I am looking at planting my own version of a Victory Garden come spring. I live in South Texas so the weather usually gets warm early and stays that way for a very long time. There is an old joke here that you can tell when its winter cause people are wearing socks with their sandals! Anyway, I am very much interested in information about growing my own vegetables. There are just the two of us so I don't need a very big garden, but am willing to share the excess with neighbors and friends. Do you know where I can get help on gardening for my area?
Contact the agricultural extension for your state. Ag extensions are run through the state universities. They often have county offices. If your reader contacts them, they will give her all the information she could want -- for free. The county office is the best because they will have information specific to her area. When I did this in my state, I got a brochure on each vegetable I was interested in, with planting times, starting tips, recommended varieties and their attributes, common pests and how to treat for them, etc. You can also get more general information on composting, soil preparation, organic gardening, etc. Happy gardening!
There's a great site called www.gardenweb.com with many, many forums, some of which deal with regional gardening (i.e., mid-Atlantic, New England, etc). Check it out!
You bet you have some excellent resources in San Antonio, as do all potential gardeners all over the U.S. The neat thing is that each Country Extension Agency has an agricultural program (horticulture) that in most instances has a Master Gardener program connected to it where you can actually take some terrific training classes from "experts" and learn how to garden in your part of the country.
Call your county extension agent by looking in the phone book under your county or the nearest large county under Extension Agency.
I live in Houston and had gone to my extension agency to inquire about homemaking pamphlets for our ladies church organization. I discovered there was a very active MG program taught twice yearly and consequently became a certified Master Gardener. I began learning all about preparing my soil (the chief problem new gardeners face cause they start with poor soil) for planting, the time of the year to plant, the best veggies, flowers, shrubs, trees to plant for your individual climate.
I also learned about plant diseases and how to cure them, bugs and how to eliminate them with many organic methods discussed and pruning. The list goes on and on. If you aren't wanting to commit to classes, be aware the extension center has a multitude of free pamphlets on plants, trees, flowers, veggies for your area, and a myriad of other plant topics.
If you have an active Master Gardener group, there is a monthly educational meeting open to the public (free) you could look into. Some fascinating topics are discussed. Believe me, there is definite help for you, wherever you live. But I know there definitely is in San Antonio as we've had Master Gardener Conventions there!
I highly recommend Organic Gardener magazine. It has field testers in every area of the country and a month by month 'what to do and when' list. Success breeds enthusiasm so start with easy things like squash. Once you get that first fresh squash, the bug will bite you and you'll be hooked! Tomatoes are also so fun to grow! Your area will need extremely heat and drought resistant varieties. Check out Park Seed Company. Their catalog is awesome!
There is a terrific website called www.garden.com it will have information on how to garden in your zone. Also, do a search on square foot gardening. It would be ideal for just two people.
My favorite gardening site is www.Gardenguides.com. They have discussion boards and boards devoted to specific types of gardening, i.e., vegetables. They also have easy drop down lists to access info on a particular plant. Lots of good info at this site. I think it is very user friendly, too.
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