Where can I find help maintaining some landscaping?
July 21, 2005 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I find myself responsible for a semi-large, quite varied chunk of landscaping. Shrubs, flowers, trees, you name it. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Where can I find help?

Ideally there'd be an AskMe-like place where I could post questions about specific plants.
"Is this a weed? If not, how do I nurture it?"
"This plant looks like it's dying. What do I do?"
"This shrub is out of control. What bits do I cut off?

posted by pornucopia to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Ideally they'd love to answer questions about plants, and I could post pictures too.
posted by pornucopia at 2:15 PM on July 21, 2005

In general, if a shrub is out of control, it's safe to hack the hell out of it. Seriously. Any shrub that grows like crazy doesn't care about being cut back hard. It's almost difficult to cut such shrubs back hard enough. (I'm looking at you, Mr. Laurel hedge outside my window.)

Your user info page doesn't say where you're located, and your question doesn't say, either, so it's difficult to provide concrete sources of info tailored to your locale.

Around here (Oregon's Willamette Valley), I often rely on the state college's web sites and their extension services. OSU fosters a Master Gardener program in the state (surely there are similar programs elsewhere), and when I have a question, I seek out a Master Gardener. I'm fortunate to have one, a friend, who lives a quarter mile from my house.

There must surely be books tailored to your area, too, and your public library would be happy to loan them to you.
posted by jdroth at 2:43 PM on July 21, 2005

I really enjoy the forums at Garden Web. There's one for just about every type of plant/garden/condition that you could imagine. They are searchable, and you can post pictures and your own questions as well.
posted by Ostara at 2:51 PM on July 21, 2005

I do the same. You can reach me with questions at kenmce@spamcop.net. I also recommend Gardenweb. What climate are you in?
posted by Ken McE at 4:52 PM on July 21, 2005

Thanks for the recommendations. I am in the Pacific Northwest.
posted by pornucopia at 9:32 PM on July 21, 2005

My wife recommends the Western Garden Book. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the Oregon State extension service is a fantastic resource.
posted by jdroth at 11:00 PM on July 21, 2005

Find a nursery nearby and start visiting, buy a few things, try to get to know the employees' names... they are an invaluable resource and you won't feel like as much of a freeloader when you go in with a wilted leaf cutting to ask, "What the hell is this?" Locally-owned center, if at all possible, rather than the garden section of Home Depot.
posted by SashaPT at 6:32 AM on July 22, 2005

I second your state extension service; I think all states have one, the one in here in GA also has a master gardener program that my mother completed.
posted by TedW at 11:04 AM on July 22, 2005

You need a good, honest nurseryman.

And a plan. Don't do anything major without a plan.

And some good books.

I've not really found anything decent online for gardening.
posted by wilful at 9:46 PM on July 24, 2005

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