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This site is a wealth of gardening resources and information! From gardening to using a compass to food preservation and off-grid living, there’s a very useful library here! But how do we find it? I’ve yet to meet a friendly website search engine. Here’s one compilation that will help, and I’m including more gardening-specific resources in this article.
But first, a few pointers about Internet searching. Plug your desired term into your favorite search engine and chances are it’ll return hundreds, if not thousands of hits. This site’s Search feature returns 19 pages using the term (without quotes) “gardening,” 17 pages using the term “garden resources,” and 41 pages using the term “garden plan.” That’s a lot to dig through! How can we cut that down to find the information we’re actually looking for?
How to efficiently search for gardening articles
The first way, whether using a website Search feature or a search engine, is to use very specific terms. For example, the terms (again, without quotes) “garden plan” and “apartment gardening” return articles on the first page of search results that directly address those topics. Boolean searching, which uses specific operators to refine results, can be very helpful but can also be a bit problematic. For example, enclosing the phrase “apartment gardening” in quotes doesn’t yield the article on apartment gardening. This is because using the quotes tells the Search feature that both words are required in the results. However, enclosing the word “apartment” in the search query yields not only the apartment gardening article but a few more interesting hits involving safe rooms, making jerky, and hardening your space.
The AND operator requires both terms in the returned results and can be used to combine two or more criteria. Including the AND operator in your search for apartment gardening so: apartment AND gardening yields 4 pages of articles on small space gardening along with a few of Selco’s interviews involving prepping in general. Interesting stuff but not directly related to apartment gardening. However, it’s noteworthy that the apartment gardening resources on this site are the first 5 articles on the results page. Much better than looking through 17 pages of hits!
The OR operator expands results to include one criterion, the other, or both. Using this operator as apartment OR gardening yields 4 pages of results with apartment gardening right on top. Other first-page search results include Kratky jars, small space gardening, urban/suburban prepping, and an urban gardening course. Again, much better than 19 pages of hits!
The NOT operator, expressed in your search string as NOT or a – sign, excludes things you’re not looking for. In the case of searching apartment – gardening or apartment NOT gardening, we come up with results similar to using the OR operator. Not perfect, but at least it’s not 41 pages worth!
For more information on using Boolean search operators go here.
And now, as promised, the compilation.
Garden planning, starting, and review
Gardening in small spaces
Garden Cheap Garden
Other gardening resources
These are but a few of the wonderful resources available on this site! Hopefully having a compilation will make them easier to find, and a knowledge of Boolean search operators will also help.
Do you have a favorite gardening resource? Are there any Internet search tips you’ve learned? Was there a specific gardening article on The OP that inspired you? Please share your resources and thoughts in the comments section!
About Amy Allen
Amy Allen is a professional bookworm and student of Life, the Universe, and Everything. She’s also a Master Gardener with a BS in biology, and has been growing food on her small urban lot since 2010.