Cooperative Extension - The Best Kept Secret in Gardening

I have been yearning to write about this topic for almost a year, now. Forgive me if I "geek out" a little in this post.

I'm so in love with cooperative extensions

This "best kept secret" in gardening in the United States is for everyone - you have near you, too! 

Definition

A Cooperative Extension service is an outreach service of the United States Federal Government. Specifically, it's a program of the...

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Tutorial: How to Start Seeds Indoors

This time of year everyone gets over-excited and wants to start seeds. Right. Now.

Hold your horses. Make sure you know what you're doing. 

I consider starting seeds indoors to be an "intermediate" level skill, and I don't really recommend it for beginners. 

If you've never done it before, beware of beginner mistakes. You run the risk of spending a lot of money, time, and effort and not producing the lovely little transplants...

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Living with the Land - Video from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

 

Last week, I took a vacation to DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL. January is a good time to go because it is a refreshing break from the cold here near Kansas City. In January, it is also not very busy. This year, Covid-19 pandemic reduced the crowds further. 

I really enjoy Epcot and one of my favorite spots is The Land pavilion. One of their attractions is a boat tour of some of their greenhouses. Certainly not a...

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Sharpening your Observation Skills

Growing a successful garden requires skills of observation, assessment, and action. Noticing the little things will enable you to identify problems before they become devastating. 

At times, we are so absorbed in our minds or on our phone screens that we can't see what's going on around us. Observation is an important skill for a gardener, and when you're at the garden, put aside your distractions and concentrate on...

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Seed Libraries

Have you ever heard of a seed library? 

It works much like any other type of library - you "borrow" seeds to grow in your garden. Hopefully, you will "return" new seeds from the plants you've grown using the borrowed seeds. 

It's a method of seed sharing among people in a community. Borrowing the seeds is usually free. If your crop fails, for example, there won't be any seeds to return. Failures happen. Hopefully...

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Community Garden Confidential - a Free webinar from Till and Trowel

Mostly I blog about garden skills, community garden facts, garden results and harvests, etc. 

This week, I'm taking a moment to tell you about my upcoming webinar called "Community Garden Confidential." 

First of all, it's free! I'm offering it on two dates. Click one of the dates below to sign up!

I developed this webinar for a couple...

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Three Strategies to Step Up Your Gardening Game

Did you grow a vegetable garden in 2020? 

Gardening was an actual trend in 2020, thanks to the pandemic. In fact, Google reports that "how to start a vegetable garden" was searched twice as much in 2020 than 2019." (from Google Trends {trends.google.com} "A Year in Search 2020," downloaded 12/28/20).

In late March, NPR reported that people planted more vegetable gardens because they were worried about shortages. Breck's, a plant...

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Thinking About Peppers

On Sunday evening, I did a "Facebook Live" for a short visit with the Till and Trowel online community. I've been doing these little segments for about a month now - calling them "Sundays Off Season," in which I demonstrate or discuss something garden-related that a gardener does in the off season.

I had received my first seed catalog in the mail finally, and I flipped through it on camera, pointing out various features. 

I lingered...

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Three Things You Didn't Know About Community Gardens

Even if you're a member of a community garden, you may not know everything about community gardens. Those who aren't members yet may have preconceived ideas about how they work. Here are three surprising facts about community gardens.

1. There are different community garden models

Community gardens can have a variety of different models based on the goals the founders (or founding organization) intended for the garden. The...

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Six Beautiful Seed Catalogs

I'm a little surprised I haven't gotten any seed catalogs yet. I mean... it's December and everything seems to get pushed earlier and earlier every year.  Seed catalogs traditionally show up the last week of December through early January.

Have you received any in the mail yet?

Here are some catalogs I particularly like. Why not follow a link, join the mailing list, and try a new seed company?

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Request their...

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