May Pathfinders: Gardening

It’s almost that time of year again…gardening season.  Below there are pathfinders for kids, teens, and adults. Read on to learn about how to start, maintain, and enjoy your garden this year!

 

Kids

Visit this site to become a Junior Master Gardener. Take quizzes to learn about everything that comes together to make a garden grow!

JMGKids Online: Junior Master Gardener:  http://www.jmgkids.us/index.cfm?did=2066&sectionID=2016

This site has everything you need to know to start your garden. Click on the “Show Me the Basics” link to get started.

My First Garden:  http://urbanext.illinois.edu/firstgarden/

Image from:  craftjr.com

Image from: craftjr.com

How does a seed become a plant? This site explains the science of how plants grow.

Biology of Plants:  http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/

Beans are easy to grow (and they taste good, too). Here’s how to plant green beans in 8 simple steps.

Activity: Plant a Green Bean:  http://boowakwala.uptoten.com/kids/boowakwala-adventures-beans-beanactivity.html

Did you know that a tomato is actually a fruit? Learn more about this easy-to-grow plant here:

Fresh for Kids—Tomatoes!:  http://www.freshforkids.com.au/veg_pages/tomato/tomato.html

 

Teens

Image from:  inspirationgreen.com

Image from: inspirationgreen.com

Green graffiti artists everywhere are putting down their spray paint cans and picking up…moss? That’s right, here’s an eco-friendly way to make your mark! (Please remember that any kind of graffiti without permission is illegal, so if you want to give this a try, make sure you have permission first).

How to Make Moss Graffiti: 6 Steps (with pictures):  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Moss-Graffiti

Image from:  blog.friendseat.com

Image from: blog.friendseat.com

If you think that pumpkins and watermelons are round, think again! Here are some examples of strangely shaped fruits and veggies and how you can get them to grow that way.

The New Shapes of Garden Produce:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/17919/new-shapes-garden-produce

As you’ll see on this site, from tin cans to baby strollers, almost anything can be used as a planter.

TLC Home: “15 Creative Container Garden Ideas”:  http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/creative-container-garden-ideas.htm

A 16 year old explains how to make your garden flourish.

Spring Gardening Tips: Ten Steps to Success:  http://gardeningforteens.com/spring-gardening-tips-ten-steps-to-success/

Have you ever visited one of these famous gardens?

Top Ten Gardens:  http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/gardens/

Image from:  http://www.today.com/travel/giant-miracle-garden-dubais-latest-over-top-attraction-1C8616900

Image from: http://www.today.com/travel/giant-miracle-garden-dubais-latest-over-top-attraction-1C8616900

Giant “Miracle Garden” is Dubai’s latest over-the-top attraction:   http://www.today.com/travel/giant-miracle-garden-dubais-latest-over-top-attraction-1C8616900

 

Adults

It’s a little early to plant yet, but it is time to think about getting ready for gardening season. Many gardening successes come about because of careful planning and management.

Image from:  commons.wikimedia.org

Image from: commons.wikimedia.org

Preparing Gardens

There are several sites that will help you prepare your gardens. This garden website will give you a clear idea of the basics: sunlight, soil composition, and moisture.

Gardening Advice:  Preparing a New Garden: http://www.gardenweb.com/sesbania/newgard.html

If your soil is too sandy or clay packed, consider the idea of using raised beds in your garden. The following site will help you investigate them as an option and show you how to prepare them.

Raised Beds:  Preparing your Garden Beds for Spring:  http://eartheasy.com/blog/2011/03/raised-beds-preparing-your-garden-beds-for-spring/

All gardens benefit from a compost pile. This site will give you the directions for several different types. The one pictured below looks like it would be pretty simple to put together. Step by step directions for several types (along with materials needed) can be found at:

How to Build a Compost Bin:  http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6957

compost

Image from qsl.net 

Gardening with kids

Image from :  homegardenexpos.com

Image from : homegardenexpos.com

For some wonderful tips for gardening with kids, try this pdf.

The site also suggests the book “Worms Eat MY Garbage” as a teaching tool; Ellsworth Public Library owns two copies to borrow.  You can access our catalog here.

Local Resources

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service in Hancock County gives the people in this area access to great gardening information. They have several educational programs and workshops going on at various times during the year. They also produce the Maine Home Garden News that can be accessed for free on line. The articles are written by UMaine Extension specialists, educators, and horticulture professionals, as well as Master Gardener Volunteers from around the state. Visit their website at:

The University of Maine—Cooperative Extension in Hancock County http://extension.umaine.edu/hancock/

There is also an organization called the “Maine Organic Farmer & Garden” (MOFGA) that produces a newsletter full of gardening information. The organization helps farmers and gardeners grow organic food, support rural farming and promote environmentally sound gardening practices. Find their WEB sites at:

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association www.mofga.org

The rate for joining the organization and receiving the newsletter (4 issues) is $15 dollars per year, but we receive the newsletter here at the library, so feel free to come in and look it over!

Farmers’ Markets

Image from:  bluehillfarmersmarket.com

Image from: bluehillfarmersmarket.com

If by chance, you are not interested (or don’t have a place) for your own garden, you can still get fresh produce for several of the local farmers’ markets in the summer. At the Woodlawn Museum site, there is a market year round on Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm. A seasonal farmer’s market takes place in Ellsworth from May to October. It is located at the Hancock Oil parking lot at 190 Main St. on Saturdays 9:30 to 12:30. On Mondays and Thursdays the market is located at the Maine Community Parking lot at 245 Main St. from 2 pm to 5:30 pm.

For a complete Maine Farmers’ Market Directory, go to

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

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