Gardening. While Webster’s dictionary may define gardening as “an act, activity or pastime of planning and cultivating gardens,” another possible definition could be “an emotional spectrum immersion from total joy and serenity to abject despair and frustration.” At gardening’s most innocuous definition it could also be defined as “a natural diversion from regular life.” Whatever definition you may ascribe to, gardening for all of us has foundational points to which we all must adhere. Sunlight, soil, air, and water. As long as these four elements are present in the proper combination our plants will grow. The key is the proper combination.
Garfield County is very fortunate to have the OSU Extension Office right here in Enid. The Extension Office is a physical destination, a wonderful grouping of wise people, and an amazing horticultural resource at our fingertips. It is the best place to turn for Oklahoma-specific information on gardening. As a division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources of Oklahoma State University, the OSU Extension Office is there for you every step of the way in your gardening life to help solve some of gardening life’s mysteries, help you through the hard times and even provide a social network from the ground – up.
The Extension Office has both online and hard copy fact sheets available to help a gardener plan, prepare, plant, nurture, diagnose, treat, and harvest the best of gardening. The information presented in every sheet has been well-researched, thoroughly tested, and personally experienced by scientists, everyday gardeners, and farmers. From testing your soil to ensure quality nutritional support for your garden to identifying and eradicating garden pests and weeds, the Extension Office provides hands-on resources and scientific testing that you may not have available in your garden shed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a shed, a centrifuge, or a mass spectrograph to identify the chemical compounds in my soil.
Groups such as 4-H, Master Gardeners, and the Home and Community Education Groups organized by the Extension Office provide social and educational opportunities on-site at 316 E. Oxford near the fairgrounds and various outreach places around the county for all ages and interests. Three of the best human resources at the Extension Office are Jessica Nickels the 4-H Educator, Joy Rhodes the Family and Consumer Coordinator, and our gardening guru and Extension Director, Rick Nelson. If he doesn’t know the answer, he knows the person who will. Stop by the Extension Office to meet these folks and take a walk through the Demonstration Gardens during any season.
Through the educational resources and support of the OSU Extension Office, everything is at your fingertips to balance your soil, sun, air, and water in the proper proportions. A social network is available to share in your joys and sorrows of gardening (and provide info on where to get rid of those 25 extra zucchini). But best of all, it encompasses the whole of gardening, whether gardening is a diversion from daily life, or “act, activity or pastime of planning and cultivating gardens.”
Next month: Fall Gardening – planning, planting, and harvesting
OSU Cooperative Extension Services Office
316 E. Oxford, Enid, OK 73701
(580) 237-1228, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. https://extension.okstate.edu/county/garfield/