Sunday, March 14, 2010
Last time, we got you thinking about starting a garden. Since then, it has rained and rained and... you may have found you can't to a darn thing. Even if the rain has stopped the ground is still much too wet to till. However, you can keep your enthusiasm high by learning a few more gardening how-to's, understanding which varieties you can grow, and even giving some of those seeds a jumpstart indoors.
Previously, we pointed you to the resources on the University of Maryland's gardening site but today - to really get you going - it's time for Cornell University's Cooperative Extension Program. It's certainly one of the best gardening sites around.
A little diversion here for some bakground about and kudos to the Cooperative Extension Service. The program began in 1914 as a way of disseminating university research to farmers and families so they could apply the latest findings in life sciences and agricultural research to their lives and practices. It was literally an extension of the university that took place at UMD, Cornell, and almost all major state universities in the U.S. I'm a big fan because the Extension Service has helped so many farmers and regular folks improve their quality of life and crops despite, in many cases, having limited education and little chance to obtain this knowledge. The programs provided a critical independent source of gardening, nutrition, health, and child rearing guidance long before there was an internet, before corporate farming took over food production, and before we all had instant access to affordable food and health care services 24/7. And FYI, Extension Services ae still providing this service today.
So I urge you to visit Cornell's site (find it here) for user-friendly, easy-to-understand guides and info on veggies, flowers and lawns...
BTW, beyond just reading about gardening on these wet days, you can actually start some plants indoors right now. I've planted some basil and lettuce indoors to get a jump on outdoor planting and provide the opportunity to see progress with my garden daily (newly emerging basil seeds are pictured). In just a few more days, the lettuce should pop.