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You Bet Your Garden
Question of the Week © 2017 Mike McGrath

Note: Hundreds of Mike's informative articles are available (in alphabetical order!) right here at the Gardens Alive website. To find Mike's answers to your specific garden problem, Click here and find your topic (like Weeds, Worms, Rhododendrons...) in our complete alphabetical archive of Questions of the Week.


Think You're a Real Gardener? Take The You Bet Your Garden Quiz and Find Out!

Get a sheet of paper and make a mark for every answer that applies to you. Then add up the marks, multiply by 2 and check your score at the end to see just how much of a gardener you really are…

1.   Your neighbors have seen you in your pajamas holding pruners.

2.    You grab other people's coffee grounds for your compost pile.

3.    You bring home the grounds from hotel room coffee machines.

4.    Your fingernails get so garden-dirty you have to wash your hair to get them clean.

5.    Strangers come to your door to ask you gardening questions.

6.    You know the temperature of your compost. Now.

7.    You have tried to use a meat thermometer to check your soil temperature.

8.    You chose a new vehicle based on how many plants it could haul.

9.    You enjoy crushing Japanese beetles.

10.    Your job description at work includes "taking care of the office plants".

11.    You think that many unusual things could be turned into fertilizer.

12.    Your non-gardening spouse recognizes botanical names.

13.    You feel the leaves of plants wherever you go, even funerals.

14.    You have rescued 'perfectly good' plants from a dumpster.

15.    You check vacation destinations to see if any public gardens are nearby.

16.    You 'sneak' home a seven-foot sapling and wonder if your spouse will notice.

17.    You would rather build a raised bed to grow salad greens than go shopping for groceries.

18.    You have a shovel, water, bags of potting soil and empty plant pots in your car's trunk for 'emergencies'

19.    Your friends have to hide the Miracle-Grow and Roundup when you visit.

20.    You wear your Master Gardener badge to black tie events.

21.    You once failed to make an easy out while playing infield in a baseball game because you were looking at the color of the dirt between the bases.

22.    You have taken seedpods from a total stranger's yard.

23.    You have taken cuttings from a total stranger's yard.

24.    You chop up more greens for the compost than you do for cooking.

25.    You like the smell of horse manure.

26.    You like rain.

27.    You take pride in how bad your hands look.

28.    You have a decorative 'compost crock' on your kitchen counter.

29.    You have several other, much less decorative containers on the counter for when the fancy one gets too full.

30.    You give away your plants, but not your compost.

31.    You await the results of a soil test like they were a college entrance exam.

32.    You understand what IPM, BTI, and NPK mean.

33.    You'd rather go shopping for plants than clothes.

34.    You know that Sevin is not a number.

35.    You take visitors on a tour of your garden before they see the inside of your house.

36.    You look at a perfect section of lawn and see a good spot for a new raised bed.

37.    You hope to find a new pair of pruners in your Christmas stocking or a shiny new worm bin under the tree.

38.    You have shoveled snow off of your compost pile.

39.    You have tried to turn a frozen compost pile.

40.    You have used a chainsaw to divide plants.

41.    You sob when you have to thin your seedlings.

42.    You have to ask someone else to thin your seedlings.

43.    You have never thinned your seedlings, and your raised beds are filled with Siamese tomato plants every summer. {Hands! Let's see hands on this one!}

44.    You scold strangers who aren't taking care of their houseplants.

45.    You know how many flats of plants your car will hold.

46.    You drive around every Fall looking for bags of leaves left sitting out at the curb.

47.    You have rescued bags of leaves from the curb with your children in the car.

48.    Your children claim they are in therapy because of #47. {"Da-DEE!! No!"}

49.    You prefer reading seed catalogs to books.

And last but not least:

50.    Your four seasons are: 1) Planning the Garden; 2) Installing the Garden; 3) Gardening in the Garden; and 4) Staring Out the Window Waiting for Spring.

Scoring: Count up your 'yes, that's me' answers and multiply by two.

Under 50 points: You are a normal person.

Between 50 and 70: You are potentially normal but somewhat quirky.

70 to 80: You require close adult supervision.

80 or above: Oh yeah—you are a gardener.

---Original Author and/or Authors Unknown



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