Upper South

May, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Gardening Help
As I add to my notebook of plants in my garden, one Web site continually answers the information search. The Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanic Garden in St. Louis, is a diverse source of plant and gardening information. In the PlantFinder, a database of over 4,000 plants includes photos, growing details, and plant characteristics. If you're looking for plants that meet certain criteria, PlantFinder Search is the perfect tool. There are also tutorials, featured plants with expert comments, a question-and-answer database, links to organic and natural gardening information, and much more.

Clever Gardening Technique

Three-Ring Notebook
Call me old school, but all the computer databases in the world can't compare to walking around in the garden or sitting down at night in a comfortable chair with a notebook that contains information about plants in my garden. And why would I want to do that? For identification, it's a backup system in case the metal plant labels I make get lost (the plant tags from the store get filed). It's also a good place to make notes about how the plant did, and I can readily compare it with how it "should" have done. My system is simple and not perfect, but it's better than no system. When I bring plants home, I do an Internet search, then print out the page or pages with the best information. These pages get holes punched, then put into an old-fashioned three-ring notebook, in alphabetical order by genus. The system has expanded so that there are notebooks for vegetables, tomatoes, fruits, herbs, trees and shrubs, and vines. No doubt, categories will be broken down even more over the years. Now if only I had started this system years and years ago.

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