Gardening

Gardening Tips

  • Consider a land designer computer program such as Sierra land design software which as many articles and resources.
  • Join a garden club. The National Garden Club (gardenclub.org) is a good place to find one.
  • Read gardening books. Sun-Maid has an online free downloadable book titled Sun-Maid Raisins and Dried Fruits: Serving American Families & The World Since 1912 that covers how the fruits are grown, processed and marketed. It can be downloaded at www.sunmaid.com/book.
  • Have a gardening journal either paper and or electronic. Write Ideas, sketch plans, have pictures, use pinterest. Record sources of plants, seeds, mulch, compost etc. Identify invasive species
  • Soil can improve by adding compost and chopped leaves. A single garden may have a variety of soil types. Some wooded areas have a very dry, poor soil.
  • If working in an overgrown area exercise caution. Animals and insects may live there and it is not wise to put your hand in the area if there is no clear line of vision. Wear thick leather gloves and use a tool to poke around give animals a warning.
  • Begin preparations early, weeks or months before you intend to plant.
  • One acre is approximately the size of one US football field minus the endzones
  • Have a compost bin. As per the Environmental Protection Agency n 2011 the US produced 36 millions tons of food waste and only four percent of it was composted. Having a backyard composter for food waste will cut down on food waste in land fills. Surprisingly, food waste in land fills is so compacted it does not biodegrade as the dense compression prevents the organisms that usually break down food waste from living there. There is a learning curve with food composting and to prevent a smell leaves and twigs should be layered with the food waste. The compost allows for richer soil and larger garden yields and is better for the environment.
  • Gardening and farming are important outside of food. “Hospital use soybean ink to make baby footprints. It’s easy to clean from tiny toes and good for the earth. The fuel in your car has corn in it. There’s also corn in the tires, lubricants, and fiberglass body. Basketballs, volleyballs, footballs, and soccer balls are made from the hide of a steer. (A)”
  • April is National Garden Month, Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom has a Horticulture Ag Mag. May is National Egg Month (Poultry Ag Mag) and National Hamburger Month (Beef Ag Mag). June is National Dairy Month. July is National Read an Almanac Month (agintheclassroom.org has a Farmers’ Almanac Booklet on their website). August 10-19 is the Illinois State Fair (illinoisstatefair.info). (A)
  • Morton, IL is known as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” Pumpkins are native to North America and Illinois is the top producing state. (A)
  • When bringing plants indoors consider direct sunlight, watering, and space. (A)
  • Pomology is the study of fruits.
  • A turf scientist can work with grounds maintenance.
  • Landscape architects work with landscape design. The horticulture industry includes landscape design, floriculture, and interiorscaping.
  • Start plants indoors before last frost date. For Illinois that is usually before April. This allows plants to bear fruit or flowers much sooner. In general sow flower seeds 8-10 weeks and vegetable seeds 4-5 weeks before first acceptable outdoor planting date for your area. For a colder climate like Illinois that is usually the end of February or March and sometimes April or May. Plant two seeds for each depression made with a pencil end. When starting seeds always keep the soil most and make sure the plastic covering does not touch the leaves of newly sprouted seeds. A soil temperature of 70 degrees will make seeds sprout sooner and air circulation helps. Expose pots or flats to sunlight after seeds have sprouted. After leaves appear fertilize three weeks later. Before transplanting outdoors, gradually increase outdoor exposure for seeds over a two week period. Transplant after danger of frost is gone and it is over 40 degrees. (4)

Gardening Websites

  • weather.com
  • gardening.com
  • plantfind.com
  • backyardgardener.com
  • gardenweb.com
  • gardennet.com
  • http://garden-gate.prairienet.org/homepage.htmsmelling roses
  • qnet.com/~johnsonj – Cyndi’s Catalog of Catalogs has over 1,800 gardening catalogs
  • cityfarmer.com
  • algy.com/herb – for the herbal gardener
  • growplants.org

More Gardening Websites From Garden Supplies I Have Purchased:

  • ferry-morse.com
  • mckenzieseeds.com
  • peatmoss.com
  • jiffygroup.com
  • plantationproducts.com

Sources

  • 1,001 computer hints and tips: An A-to-Z Guide to Making the Most of Your Computer and the Internet Reader’s Digest Books Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, New York/Montreal Copyright 2001 readersdigest.com
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom agintheclassroom.org (A)
  • Lawn & Garden (R) Seed Starter Box Packaging (4)