September 18, 2011

The purpose of this special blog is to get your response so we can evaluate the success of previous articles and to determine what, if any, topics you might be interested in for the future.

 When Katie asked me in May to write a weekly gardening tip to help other DIY gardeners save money and grow healthful produce, I agreed to try it. I have gardened for years but I'm not an expert and I don't have a Master Gardener title. I have never blogged before writing these articles. Katie would tell me the number of "hits" and "likes", but since I didn't have Facebook then, I didn't fully appreciate what that meant. Based on her encouragement, I have endeavored to share timely and accurate ideas (as Mark Twain said, I can go a month on one good complement). These have been based on my experiences (good and bad) as well as non-commercial web sites (primarily government sites and Wikipedia, providing links for those who want to know more) and local sources (like Agway, Kovaric, etc). I have learned some things myself in the process, but I want to know if any of you have too. Have you benefited from this series? Has it all been worth our while? Now is your opportunity to let us know. If you missed any of the articles or want to review them, here is a list of the topics and the archive dates. Then see the last paragraph.

#          Archive dates    Subject title & brief summary
1          5/15 - 5/22         Gardening in beds - grow more with less effort in less space
2          5/22 - 5/29         Garden weed control - nip them in the bud to keep them under control
3          5/29 - 6/05         Thinning - prevent overcrowding but don't waste the thinnings
4          6/05 - 6/12         Transplanting - without wilting & with proper spacing
5          6/12 - 6/19         Fruit tree - selection, planting, & care
6          6/19 - 6/26         Peas - they tell you when they are ready to pick
7          6/26 - 7/03         Fruit tree pruning of "water sprouts" & undesired branches
8          7/03 - 7/10         Herb garden - the best spot is near your kitchen door
9          7/10 - 7/17         Raspberries - develop a patch from just a few plants
10         7/17 - 7/24         Composting - making "brown gold" in a way that works for you
11         7/31 - 8/07         Garlic, onions, & shallots - harvest & storage
12         8/07 - 8/14         Yard weed control - systematically & without chemicals
13         8/14 - 8/21         Perpetual flower beds - enjoy the beauty all season every year
14         8/21 - 8/28         Garden log book - map your planting for rotation & record success/failure
15         9/04 - 9/11         Freezing/preserving - making good use of the abundance

Do you want "DIY - Gardening with Mr. C" to continue? What would you like to know more about? Are there topics that would interest you and others? Do you have a tip to share? Do any of the following suggested to-do topics interest you? Then see the last paragraph. 

a          Eliminating lawn toadstools/mushrooms (my latest project)
b          "Fixing the corn" when the wind blows it down
c          Dehydrating herbs, fruit, etc
d          Drying and storing seeds (beans, peas, etc)
e          Making pickles (cuke, watermelon rind, etc)
f           Winter crop storage (cabbage, carrots, winter squash)
g          Putting your garden to "bed" for the winter
h          Extending the season with a cold-frame
i           Your write-in subjects

We want your input regarding both of these lists. Indicate the # of any past articles that you found helpful (and preferably how you benefited). Also list the letter corresponding to any to-do topics listed above that you are interested in as well as your write-in suggestions. There are two ways for you to provide us your votes. Make a list of what you liked, would like, and reasons - then either post it on the S&S Facebook page or in "comments" below.  We will tally all inputs submitted by Thursday (9/22) and post results and specific comments here on or soon after Saturday (9/24).