What is the type of gardening/farming when you put different plants near each other to help protect from pests?

I am trying to find more information about the type of gardening or farming where you maybe plant a blueberry bush underneath an apple tree. This is supposed to allow natural type pesticides as well as keep soil rich.

Its called companion planting.

It can be used for various purposes. Some plants help to deter pests from other plants, such as garlic. Some help by attracting pests away from other plants, like planting aphid attracting Calendula next to roses. Some enrich the soil, like Dandelion that draws up nutrients from deep in the soil. Some contribute to the health of sickly plants, like chamomile (which also protects seedlings against damping off disease). Some attract beneficial insects that feed on insect that are infesting your garden, like Queen Anne’s Lace that attracts parasitic wasps.

There are a number of excellent books out there that cover companion planting in depth, such as Carrots Love Tomatoes, Roses Love Garlic by Louise Riotte

Here are a few sites that might interest you
http://www.sheridannurseries.com/gardensite/subGARDENTIP25mainframe.htm
http://www.mi.ca/compendium/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

How does someone become an expert on Gardening, get certified and make it a career?

I am interested in turning my small time hobby of gardening into a bit of a career. Are there classes, certifications, training that I can take in order to become an expert on plants, trees, etc? I’d like to have a deep knowledge of the various kinds of trees, shrubs, flowers that work in different climates, how to best plant and maintain them, to design landscapes with a variety of well-coordinated plants, etc. Should I try to become a certified arborist? Where do I start exploring this potential new career direction? Thanks.

If you are serious about doing this I would advise taking a college course – either a bachelors degree or an associates degree in horticulture. As a professional horticulturist I have to admit that my co-workers and I tend to see Master Gardener programs & such as more for amateurs – whether this is valid of not is very debatable, however, if you are loooking to for a career in horticulture then it is something to consider.

One way to see what you really like & to get to talk to more professionals is to do something like volunteering at a botanical garden or some other gardening type of institution.
One word of warning: having changed careers myself from an office job career to horticulture, horticulture or gardening is pretty hard work – working outside in all condtions etc. It also tends to be pretty low paid and can often just be seasonal, depending on where you live, It sounds like an ideal, fun, relaxing career, but, much as I love my job, I sometimes wonder if it would not have been best to leave it as a hobby.

I am not trying to discourage you in any way, I just would like to give you a balanced view of the career.

Ways to deter weeds and insects, any ideas?

I’m thinking of doing a no till bed veggie garden in Oklahoma with sandy/clay soil.
I’m going to be making a compost pile and doing everything organic…so if I cant use bug spray or weed killer how do I rid my garden of it’s unwanted guest?
sorry, I tend to question pretty much everything before embarking on a new quest lol.

When bugs first appear in the garden as plants are growing, we typically resort to some chemical to evict the pests. With some advance planning of your garden, you may be able to prevent them from showing up in the first place. The answer? Flowers!

Certain flowers give off a fragrance that repels bad bugs, while other flowers emit a fragrance that lures the good bugs.

Annuals

Both marigolds and nasturtium can handle a slew of buggy challenges. They thwart bugs that can harm your tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries including tomato hornworms, squash bugs, and whiteflies.

The fragrance of marigolds (more like odor because it is not a pleasant smell) is so strong, that if you plant marigolds around the perimeter of your garden, the mature plants will help deter rabbits and squirrels.

Perennials

Lavender is a wonderfully fragrant flower that can be cost prohibitive to show its true value. Lavender has the potential of keeping mice and ticks away, but you’d need a lot of the plants to create a lavender-fence so to speak. One of the best things about growing lavender is that you can use the highly fragrant buds to create sachet packets.

To attract ladybugs and lacewings, plant yarrow. Golden Marguerite (think yellow daisy) also brings in ladybugs and lacewings.

What kind of mulch should I use in my flower garden?

I live in an area that is prone to black widow spiders. My MIL says I need to stay away from the bark mulches because black widows tend to like hanging out in damp, woody places. I want to know if putting bark mulch in my garden would attract black widows, and if so, what other mulches could I use instead.

I use cypress mulch and also have a problem w/ black widows. I’ve never seen one under my mulch, the black widows at my house tend to hide under the wood trim by the porches.

What should I get for my gardening grandfather for Christmas?

I’ve bought for everyone but my grandfather. He’s 82 and loves gardening and water gardening. Usually, I get him a bird feeder (he loves bird watching) or something that has to do with hummingbirds. This year I’m at a loss. I’m a first year teacher on my own and on a very limited budget. Any ideas?

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Organic gardening: How to grow an organic vegetable garden

http://www.howdini.com/howdini-video-7561504.html

Organic gardening: How to grow an organic vegetable garden

What does it mean to grow vegetables organically? Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening magazine shows how to plant and nurture an organic vegetable garden.

Keywords:
organic gardening
organic garden
organic vegetable gardening
organic gardening tips

Duration : 0:5:40

Continue reading Organic gardening: How to grow an organic vegetable garden

Mulching Tips & Techniques : Using Mulch in Landscaping

Spread piles of mulch with a hard rake to cover areas at the desire depth. Learn to use mulch for landscaping from a horticulturist in this free gardening video.

Expert: Leigh Anne Lomax
Bio: Leigh Anne Lomax is currently the botanical garden and horticulture manager for Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art.
Filmmaker: Dimitri LaBarge

Duration : 0:1:17

Continue reading Mulching Tips & Techniques : Using Mulch in Landscaping

What are the best books on gardening and houseplants?

I’m wanting a new book or two on gardening, and one that has a bit of focus on houseplants and overwintering plants indoors. I’m also thinking about one with details on starting from seed and propagating. Which books are the most informative, with in-depth information and tips? I need something that will be useful to me in a cold climate.
Any links to good sites are also appreciated. I’m looking for a book, a hard copy, something that I can read in bed or when the internet’s out.

All New Square Foot Gardening is a great book for outdoor gardening including seed starting. I also second the suggestion for Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. As far as houseplants it depends what you want to grow. I think Taylor’s Guide to Houseplants is good but if you are like me and prefer growing more unusual stuff like lemons and herbs it won’t be very helpful.

It is a good idea to find some at the library so you can look through them thoroughly and see what you think.

I’m new to gardening and looking to set up a low maintenance garden…?

My mom and I would like to plant a garden in front of our house. We have plenty of plant-able space, but very little knowledge of gardening! We want a flower garden that is low maintenance. We both have busy schedules, and though we’re planning on putting in effort, working on the garden daily would not be possible for us. We are looking to plant perennials and not have to replant every year. We just want a pretty but simple garden that will not require us to spend excess amounts of time working on it. I don’t know anything about different flowers with different climates, but we live in central Ohio.

Experienced gardeners: do you have any suggestions for what to plant and how to start?

I live in central Ohio also. Go to Oakland Nursery either in Dublin or in Delaware and talk to someone who works there. They have a huge variety of plants, on sale last I saw. The employees are very knowledgeable and will be able to help you.