reader.erin asks: How to get savvy with gardening?
Every time I buy a houseplant or look something up that’s related to any kind of gardening I get completely lost in all the terminology, latin names, etc.
I’d like to get better at gardening and growing things without having to get my degree in horticulture. Are there any sources (websites/books) for beginners who don’t understand all the “big words” ?
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Answer by GracieM
You can start with these
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What I did was to go to the local library, and grab a large stack of books on gardening. Ones with pictures are more inspiring. Out of a stack of 10 or so, there would be at least a couple that seemed to “speak” to me. Reading was not over my head, good visuals, and I actually learned things, or at least got ideas.
It’s a great way to spend a winter, when there’s not much going on outside.
Start with the little words first, soil, sun, seed and water. Seriously don’t be intimidated by big words, they don’t make things grow any better. I know when I first started gardening I used common names but after a while I noticed a lot of plants share common names and I began using their Latin names. Next problem is pronunciation, my Master Gardening professor told us to spit them out as close as possible and someone will come to your rescue. Which brings up MG classes, contact your County Agent. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions here and elsewhere, gardeners love to share and we all started out like yourself. RScott
Practice practice practice – a lot of plant and garden care is use your head easy. When you want to delve into the organics, composting, Latin names and terminology there are tons of reference for first time gardeners in your local library.
I like the “Sunset” gardening books. They are very specific about your area and what grows there. They give you the bad news as well as the good which is what you need. Also walk around your neighborhood and see which plants are successful and look good. (Tip: When you get your Sunset Garden Book, figure out your zone then write it on the inside of the front cover so you don’t have to remember it every time you want to use the book.)