Welcome to Gardenaut!

Welcome to our little corner of the world! While you're here, we'd like to introduce ourselves.

We're Jeremiah, Jennifer, and Z McNichols, the folks behind the parenting product review site Z Recommends, the parenting giveaway blog PRIZEY, and the toy hacks wiki Toyinstructions. We live in Central Texas on two acres and love to grow our own food. We're hoping to help beginning and would-be gardeners have success with their early gardening efforts, to draw out wisdom from more experienced gardeners and share it with readers, and develop and provide some web tools for gardeners to use.

The Gardenaut Garden Planner
The first of these is the beta version of a web-based garden planner that offers customized planting dates for the continental United States based on your area's average frost-free date. The tool generates a printable sheet of crop-by-crop instructions for sowing and transplanting or direct-seeding crops based on safe planting dates, and offers some unusual tweakability based on your own experience and hunches as a gardener.

My (Your) Gardenaut
The planner also produces a "GNumber," the number of days into the year your last frost date falls on. If you enter that, your zip code, and the state in which you reside into the form fields at lower right, you'll also have access to the special web searches and tools displayed under the "My Gardenaut" heading in the righthand sidebar. These are just the first steps in a "dashboard" of customized tools, measurements, and Gardenaut-created web applications we'll be rolling out in the months to come. Like our garden, this blog will grow and flower as the season progresses, and our biggest challenge will be juggling both projects as we get back in the groove of gardening now that our daughter Z is old enough to truly enjoy it.

On Gardenaut you can expect to see:

  • Hands-on how-to posts about organic gardening techniques
  • Thoughtful, unbiased reviews of gardening products
  • Links to advice, thoughtful posts, and projects on other great gardening blogs
  • A journal of our own gardening efforts
  • Gardenaut-researched directories of useful information for gardeners
  • Links to online resources and tools for gardeners
To get things rolling, we'll be posting a few times a week, with a goal of Monday through Friday posting in a few months' time. We'd love to have you share your garden successes and wisdom with us along the way. You can subscribe to Gardenaut using the links on the upper right, or join our mailing list if you'd like us to let you know when we launch new online gardening tools, and we'd love feedback and advice on what we're doing in our garden, whether we ask for it explicitly or not. We are inspired amateurs with wisdom and experience in a select few gardening areas, but with a lot to learn from other blogging and blog-reading gardeners!


Katy said...

Hi J&J,

Congratulations on your site - it looks like an amazingly fun project! I will be armchair gardening through you this summer, picking my juicy, virtual tomatoes while sweltering in the city. - K (from Lotuspad)

Naomi said...

What a fantastic surprise! Thanks, guys. My husband is the gardener in the family but maybe I can get him blogging about it, too...

lace said...

What a great new site. Congratulations.

We love gardening My nieces favorite parts of gardening are digging for worms and eating all of the strawberries. We just started our seeds yesterday. And can't wait to start working the soil.

Melinda said...

I just started a container garden for toddlers I read about in "The Bountiful Container" {A great book that has a bunch of "theme" gardens in it as well as general information about growing stuff to eat in containers.} with my neighbors 4 children.

We're starting with Easter Egg Radishes and little round carrots and we'll move on to beans that are purple when they grow, but green when they're cooked, and finally to teensy pumpkins--all in the same pot.

It's very exciting!