18 March 2010

Still So Much to Learn

For the best gardening advice, ask growers and gardeners who know the conditions in your local area.

Tonight, the monthly meeting of Muskogee Garden Club will be held at Blossoms Garden Center, where owner, grower and plant enthusiast, Matthew Weatherbee is giving the presentation.

Feel free to join the meeting if you are interested in learning with other local gardeners.

If you prefer learning about gardening while lying on the couch, here are some titles to consider from the recent crop of new books -

Best of Green Space: 30 Years of Composted Columns by Duane Campbell. 220-pages, B. B. Mackey Books. 16.95 Paperback

Duane Campbell gardens and writes in PA. At age 67, he has gardened for decades and has a point of view that is loaded with humor and hard-won experience. His columns of practical advice are reprinted in a monthly format.

Campbell is all about enjoying gardening on a budget and he urges you to get as many plants as cheaply as possible with tips on how to do just that.
Grow Your Own Vegetables by Carol Klein. 224 pages, Octopus Books. 19.99 7 by 10 inch paperback with lots of color photos.

Carol Klein writes gardens and has a television show called Grow Your Own Vegetables, in England. Klein wants everyone to know how easy it is to have some home grown produce and her book is a testament to her enthusiasm. Each vegetable has its own mini-chapter with planting information and encouragement.

North American Guide to Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms: How to Identify More than 300 Toxic Plants and Mushrooms Found in Homes, Gardens and Open Spaces” by Nancy Turner and Patrick von Aderkas. Timber Press, 373 page hardback. 29.95

Both of the authors are professors at the University of Victoria British Columbia.
Children and pets are more likely to be endangered by unsuspected leaves, fruits and roots, since adults rarely eat unidentified flora. This book is a thoroughly researched and illustrated reference suitable for anyone who wanders in nature collecting plants, as well as those who care for children. Mushrooms, algae, flowers and fruit are covered.

Talking Dirt The Dirt Diva's Down-to-Earth Guide to Organic Gardening by Annie Spiegelman. 286 pages, Berkley Publishing Group. 15.00 paperback in 6 by 9 inch format.

Spiegelman gardens and writes in CA where the weather favors gardeners' efforts. The use of Latin plant names is dubbed to be snooty, a garden plan encouraged, and pollination is explained.

This is a great book for a beginner organic gardener. Tips and techniques are explained in easy to understand chapters. Organic fertilizers are defined, plus how to plant a tree and prune a shrub, grow fruit and vegetables.

Teaming With Microbes: The Organic gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. 220 page hardback, Timber Press. 24.95

Both of the authors garden in Alaska but in this case it doesn't matter if their experience is outside your growing area. The call to build healthy soil is universal.

This is a wonderful book. It begins with easy to understand soil science, nutrients, life in the soil, soil texture and structure. In addition, bugs, insects, mold, worms, and fungi - all important to the soil web -are each covered.
The second half of Teaming With Microbes explains how the soil web contributes to the success of your gardening efforts.

For local information, don’t miss the opportunity to meet other plant lovers, inside the greenhouse, at Blossoms Garden Center tonight.


If you go
Muskogee Garden Club
Thursday, March 18 6:00 p.m.
Blossoms Garden Center
3012 East Hancock RD between York and Country Club
Information – 918-683-0581

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