Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ray Dale

Spring gardening augmented through a trip to the library

Literary Junction
Even though the more pleasant weather of spring continues to just flirt with us, the growing season for plants is quickly approaching. My wife’s tulips are already up and, around town, leaf buds are appearing on trees and lawns are beginning to turn green. 
 
Big Horn County Extension office has started taking reservations for the community garden. For those who like to grow their own flowers or vegetables, it’s time to start thinking about what to plant this year.
 
If you like having your own garden and are looking for helpful ideas, we may be able to help you at the Big Horn County Library. We have a very nice selection of books dedicated to the art of home gardening.
 
One such book is entitled The Essential Kitchen Gardener by Frieda Arkin. This is a practical guide for the gardener who wants to grow items that will go from the garden to the kitchen. Arkin explains everything from what to grow, where to grow it, and when to plant and harvest it. She also gives tips on proper storage of plants and methods to get the most nutrition out of your harvest.
 
Those who lean more towards an herb garden may be interested in Herbs for the Home by Jekka McVicar. In this volume McVicar, who is a leading grower of herbs in the United Kingdom, draws on her years of hands-on experience to offer a practical guide for uses and cultivation of these plants. The book details more than 335 plants with tips on propagation, along with applications from the practical to the decorative.
 
If you are more of a flower gardener, Perennials by Sally Roth and Jane Courtier may be helpful. This book deals with designing your garden, and choosing and maintaining easy-care plants that will ensure beautiful blooms throughout the growing season. Also, the book Annuals from Better Homes and Gardens will help you choose annual plants to augment your garden with exciting ways to mix and match flowers.
 
Perhaps you are looking for better ways to utilize your water resources. If so, you may want to look at the book Drip System Watering by Jack Kramer. Kramer points out that in using conventional hoses or sprinklers, one is really watering the ground, not the plant. His solution is to use a system whereby water is dripped steadily over time on the root zones. He explains how to set up such a system for your garden, and provides charts showing water absorption and penetration. 
 
If you are interested in getting some ideas to improve your technique or would like to plant your first garden, we probably have something that will help you. The books mentioned above are just a sample of our library collection to help you get the most out of your summer garden.
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