4 Ways to Sharpen Your Gardening Skills

Learn 4 Ways to Sharpen Your Garden Skills…

Started Pepper Plants
Started Pepper Plants

photo credit: making hot sauce step 1 via photopin (license)

Bonus links to free seeds at bottom of post…

1. Learn to compost in place.

2. Take an online class.

3. Visit a nursery/greenhouse.

4. Recycle containers for plants.

photo credit: Kompost und Bepflanzung via photopin (license)
photo credit: Kompost und Bepflanzung via photopin (license)

Composting in place is the beginning point of many great gardening successes. Either using a hole in the ground, a corner in the yard or a bucket with a lid you can start your own compost (gardening gold). Start composting your left overs (no meat, no eggs, no dairy) all those left over salad bits, potatoes, veggies, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, grass clippings, leaves in the fall, pine needles; whatever you’ve got on this list goes into the compost. Cover with a plastic bag or a lid to keep the heat in and the flies out.

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Online gardening classes are a wonderful free resource!
Gardening 123 Classes Online
Offers many totally free classes on-line. Among the offerings are Basic Plant Propagation, Houseplant Maintenance, Introduction to Organic Gardening, Low Maintenance Gardening.
Oregon State University offers a free class on Basic Botany(plant identification) in addition to other Master Garden classes at on $20.00 each. They don’t earn you the title but they certainly add to your abilities as a gardener. On a more visual note YouTube has hundreds of gardening videos; ones I follow are The Rusted Garden, Growing Your Greens and The Voodoo Garden.

Looks like a great place to meet new gardeners and learn about suitable plants.
Looks like a great place to meet new gardeners and learn about suitable plants.

Visit a local nursery or greenhouse. This is a must do at least 3 times a year to learn what’s new, Visit with the staff for recommendations, meet other garden enthusiasts. I’m not talking big box stores, visit the family friendly growers in your region. Two in my area are Twin Oaks Nursery in Denison, Texas and Sweetwater Farms also just a half hour away from home.

photo credit: yellow bucket via photopin (license)
photo credit: yellow bucket via photopin (license)

Recycle containers for plants. I reuse the little black pots of purchased plants, have had them reusable for 2-3 years as long as they don’t get left out in direct summer sun. I reuse the icing buckets from the local Sam’s Club bakery (call a few days in advance and ask them to save them for you, I get 20 at a time) indefinitely. Same goes for Homer buckets from Home Depot and Lowes. Recently added 2 used 55 gallon plastic barrels for rainwater catch and use. Also added 3 red 20 gallon feed buckets for long summer crop growing (they were headed for the county dump). Have a three sisters garden in one of them and have enjoyed fresh green pole beans. Mini pumpkins are starting to bloom and the mini popcorn is starting to tassel at the tops.

Lots of ideas in this; find what works for you and improve on it. Let me know about your successes and your failures.


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2 companies sending out free seeds in 2016 are:
Groundswell International (based in North Carolina and sending NON-GMO seeds)
FeedABee.com (free pollinator wildflower mix) #FeedABee