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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone has recommendations for a good website on outdoor gardening. Or perhaps a good book. My wife and I are going to be re-doing our yard in the next month or two and it's kind of new to me. We'll be levelling ground, planting sod, planting bushes & plants and probably setting up drippers and a sprinkler system. Never really done anything like that before.
 

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I've been curious about this as well. I want to start a veggie garden, add more bushes and trees, and just make my landscaping more lush. Is there such a thing as a plantedtank.net forum, but for home outdoor gardens?
 

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One of the best places to check is your county extension agent. Most larger counties, by population anyway, have a Master Gardener program. They will have periodicals, lists of recommended plants, how-tos, just tons of information, geared to your local area and climate. The thing to watch out for on a general site is that what applies to New England won't work in Texas, and vice versa.

Also, check with your state universities. Texas A&M has an excellent website devoted to horticulture, but again, it is geared to our climate.

I have lots of gardening sites I visit, but they are local, and I live in the Ft. Worth, TX, area--gardening here is like nowhere else in the US (and difficult!), so they wouldn't be of much help to you. Here in Tarrant County, Master Gardeners man phone lines at the extension office to answer questions, and they have a huge number of periodicals they can email to people in this area.

Ringram, in Sacramento, I'll bet they have a Master Gardener program. Some of these groups even do lectures on gardening.

And Jen, vegetable gardening is a big part of county extensions. These offices got started helping farmers in agriculture, but now that farming has changed so much, most counties in urban areas have horticulture programs aimed at the homeowner.

So if you ever want to move to Texas, and struggle to keep your plants alive in 107 degree heat, no rain, and water restrictions, I can help you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. I was actually hoping for a forum-based website, where people might have "how-to's" and things like that. I have a Western Gardens book at home, but will check around for a Master Garden program, although I'm not really looking to take a class, attend lectures, etc... I'm looking for something much more informal and user-based.
I wonder if I'd be able to grow Bird of Paradise around here. I know I've seen them in the S.F. area, but it gets quite a bit more hot around Sacramento in the summer time (hit a high of 113 last summer, but the norm is around 95-100 at peak).
 

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Ringram, you don't have to take classes. But I know your county would have a county extension agent, and they probably have a Master Gardener program. The Master Gardeners volunteer to come to the county office and answer the telephone, answering questions about gardening and plants, etc. You could call up there and ask them if you could grow Bird of Paradise. They could also send you a list of recommended trees, shrubs, perennials for your area. And, if your area has a website, they can direct you to that. I don't know of any gardening forums, but I'm sure there are some--again, the best ones for you would be ones in your area.
 

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I believe the bird of paridise should be okay in Sacremento. They like it hot, but they also like it kind of humid, so sock the water to them in the dry times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We're going to set up drippers and a sprinkler system when we redo the yard. I may even set up misters in some areas if it needs it. We're still in the planning and researching stages, but thanks for the info! I have some reading to do.
 

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Nah. My wife and I are planning on doing all, or at least most of it. We're young, have free time and want to learn how to do this stuff. I've done some of the basic planting bushes, plants and such in the past. Just looking for ideas or an area to post questions if something comes up.
 
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