Winter is time for exploring

Published 12:04am Sunday, November 3, 2013

It’s about time to snuggle inside for the winter. What better time to explore all of the plant websites and apps available to gardeners? Here are some of my favorite websites:

• msucares.com — This is the Mississippi State University Extension Service website. It contains a wealth of gardening information. The Lawns & Gardens section is divided into four useful areas; gardening, landscaping, lawns and the Master Gardener program. You will also find short videos titled “Gardening Through the Seasons.” These videos feature MSU horticulturists and guide you through each of the seasons, providing practical information in easy to understand video demonstrations. Some useful topics this time of year include dividing perennials, mulch and termites and planting trees. The site also contains many articles you can find through an easy search function.

• davesgarden.com — When you do a simple Google search on almost any plant, the Dave’s Garden site inevitably comes up toward the top of the list. The site provides detailed information on plants with accompanying photos. You will also find a forum on which gardeners post information regarding their experience with various plants. The comments are divided into categories of positive, negative and neutral. You can register for free if you wish to participate in any of the forums. If you do not register, you can still benefit from reading a wealth of information on the site.

• floridata.com — The Floridata site is basically a plant encyclopedia. Plants for all climates are profiled. Galleries contain collections of photos and information arranged in slideshow format. This is a great place to go if you are trying to identify a plant.

• garden.org — This is the National Gardening Association website. The association sponsors a seed swap that is recommended by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. You can post the type of seeds you have and are looking for on an online seed swap form that will remain active for 30 days.

There are also many free or inexpensive garden apps available that can assist you in planning and maintaining your garden.

• Gardening Toolkit — This app helps beginners and advanced gardeners with all aspects of gardening. Features include an integrated “to do” list, a database of 1,000 plants, a shared space for tips and questions, a flower bloom tracking guide and a watering guide.

• Garden Tracker — This app allows you to plan and plant your vegetables. You can then track your garden’s progress, including days to harvest, days since watering and days since last fertilized. It also contains information on many plants and plant diseases.

• Bugs in the Garden — Great photos and illustrations allow you to quickly identify garden pests. The app provides advice on damage assessment and management.

Hopefully, I have provided you with enough information to enjoy the winter months indoors. Sit back with a cup of coffee or tea and explore the world of gardening at your fingertips.

This month’s garden calendar is on page 3C.

 

Karen O’Neal is an Adams County Master Gardener.