May Pathfinders: Gardening Innovations

If you like to garden, there are many different ways to do so and many places in and out of your house that you can put to use. This month’s pathfinder will take you to some of the different, unique ways of doing a little gardening.

Kids

Here are a couple of gardening games to help you learn about how plants grow:

Gardening with Caillou: http://www.sproutonline.com/games/gardening-caillou

The Great Plant Escape (game): http://urbanext.illinois.edu/gpe/index.cfm

This site has some great tips for growing vegetables and taking care of your garden:

Kids’ Valley Garden: http://www.typodermic.com/garden/index.html

Image from:  flickr.com

Image from: flickr.com

Do you believe in fairies? Make a wonderful summer house for them in your yard or garden.

How to Build- Fairy Houses: https://www.fairyhouses.com/about-fairy-houses/how-to-build/

Teens

These amazing gardens are sure to take your breath away:

Famous Gardens of the World on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggiepoohbear/famous-gardens-of-the-world/

Image from:  flickr.com

Image from: flickr.com

Here’s a whole new way to look at flowers:

The Secret Garden: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~agrxray/

Here’s a creative space solution…grow your garden vertically. You can even make living wallpaper!

Vertical Garden: The art of organic architecture: http://pingmag.jp/2006/12/08/vertical-garden-the-art-of-organic-architecture/

Just for fun:

15 Plants that Forgot They’re Plants: http://www.bforbel.com/2014/03/15-plants-that-forgot-theyre-plants.html

Parents and Teachers

Here are some activities to teach and inspire young “green thumbs”:

Indoor Garden Projects for Kids: http://containergardening.about.com/od/containergardening101/tp/6-Indoor-Garden-Projects-For-Kids.htm

Terrific Terrariums: Create Your Own Indoor Garden World: http://www.kidsgardening.org/activity/terrific-terrariums-create-your-own-indoor-garden-world

Check out the school gardens in Maine and learn how to start your own!

Maine School Garden Network – Quick Start to a Garden – http://www.msgn.org/resources/get-your-garden-growing.html

Maine School Garden Network – How to Sustain Your Garden Project – http://www.msgn.org/resources/how-to-sustain-your-garden-program.html

Adults

First, if you have never gardened, go to this site to get started with a beginners guide.

A guide for the first-time gardener:  http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/a-guide-for-the-first-time-gardener

The local Cooperative Extension office of the University of Maine office can also help you get started. Visit their web site at:

The University of Maine:  http://extension.umaine.edu/

For a garden that needs little maintenance, you can try straw bale gardens. These gardens do not need weeding, and harvesting is a breeze. Gardening with this method extends the growing season for our area.  For more information go to:

Why Straw Bale Gardening?: http://strawbalegardens.com/faqs/2-why-straw-bale-gardening

“Forest gardening” is the term used when plants are selected for their height and how much sun they need. A seven layer system was invented by a John Hart (see the example below). For more information go to:

Plant an Edible Forest Garden:  http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/plant-edible-forest-garden-permaculture.aspx#axzz2yVcEzFQD

en wikipedia org

Image from en.wikipedia.org

 

Companion planting is simply putting plants together (and sometimes flowers)  that like each other and help each other grow. For more on this method of planting, go to:

The Definition of Companion Planting:  http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4715/the-definition-of-companion-planting

Another idea is using different plants for pest control. To find out more try this site:

Beyond spray and wipe-out:  http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/homestyle/beyond-spray-and-wipeout-20120504-1y3gt.html

And, for a wonderful companion planting chart, go to:

Vegetable Companion Planting Chart:  http://www.ufseeds.com/Vegetable-Companion-Planting-Chart.html

In this area, gardening may have to be done near salt water (which can be a problem). This site will help.

Seaside Vegetables -How To Grow A Veggie Garden by Sea:  http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/seaside/growing-seaside-vegetables.htm

A fun site to check out is this one. “Edible Estates” was founded by Los Angeles–based artist Fritz Haeg.  He has done these projects around the world.  Follow one such project as a lawn with a kitchen garden, so they can grow their own food:

From Lawn to Garden:  Edible Estate #15:  http://blogs.walkerart.org/ecp/2013/06/10/from-lawn-to-garden-edible-estate-15/

If you don’t have a yard, it doesn’t mean that you will be left out. This site will give you an array of plants that can be grown indoors.

The 16 Best Healthy, Edible Plants to Grow Indoors:  http://greatist.com/health/best-plants-to-grow-indoors

This site also has some other great gardening ideas.

30 Insanely Clever Gardening Tricks:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/insanely-clever-gardening-tricks

If you absolutely can’t garden, you can get fresh produce by going to a farmers’ market. To find one in your area, go to:

http://www.getrealmaine.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/farmersMarkets.directory/index.htm

 

 

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