth.

The grass should not be allowed to get too long between cuts, and in April and May, you may need to cut the lawn twice a week. If the cut is ragged, replace the blade.

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