Gardening is an excellent hobby, combining physical labor with intellectual development. Generally, unless someone really goes overboard, it is more of a stress-relief than a stressor. But with the vast amount of options available, it can seem rather overwhelming at first for the gardening novice. Fortunately, like any other hobby, there’s a great deal of information available for the seeker. But the best advice is to make friends with farmers.

The Internet is, of course, the storehouse for all things information-related. One can find out how to fix Chicken Kiev, what the score was in the 1961 World Series, and do this while playing cards against a 12-year-old across the globe. And the Internet can give you information on gardening.

Somewhere in the vast network of computers, the Internet will contain all the information you need when starting a garden. However, there is no substitute for experience. Find and befriend a farmer. Talk to someone whose family has worked the land for generations. Farmers don’t just know the crops, they know the land. They can tell you when it’s going to be a bad winter or a dry summer.

Whether you have the Internet, a farmer, or his almanac, there is information you will need when you start a garden. First, you have to decide what you are going to grow. Do you want to garden flowers? Do you want to grow vegetables? Do you want to plant trees? Once you have decided this, the Internet can show you what plants grow well in your area. Not every fruit, vegetable, and flower grow equally well in all areas. It’s why you don’t see orange trees in Alaska.

The climate plays a gigantic role in what grows where and when. In a similar vein, you need to learn what the growing season is in your area. Not every area grows plants at the same time. North Dakotans will tell you that you don’t plant anything in April that is not resistant to cold. You can be certain that you will receive one last snowstorm, and you don’t want it wiping out your hard efforts before you even start.

So now you take what you want to grow that actually will grow, what season you will grow it, and you need to plant it. Planting is more complex than just dropping seeds into the ground. It may have worked for Johnny Appleseed, but real gardeners need to prepare the soil. They may possibly need to fence in the garden before ever planting a seed. Anyone who has had his delicious-looking ripe broccoli devoured by a hungry bunny knows the value of a roll of chicken wire.

Once that is done, you plant and wait. Some plants need careful monitoring during their growth, others can just be left alone. Again, a farmer can tell you this. Regardless of what you decide to grow, gardening is a rewarding hobby. Flower growers can see their labors bloom. Vegetable growers can eat the products of their labor. No matter what though, gardeners put everything into their work and deserve their rewards.

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