Gigabytes, hard disk, ram, Internet, e-mail and surfing the web are all terms that were unheard of to most of us in the not too recent past, but now they are common (even gardening)lore. Welcome to the world of computers. The computer is the center of our workplace and our home. And if you are a gardener, they can open up worlds of information to you--if you can find it!
Anyone who has a computer and Internet access will tell you, whatever information you are looking for is out there--somewhere!! And that somewhere, may take you weeks of searching to locate. What started out as a quick look on the Internet, may find you still looking hours later--and where did the time go?
Knowing where to look can make your job easier, or at least less frustrating. What we have available today is the tip of the iceberg. Websites are popping up daily, and they are getting more and more high-tech. You can order seeds, catalogs, gardening tools, read a magazine on-line or get your questions answered. You can read the latest from plant societies about your favorite plants, view research and even download Extension publications.
University Extension Services all around the country are trying to put their publications and meeting notifications on line as quickly as they can. But it will take a while.There is a lot of information currently on the their sites, but limited amounts pertaining to real sustainable, organic horticulture.
While all Internet access accounts have a variety of search engines, it can take you a while to find information. If you know some addresses, you can access the information much more quickly. Book marking favorite sites makes it even easier.
Some good gardening sites to check out include the following:
The Garden Web This site gives you various resources from gardening tips, to a forum where you can share your thoughts or see others, a list of gardening events as well as links to botanical gardens and plant associations. There is a garden exchange where you can request seeds or offer items for trade and there is even a gardening forum in four different languages--English, French, German and Italian.
Garden Simply has put together a home and garden resource section that we update on a regular basis. It is, of course, by no means, a comprehensive list (is there really such a thing on the internet?) However, we think you will find enough information to get you started.
Subscribe to Garden Notes and we will inform you of new articles as they are posted!
Many of your favorite garden magazines may be on line. Check under the masthead of your magazine (that part that lists the staff and publishing information) and see if they list a web address. You will be surprised how many do. Then log on and read your magazine.
The National Gardening Association magazine National Gardening They have all kinds of information on their site; beside the magazine. They have grant information and kids gardening. Sign up for a free newsletter that they will mail to you. And while your at it, sign up for Garden Notes!
Many of the seed catalogs that come to your house can also be accessed via the web. Use a search engine and search for "Garden Seeds" or look in your favorite seed catalog and see if they have a web site. Garden Simply is a partner with Nature Hills Nursery. Visit the Nursery.
One caution, when you start asking questions on an open forum, anyone can answer. They may not be right. Not all information on the Internet is necessarily accurate--with a little knowledge anyone can start a website. So use good judgment.
Gardening via the computer shouldn’t replace outside gardening,*duh!) but it is fun and boy, does the time fly when you get started. What better time of year than the winter months, when outside gardening is limited, to start surfing the gardening web. You may find a new hobby, just be careful that it doesn’t consume you!
So there you have it. Enjoy your online gardening time, good luck finding all the information that you need. If you don't find something that you are looking for, please contact us.
Never underestimate the value of what you are doing.
See you in the garden!