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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finding Information for Your Garden

Ozarks Gardening, August 17, 2010
Jim Long

I receive questions by email each week from readers, and I’m always happy to try and answer. The questions fall into two categories: (1) wanting specific information about a plant, or (2) looking for information about finding a seed, plant or supplement.

When I make a reference to a specific plant, seed or organic product, I always try to list the source where readers can find that item. Occasionally I leave out a source, and when that happens and you want the information there are two easy ways to get access to that information.

The first method should always be to do a simple Google search. For those who use computers for email, but may not use it for anything else, here’s the method. Look at the screen you use for email. The screen you see is a “browser.” No matter whether you use AOL, Firefox, Safari or some other browser, everyone uses some form of a browser to access the internet. The browser is the page you see on your computer screen when you are connected to the internet.

Look at the upper right corner of your browser’s page. There will be a blank box that is labeled either Yahoo or Google. Simply type in the word, plant or seed you are looking for and hit the return button on your keyboard (or click on the find symbol next to the box). That will allow Google to search the entire internet for the reference you are looking for. So if you are looking for Red Seeded Chinese Long Bean, type that in and it will bring up references (including links to my blog postings, other people’s writings, and the sources where you can buy the seed). It’s that simple. Don’t know how to spell the name? Get as close as you can in the Google search, Google will bring up the corrected word. And, no, doing a Google search does not open you up to Spam. No one can get information from you when you are simply doing searches for information.

The other method is to type in my website address: and when you arrive on my home page, look for the button (on the pull-down menu) titled, “Looking for Plants?” That page will take you to my list of recommendations of plant and seed sources, with links directly to those so you can browse through their on-line catalogs.

So many times the internet is the last place people go to find information, and yet it probably should be the first place they think of. Want information about controlling potato beetles, or whether control is even necessary? In less than 2 seconds you can have that information right in front of you. Need to know where to find Native American bean information? As fast as you can type it in the Google box, you will have the information. Want to know what bugs are good bugs to have in the garden, or how to control a new undesirable bug? You can find the information on Google. Insects bothering your indoor ferns or houseplants? The answer is a simple click away by doing a Google search.

If you miss one of my columns, or want to reread something I’ve written about previously, you will likely find it on my Ozarks Gardening blog. Type in this address: You can go there and read the postings. I would be grateful if you would click the “Follow” button and follow the instructions. That will let me know that people are actually reading my OzarksGardening blog. You will get a notification by email every time I post a new column there, as well, so you won’t miss any. You can leave comments and ask questions, too.

My website:; see what’s happening in my garden each week on my garden blog:, and now the new Ozarks Gardening blog which archives my columns in this newspaper: Happy gardening!

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