1. What is your age? Under 18 Years Old 18 to 24 Years Old 25 to 30 Years Old 31 to 40 Years Old 41 to 50 Years Old 51 to 60 Years Old Over 60 Years Old 2. What is your gender? Male Female 3. Do you buy small plants to grow to a larger size in your own space? yes no 4. Do you buy seeds and plant them yourself? yes no 5. Do you save seeds from one year to use in following years or to share with others? yes no I've tried it, but with little or unknown success. 6. How do you feed your plants? Miracle Grow, baby! I buy organic fertilizers--bone meal, dried blood, mixtures, etc--at the nursery. I make my own compost tea and compost with grass clippings, leaves, manure. I'm supposed to feed them? Maybe that's what's wrong. I don't feed them--they get nutrients from the dirt. 7. How well-acquainted are you with your soil? Very. I get it tested every few years, and I'm constantly amending. Plus it's under my fingernails all the time, so I'm never really away from it. Pretty well. I have had it tested and I know what the soil in my area is generally like. It's soil! It has organic material, air, microbes, and I fertilize it. Sounds good enough to me. Ew, it has microbes in it? I'll wear gloves and use a trowel. *looks out window* I don't bother it, and it doesn't bother me. 8. Gardens mean bugs. How do you handle them? See this hand? It's a wreckin' machine. I have a complete arsenal of organic pest control methods at my disposal. IPM, baby. Pesticides all the way. If it moves and there's no wind, I'm there with my little wand of get-the-hell-out. I figure as long as they leave me some food and flowers, we can coexist. 9. How does your compost grow? No compost. I do container gardening, indoors, with store-bought potting soil. I just throw all the kitchen scraps, leaves, and grass clippings in a heap. Next year it'll go on the garden. See, what I do is I spread the manure and leaves and grass out on the space I want to use, then till it under good. Then in about two year's time, that becomes my garden bed. I have a bin that I turn every day. The compost comes out beautiful and rich and dark. I have piles that I turn by hand, sometimes more frequently than at other times. It eventually gets where I want it to be. Ugh. I have a pile or two, but it's a pain in the a**. 10. What plants do you grow? Houseplants, tropicals, flowers, exotics. Beautiful, challenging things. Annuals, perennials, veggies, flowers, grasses... anything to make my garden productive and beautiful. Native and heirloom plants to supplement the landscape. Vegetables and fruits All of the above At least two of the above, but not all of them. 11. How have you learned about gardening? My parent(s) grow things, so I've learned from them. There's so many sources of information: internet, TV, books, magazines--I absorb everything I can get my hands on. I took some classes through the local Extension office. I have pursued Master Gardener Certification. 12. When do you start your gardening activities? There's no real reason to stop. I always have projects brewing. About two-three months before my last frost date. I can do Winter Sowing or start seeding indoors. A few weeks before my last frost date. I buy my seeds/plants and have a schedule for when things can go outside. When Wal-Mart starts putting the gardening stuff out next to the registers. 13. How do your gardening activities for the year wrap up? I harvest the fruit and veggies, do my canning and freezing, throw the leftover plants in the compost heap, and spend my fall and winter enjoying the fruits of my labour. Late August. By then, I'm over it. Like I said before, there's always something to do. Amending the soil, building cold frames, planning... it never stops. I put out my plants and let nature take its course, so I'm done by the end of spring. 14. What is gardening to you? It makes my life healthier. I get exercise, fresh air, and fresh veggies. It makes my life more beautiful. Plus, my land is the envy of my neighborhood. It's a distraction, something to do. Everybody needs a hobby. A freaking frustration. I don't know why it doesn't seem to work for me. A pie in the sky ideal. I'd rather *have* a gardener than *be* one. A source of income, frankly.