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More must-have Web links for garden problem solving!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column that listed some helpful Web sites, hosted by the USDA, for gardeners and landscapers. A number of readers have contacted me and asked if I know of any more Internet resources. You bet I do!

Here are a few more Web sites that are definitely worth bookmarking so you can refer to them when you are suddenly faced with a specific question or problem. And as always, I’m happy to try and help you personally if you send me an e-mail at [email protected]

Many of these sites have long and complex Web addresses. When you’ve finished reading here, you might find it easier to go to my Web site www.landsteward.org and find this column under the Plant Man header where you can simply click on hot links to every site mentioned here.

If you’re looking for a fancy Website with a lot of flash and bling, this isn’t it. But if you need to investigate just about any plant you can imagine, this is an excellent no-frills database. For example, go to the very first listing (Abelia) and you’ll find a concise description and a bunch of links to close-up photographs with titles such as plant habit, leaves, flowering branches, etc, etc.

In fact the data base is so large that it spreads across three Web sites. The link above is to part one (plants A through E) with the other two sites covering the rest of the alphabet.

Have you ever wondered how you could save water, reduce pollution and help wildlife all at the same time? The author of this Audubon article figured out that 24,000 gallons of rain water cascades off her roof every year, and she decided to create her own mini-wetland; what she describes as a rain garden.

The site describes how to channel roof run-off to create your own rain garden, and includes suggested plants for each geographic region of the USA.

If you can think of it, however specific, there’s probably at least one Web site devoted to it! For everything you could ever possibly want to know about blueberries, this site hosted by Oregon State University is the “go-to” resource.

You’ll find scores of articles on every aspect of successful blueberry plant growing, from site selection and mulching to propagation, pollination and harvesting. Plenty of related topic links, too.

Grownative.org. The name pretty much tells you what this site is all about. Here you’ll find guides that help you put native plants to work in your landscape. Although focused mainly on Missouri, this is a helpful resource for anyone interested in developing conservation awareness of native plants and their effective use.

If you enjoy cooking, then you know that nothing beats using your own home-grown herbs, snipped fresh from your own garden. Here, you’ll find an exhaustive guide to selecting, planting, growing and harvesting herbs.

There’s also a description with line drawings of hundreds of herbs, both popular and obscure with specific instruction for successfully growing and using each of them. Bon appetit!

If your lawn is more weed than grass, or if you just want to browse ideas and expert advice on how to keep your lawn lush and green, this is a site you’ll want take a look at. A nice feature: click on the “What to do now” button, type in your zip code and get tips on lawn care in your specific area updated for each season.

If you’d like to receive an e-mailed copy of my wife Cheryl’s personal “link library” filled with links to many more helpful Web sites, simply drop me an e-mail request and we’ll forward it to you.

The Plant Man is here to help. Send questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to [email protected]. For resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve’s free weekly e-mailed newsletter, go to www.landsteward.org