Gardening Supplies and Landscaping Tips

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Part 1Listen and Read: Listen to the recording, answer the questions, then read along with the audio recording.

My wife has a beautiful flower and vegetable garden behind our house. Every year in the spring, she prepares the soil by mixing in compost, peat moss, and manure into the ground using a tiller. (Sometimes, she does this by hand if we’re only using a small area for the garden.) This helps enrich the soil with vital nutrients so plants can grow. Next, she usually plants more things from seedlings (small plants) rather than planting seeds because seedlings already have a good start. We usually plant tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, corn, carrots, peppers, and broccoli. (We also have strawberry plants and several fruit trees on our land.) We dig a small hole in the soil, place the seeding in, add a little water, and then cover the roots of the plants with dirt. From time to time, we fertilize the plants to help them grow, and the fertilizer helps plants develop strong roots, stems, and leaves. Throughout the growing season, we weed the garden, water it, and check it for unwanted insects. If the plants are infested with insects, we sprinkle an insecticide on the plants. We pick the vegetables and fruit when they’re ripe. When the growing season is over, we pull out the old plants by hand or use a tiller to plow them under. We add any dead leaves from our trees to enrich the soil for the coming year.

Part 2: Discussion

Does your family grow a garden? Why or why not? If so, what kinds of things do you plant? What do you do to prepare your garden?

Part 3: Online Investigation

Suppose that you really enjoy gardening, but you are moving to a new city overseas to work. Unfortunately, you don’t know anything about climate of the area, nor do you know what kinds of plants will grow there. First, choose a country where you would like to live. Then, using the Internet, find out about the seasonal conditions and weather of that country and then research whether the following plants would grow successful in that region:

peach tree, sunflowers, watermelon, orange tree, tomatoes, strawberries