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‘urgent garden question’ forums are open!

forum-frogOH, BABY, TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. That’s the motto here at A Way to Garden, where after less than a month in operation (meaning I still don’t know what most of the “buttons” on the control panel mean) we’re going to open our new Urgent Garden Question Forums as of right now. This is the place to ask and answer all those garden questions that are driving you mad…or to just talk gardening. Why do I call them the Urgent Garden Question Forums? The idea goes back many years, and credit belongs to my sister, Marion. Read the essay about how the phrase was coined and what was so urgent…or learn the what and why of the forums…or just proceed directly to them (up in the nav) and enjoy.

WHAT THE FORUMS DO

What they do first is ask that you register, even if you registered on the blog previously.

I’ve organized the forums for starters by some logical subjects, like Flower Gardening and Edible Gardening and Houseplants and so forth. Within those, you can start a new topic (ask a question, for instance, or start a discussion about something like greattrees for the home landscape) or jump in and answer a thread that’s already been started. Or you can suggest to me (my name there is ugq for Urgent Garden Questioner) that I start another forum on some category I’ve overlooked, as we grow this thing together.

And I mean together: Forums are created for the community that inhabits a blog or website, the place where you (not me) steer (or start) the conversation. And I will shut up while you do that, and show up and answer what I can, when I can. A lot at first, of course. I promise to jump in, and try to help any/all, but remember: These forums are yours to shape. Go ahead.

Great features: You can upload photos of something in your garden that you can’t ID, or a design puzzle you’re facing (i.e., “What’s wrong with this garden picture?”).

You can connect with other members, either within a public topic, or privately, though PM (private messaging). You can designate someone a friend (or a foe). You’ll figure it all out.

You can vote in a poll that I post, or suggest to me something you’d like me to post a poll about and I will set it up. You can style your posts in the forum by color and font and type size, if you so desire. You can learn about more of the details by just wandering around awhile, and if something’s “broken,” you can read the FAQ near “Register” or “Login” in blue letters on the right side of the forum’s pages.

WHAT THE FORUMS DON’T DO

This is probably not the place to hate your spouse out loud (an occasional joke is OK) or try to sell the scary thing you’re hawking on your 3 A.M. infomercial. This is a community of gardeners, and generally speaking the topics should be about gardening or some corollary to gardening. (Which doesn’t mean I frown in any way whatsoever about matters of the spirit. Gardening is, after all, part spiritual practice, part horticultural practice…emphasis in both cases on the word “practice” because we never get it quite right, do we?)

Again, I am hoping your utterances track back to gardening by some thread, please. Like I said, we’re going to take a walk on the wild side by flipping the switch and opening the Urgent Garden Question Forums. If knew how to embed an MP3 file, I’d put Lou Reed in here right now, singing the riff from that famous song of his to accompany us as we do the deed. But I haven’t learned that feature yet (where is the MP3 plug-in for the WordPress system, I wonder? Anybody know?), nor do I know what will happen when we turn on the forums (does anybody smell smoke?). So bon voyage, away we go. Think of it like trying to grow Zone 8 plants in Zone 5: an experiment for those who dare. Onward.

  1. mplonski says:

    But what if I just want to ask how to get my grass to grow? I don’t see a forum for the simple Urban garden grower. ;-)

  2. margaret says:

    Good idea…I will put it on my to-do list. Meantime my favorite lawn resources are Safe Lawns (a non-profit promoting organic care) at http://www.safelawns.org/, and Cornell Cooperative Extension (assuming you are in a northern region like mine) at http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/lawn/. The Cornell site includes chemical and non-chemical options; you know where I stand I expect.
    Paul Tukey of Safe Lawns wrote a fantastic book called “The Organic Lawn Care Manual,” and it really is the best, sanest program I can imagine–answers every question. On the Safe Lawns site he does a series of videos and if you can get past the pre-roll ads they are also good.
    Hope this helps.
    M.

  3. Patti says:

    I don’t know where else to go! I need your help. Any chance you’ve ever had a skunk under your deck???! You are my number one gardening blog, and thought perhaps some of us fellow gardeners may have experienced the frustration of trying to get this fella to leave. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    THANK YOU
    -Patti

    1. Margaret says:

      @Patti: Yes, I have had this problem myself, more than once. :( Wonder if it’s a she and she is doing what expectant moms do: get ready for a brood (usually April-ish here). You can catch them live in a Havahart trap but then there’s the tricky bit on picking up the trap without getting sprayed and moving them.

      The surefire solution costs $$ — but it is calling a pest-control service in your area that employs licensed nuisance wildlife removers. Looking up “nuisance wildlife removal” or just “nuisance wildlife” with your county/state will get a name to call, I expect.

      Catfood works in the traps (skunks eat ANYTHING, actually) but again, there is the issue of getting skunked…and by the time you buy a big Havahart for $50 or $60 and nearly have a nervous breakdown around the details, I wonder if the nuisance wildlife certified person isn’t safer/better?

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