Gardening provides endless benefits from providing healthy foods, great exercise, positive environmental impacts, and stress reduction. One of the best parts of gardening is that it connects people locally and worldwide and enables them to share valuable information and help in finding local garden resources.
With so many varieties of plants that you can grow and the variables that can impact your success, there is always room for growth and learning. More often than not, gardeners who have paved the way before you are more than willing to share their experience, tips, and expertise to help you on your gardening journey.
Check out our full overview on finding local garden resources that are easy to access and can help guide you on your quest to become a more adept gardener.
Where you are located can profoundly impact how and when to plant as well as many other considerations. Many people do not know that each State Department of Agriculture has offices set up within local counties, sometimes in partnership with local universities, that can help gardeners and farmers with finding local garden resources.
These agencies are staffed by experts on a myriad of garden and landscaping topics that are ready and willing to answer your questions, troubleshot problems, provide local guidelines, and provide advice and support to all who seek it.
Almost every county in the United States is equipped with an extension office that is often supported by experts and volunteers from local universities. Extension offices are a great place to start your quest for reliable information specific to where you live.
How Can Extension Offices Help Local Gardeners?
Extension offices can offer invaluable information for local gardeners. They provide more pinpointed and localized information that can significantly enhance your gardening experience, help you avoid pitfalls, and give you the tools that you need to become a successful gardener. Their wealth of information can include:
- Directing you to local farms in the area
- Finding a nearby community garden
- Information on what grows best in your growing zone and region
- Soil requirements and common soil issues in your county
- Soil testing
- Water quality testing
- Provide information on native plants and invasive species
- Information on local noxious weeds
- Troubleshoot gardening problems
- Identification of plants, weeds, and insects
- How to combat pests and diseases common in your area
- Direct you on how and where to dispose of environmentally hazardous items properly.
So, if you have a question about anything related to lawns, gardens, farms, or local agriculture, take advantage of this free local garden resource.
Nurseries are places where plants are propagated and tended to throughout their growth cycles. Then they are sold to home gardeners, landscape artists, and commercial retailers. Nurseries cater to a wide range of indoor and outdoor plantings that on-site experts nurture. Plants, seeds, soil mixes, organic fertilizers, tools, and garden chemicals can be perused and purchased here. Nurseries also provide the resources and the expertise of the agricultural gurus, who have intense knowledge on how to grow plants and can field gardening inquiries.
Many nurseries are tapped into the social media community too. Experts are scouring their messaging systems excited and more than willing to share information about planting and growing. They are able to share what they have on hand to serve your individual gardening needs.
Garden centers provide shopping experiences for all things garden related, including landscaping materials. A garden center can be a one-stop-shop for anything you can think of to robustify your garden, build garden beds, buy tools and equipment, and much more. While you may be lucky enough to find workers who have green thumbs and some gardening knowledge, it can sometimes be hit or miss. It’s best to do your homework before shopping at a large garden center.
Local garden groups or garden clubs are available in most communities. They bring together people with a similar passion for gardening and can be a lot of fun to be a part of. Find a local gardening group and attend some meetings to see what they have to offer. Not only can you gain information, but you can share your expertise and experiences with others as well, becoming a mentor in your community.
Here are some things you have to gain from joining a local garden group.
- Community service opportunities
- Sharing of ideas
- Gardening tips and tricks
- Plant and seed sharing opportunities
- Town and local beautification projects
- Share your knowledge with others
Building a garden together is a fantastic way to create a sense of community. There are lots of reasons that you may seek out a community garden.
- You may be limited on outdoor space.
- Perhaps your yard conditions and available sunlight are not desirable for planting certain crops.
- You want to help beautify a vacant space.
- You want to meet new people with shared interests and make lifelong friendships.
- Perhaps your community garden is a giving garden that helps your local food bank, and you want to help.
- You just want to learn or are seeking a new experience.
Looking for a community garden near you? Check with your local extension office, perform a google search, ask local garden centers, botanical gardens, nurseries, city offices, and social media garden groups. If there isn’t one in your town or neighborhood, look into starting one!
Botanical gardens are a mecca for gardening and provide for research opportunities, teaching tools, and have the goals of protecting key plant species and the environment. Botanical gardens from around the world team up together to create a garden and plant information exchange that can benefit local gardeners.
Take a trip to a local botanical garden and gain inspiration from the plantings that thrive near where you live. Look into the services that botanical gardens provide, such as:
- Informative and inspirational garden tours
- Educational displays
- Keynote speaker events
- Local art exhibitions
- Botanical libraries or book rooms that are full of valuable books related to gardening
- Chat sessions with master gardeners
Garden Resources Groups – Facebook
The internet can be a wealth of information, and a simple search on Facebook can be the key to accessing garden groups on social media from around the globe. These garden groups are full of people with people who have similar interests and are more than willing to provide their garden resources, from identifying plants and pests to troubleshooting problems and providing recommendations.
It is common for community gardens and garden groups to have Facebook group pages for their community members too. The best way to search Facebook is to search ‘Community Garden’ or ‘Garden Club’ as well as a town or community name.
Instagram is another way to help with finding local garden resources quickly and easily. Use hashtags in the search bar to find garden related posts relevant to your USDA Grow Zone, plant variety, town, or gardening topic of inquiry. These keywords will bring up all posts that are tagged with that word or phrase so you can peruse them all and find a plethora of resources and valuable information.
Gardening and growing your own food are enriching experiences that connect people. When you are ready to get your hands dirty, it’s great to know that, right at your fingertips there is such a supportive network available by just finding local garden resources to help you along the journey.