The Garden Gate: Gardener's Guide
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Title: The Garden Gate: Gardener's Guide
The Gardener's Guide to Finding Answers on the Internet
Copyright © 1997 Karen Fletcher. All Rights Reserved.
The Internet is great for surfing but when it comes to finding a specific piece
of information, it's still hard paddling. Although we have Alta Vista, Yahoo,
Lycos, and exicte! and all the numerous other catalogs and search engines,
finding specific gardening information is still not an easy task.
Here are some useful tools, some old (in Internet years) and some new,
which will help you find answers to your questions quickly and efficiently.
Broad Topics -
Specific Questions -
Plant Selection -
Tips and Tricks -
For broad topics - e.g., daylilies, herbs, rhododendrons, strawberries -
check one of the following collections. With luck you will turn up a
hobbyist's or association's homepage with original content and a good
collection of further links.
The following collections are organized by topic:
If your topic is very specialized, you may want to resort to the Web's
search utilities and catalogs. The best of these are:
- The Teaching Garden
- Here at The Garden Gate. Offers glossaries, FAQs, special topic WWW pages, collections,
and plant lists.
The Gardening Launching Pad
- A large collection of gardening links organized into categories.
Guide to Internet Resources
- An alphabetical topic index.
Internet Directory for Botany - Gardening
- An extensive alphabetical list of gardening links from the excellent
Internet Directory for
- World Wide Web Virtual Library: Gardening
- Part of the WWW Virtual Library,
- Alta Vista. The capability to do
permits highly focussed searches.
- Excite! offer results ranked by relevance.
- Yahoo WWW Guide is a large catalog arranged hierarchically by subject.
- Lycos: Catalog of the Internet offer custom search options
If you are looking for more specific information, for instance, the answer
to a particular gardening question -
'Is it too late to plant my bulbs?', 'When should I divide my irises?',
'Why is my spathiphyllum looking so puny?' - you best off searching
the wealth of information made available by Universities and Cooperative
Extensions around the country.
WebGarden's Factsheet Database (Ohio State).
- Searchable database of over 5000 fact sheets from Universities and
Cooperative Extensions in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Horticulture Solutions (Illinois Cooperative Extension)
- Hundreds of concise solutions to common gardening problems. Organized
Virginia Cooperative Extension Consumer Horticulture
- An excellent collection of detailed, easy-to-read factsheets, particularly for
Fruits and Vegetables and
Indoor gardening - potted plants.
A site map makes it easier to find what you're looking for.
PENpages (Penn State)
- Good ol' gopher with over 20,000 documents on a wide variety of topics.
Home Horticulture from Michigan State University Extension
- Indexed and searchable collection of factsheets.
AGinfo (University of Delaware)
- More limited: a searchable database of landscape plants.
Plants selection is by turns enjoyable and frustrating. Even the best books can
offer no more than lists meeting one or two criteria. These online databases let
you choose plants by multiple criteria.
Tips and Tricks
- Gardening Encyclopedia
- A searchable online database from Books That Work.
Encylcopedia for over 1000 plants
by color, flowering time, and light requirements.
HTGrover - Landscape Plant Selection Knowledgebase
- Search the knowledgebase by selecting by type, USDA Zone, size, and over
60 other criteria
(don't choose too many at once, or your search will come up empty; use Reload to
clear the form). Centre for Landscape Research, University of Toronto.
The Virtual Garden
- Time Warner's Virtual Garden features a searchable database
based on their Gardener's Encyclopedia.
Gardeners are never short of opinions, so if you're looking for
picks and pans on catalogs, books, favorite varieties or for
creative solutions to gardening problems, newsgroups and mailing
lists are an excellent place to put your question. But if
you are looking for a solid, authoritative answer,
these forums are about as reliable a source of high-quality
information as the average backyard full of gardening friends
at a barbeque. You might get lucky and be offered advice by
a bona fide expert, but then again you might end up with bad
advice that will end up costing you time and money. As a
general rule, the more specialized the forum, the better
the chance that it will offer high-quality information.
Mailing Lists for Gardeners
- Dozens of mailings lists cover many specialized topics.
If the information you are looking for is regional--say, recommended
vegetables varieties or pesticide recommendations--you might check your
state's Cooperative Extension and familiarize yourself with their
offerings. Don't forget to check neighboring states, too, for information
relevant to your USDA Zone and climate. Don't stray too far, though. A
single USDA Zone can span the continent and climate and soil can vary
A Closing Thought
Cooperative Extensions by State
- From WWW Virtual Library: Gardening
AGRIgator (University of Florida)
- More general listings, including agricultural sites, by state.
There's always the trip to the library, but that's a radical
concept in this hi-tech age...
To The Garden Gate Homepage.
Copyright © 1997 Karen Fletcher. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated on April 27, 1997 by Karen Fletcher,