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Gardening and Horticulture Open Access Resources

This guide provides many open access (free to use) resources regarding agriculture, horticulture, and other topics usually covered within the University Extension programs.

Overviews

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Elaine Kragt and her radishes the size of apples, Colfax, Washington, 1980. Washington Rural Heritage Collection.

In-Depth Resources to Assist With Gardening

There are many resources which will assist you with learning about general gardening and gardening of the Palouse.Below are a couple of my favorite resources.

Washington State University Extension: Gardening in Washington State - WSU Extensions guide to gardening. These resources are broken down by subject and include virtually everything needed to assist the novice to experienced Washington gardener.

Oregon State University Extension - OSU's gardening, lawn, and landscape publications provide extensive resources covering most aspects of gardening, horticulture, and landscaping. 

Texas A&M Extensions Guide to Gardening - Short and easy to understand articles on everything you need to get going regarding how to start a garden, planting and propagation, composting, diseases and insects, and much more.

Growing Vegetables

This section will assist you with the important decisions from start to finish.

 

Planning & Maintaining A Vegetable Garden

Home Vegetable Gardening in Washington (PDF) - This WSU Extension document provides just about everything you'll need to know from planning your garden to successfully harvesting your veggies. Topics include choosing planning considerations for the garden, tools and equipment you may need, planning and germination, arranging your garden, irrigation, pest management, harvesting, preservation, and more.

Raised Beds: Deciding If They Benefit Your Vegetable Garden (PDF). - One of the decisions you'll have to make is whether you want a raised garden bed or if you want to plant directly to the soil. Each option has its benefits. To assist you in making this decision, the WSU Master Gardener Extension has created this informative publication.

Growing Vegetables in Containers (PDF) - Created by the WSU Snohomish Master Gardening Extension, this resource gives you all the information you'll need to successfully grow vegetables in containers.

Planning Your Vegetable Garden (PDF) - Written by Kathy Wolfe is a WSU/Skagit County Master Gardener. This informative document provides many tips regarding how to plan your vegetable garden. Tips include selecting a spot, laying out your garden, choosing plants, and more.

 

Resources for Growing Specific Vegetables

WSU Extension Guides to Growing Vegetables in Central Washington - An extensive list of resources regarding growing vegetables in Central Washington (although much of the information will be pertinent to all gardeners). Topics include planting, grafting, and growing a wide range of vegetables. 

Washington State University Extension Vegetable Growing Fact Sheets (PDF)

Growing Fruit

General Fruit

WSU Extension Growing Small Fruits for the Home Garden (Home Garden Series) -  This publication provides details on how to choose, plant, and maintain some of the most popular home-grown small fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, kiwi, currants, gooseberries, American elderberries, and lingonberries.

Blueberries

WSU Extension Blueberry Fact Sheet (PDF) - A quick guide to get you familiarized with growing blueberries.

University of Minnesota Blueberry Guide - A extensive guide regarding growing blueberries in your home garden.

Strawberries

WSU Extensions Selecting Strawberry Cultivars for the home garden - A quick factsheet on the three types of cultivated strawberries: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. 

Tomatoes

WSU Extension Growing Tomatoes in Home Gardens (Home Garden Series) - A nice introduction and fact sheet regarding growing tomatoes in Washington State.

WSU Extension - Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products - Everything you need to know to can and preserve your tomatoes. 

WSU Extension Tomatoes Questions & Answers (PDF) - A guide detailing some of the most common questions and problems.

Tree Fruit

Check out WSU's in-depth research guide on tree fruits.

Growing Ornamental Flowers & Landscaping

Growing Ornamental Flowers & Landscaping
WSU Guides to Flowers & Landscaping - A extensive resource regarding how to select sites and successfully grow various types of annual and perennial flowers including:

Roses

Washington State University Extension How-To Guide to Growing Roses - An exhaustive, yet easy to follow, online guide regarding every step of the rose growing process from site selection to caring for your roses. 

Washington State University Extension Guides to Growing Roses in Washington State:

Irrigation & Soil Management

Irrigation

WSU Extension Guide to Watering Home Gardens and Landscape Plants - An extensive, but easy to follow guide, detailing many aspects of irrigation and garden watering especially as it pertains to the Inland Northwest. 

WSU Extension Drought, Conservation, and Irrigation Guide - An extensive list of resources detailing water conservation strategies including planting drought tolerant plants, learning soil structure and enriching it to hold more water, investigating new irrigation methods and timing, and more.

University of Idaho Guide to Water Home Lawns and Landscapes (PDF) - A thorough guide regarding watering lawns and other landscapes within the Inland Northwest. 

Texas A&M Extension Efficient Use of Water in the Garden and Landscape - An easy to follow guide that deals with garden watering and water conservation.

Nutrient & Soil Management

WSU Guide to Backyard Composting - A easy to follow guide to assist gardeners of all skill levels with backyard composting in Washington. 

WSU Extensions Soils, Compost, and Mulch - A database of resources regarding soils and nutrients across many different applications.

Washington State University Puyallup Extension Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management - Covers topics such as nutrients and amendments for gardens, cover crops, biosolids, and much more.

Penn. State University Introduction to Soils - A easy to follow guide regarding how to understand and utilize soils. 

Nutrient & Soil Management

Nutrient and Soil Management

WSU Guide to Backyard Composting - A easy to follow guide to assist gardeners of all skill levels with backyard composting in Washington. 

WSU Extensions Soils, Compost, and Mulch - A database of resources regarding soils and nutrients across many different applications.

Washington State University Puyallup Extension Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management - Covers topics such as nutrients and amendments for gardens, cover crops, biosolids, and much more.

Penn. State University Introduction to Soils - A easy to follow guide regarding how to understand and utilize soils. 

Propagation

WSU Extensions: Propagation of Plants by Grafting and Budding - Including a glossary of terms, this handbook is well illustrated with clear photographs and drawings. It covers tools and materials, grafting and budding factors, kinds of grafts, budding methods, topworking, and repair. A table of many common plants indicates when and how they best respond to the propagation methods described.

Pest Management & Disease

Pest Management and Pesticides

WSU Extension Hortsense - An extensive list of resources including information on pest issues, pesticides, disease, and more.

Washington State University Pest Management and Pesticide Resources - Resources provided by WSU include:

WSU Home & Garden Resources - Lists of information on pesticides. 

WSU Pest Control in Home Vegetable Gardens (PDF) - A very helpful guide pertaining to pest control in vegetable (and other) gardens. 

WSU Extension Vole Management in Home Backyards and Gardens (Home Garden Series) - Voles undergo periodic population explosions during which time they cause extensive damage to crops. This fact sheet will help identify voles and the damage they cause and talk about preventative measures. 

The Grow Smart, Grow Safe consumer guide to lawn and garden products - Thurston County Environmental Health's guide to choosing safer pesticides and garden products. 

 

Insects Are Your Friends!

WSU Extension Guide to Beneficial Insects in Your Garden (PDF) - An ecologically healthy garden or landscape has a diverse fauna of insects each with a unique, and usually beneficial, role in keeping your backyard habitat healthy and functioning efficiently.

Growing Native Plants of the Palouse

The Palouse is a unique geographic region and the home to a vast array of different plants. The resources below will assist you in understanding and growing plants that are native to this region.

USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service Palouse Prairie Restoration Guide (PDF) - A very nice guide that covers obtaining native plant seeds, identifying plants, and growing native plants. 

WSU Extensions Xeriscape and Native Plants Resources - A list resources from the WSU regarding growing and landscaping with Washington native plants. 

National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder - Find native plants and pollinators by zip code. 

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