Getting Started Guide

User Rating: / 5
PoorBest 
Related Articles: Getting Started, Using the Mulch

User Guide for The Mulch for Home Gardeners

Here's a guide to all of the fantastic functions you have inside the Mulch. There is a lot going on, all with you in mind, so we suggest you keep this guide handy, it will really help you! These instructions all assume you are already a member and are logged into the Mulch.

Please note this document is a work in progress, we have a lot more information to add, but we thought it would be helpful to publish it in the mean time. 

themulchandyou_web2smEverything revolves around your member profile page which is referred to in as "My Profile" and the tabs on that page.  You can manage all your personal features from "My Profile", so if you ever feel like you're lost, click on a "My Profile" link and you'll be back to your page.

The same is true about any other member of the Mulch Community - so if you want to communicate with another member, or look at their galleries, or find out about their gardening preferences, or what plants they have - you go to THEIR Member page. 

Our Goal is to search out and find relevant gardening information and bring it back to YOU, so you don't have to search all over the internet to find something. It's a big job, but that's our plan, and we're working on it all the time, so the Mulch is just going to get better and better. Just imagine you're in the middle of this graphic (on the right):

The very best thing you can do for yourself is search our plant encyclopedia and ADD THE PLANTS you're growing to your "My Profile", that way you'll automatically be connected to any new information we find about that plant, we'll explain more in this document.
Here's are a few things we suggest you do get started (all are explained in more details below):
1. Share a little about yourself by answering your member profile questions.
2. Add five plants (at least) you own to your "My Plants" list.
3. Ask or answer your gardening questions in our Forums section.
 
Below you'll see suggestions, explanations and step by step instructions for using the Mulch. We've broken them into general categories for you.   (click on the appropriate term for details):
 
 
Finding Relevant Content

Plants 
Plant Encyclopedia (three ways to search for plants)
Add Plants to your Profile (My Plants, My Wishlist, My Recommendations,Troubled Plants or Plant Cemetery) Private Notes about your plants
Find others who have the same plants as you (or that you're interested in)
Forums - Ask or Answer Gardening Questions
Share Photos - of specific Plants - create a personal gallery - 
 
Plant Care Sharing -Our special system
Your personalized Plant Care Reminder Feature - Get Monthly Reminders Sent to you - VERY COOL!
Finding Plant Care (and One way to request it)
   
Communicate with other members
Connecting to other members (using the My Friends feature) 
Commenting on content
Finding out about other Members
Create or Join a Group
 
Personalize
Create your personal member profile  - plant lists
Track Forum Discussions
Add a personal Avatar (the photo shown on your profile and your communications)
 
Contributing
Contests
Blogs
Articles
Answering Forum Discussion Questions
Post Your Favorite Links
 
Getting Help Using the Mulch
Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
Tutorials
Contacting Us


Finding Relevant Content


Searching the website

We have regional articles, blogs, plant research, gardening events, Forum discussions (and much more) on the Mulch. This information is broken down into two basic searches - Plant Encyclopedia and all other content. To search for all content other than plants use the search box in the middle at the very top of every page (see below)

topsearch.jpg

 

 

To search for plants you should use the Plant Encyclopedia search feature. For details about searching specifically for plants click here.

This is a very important point: search the Plant Encyclopedia - not the general search - to find specific plant information.


Articles

Our goal is to bring relevant gardening information to you. We do this in a number of ways, including using our own regional authors and through publishing articles and content from other organizations or companies (with their permission of course). It works out well for everyone, our visitors get great information, and the organizations get a nice piece of publicity. 

We will ALWAYS tell you where an article is from, and if it's from a gardening company we'll be sure to tell you. We are going for complete transpency, we ARE NOT trying to publish advertorialized content (content solely for the intent of selling a product).

We also have a Forum topic specifically to post suggestions for topics you'd like to see - so don't be shy, tell us what you'd like to have us write about! Click here to ask for a specific topic.

Finding Articles:

Our Articles section is the main hub of our articles, member blogs, gardening news, contests and much more. In order to find a nice overview of the latest and most popular content click on the Articles link. If you hover your mouse over the Articles link in the main menu you'll see each specific section, click on the one you'd like to see that content. You can also use the search bar (mentioned in the topic above) to search all articles. 

 

Special offers and Newsletters - Save Money! 

VISIT THESE SECTIONS BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING ONLINE!

Gardening Newsletters: UPDATED DAILY - Find out all the great deals, special offers, and interesting gardening news from all of over the internet all in one place. We're publishing great gardening newsletters from companies like Burpee, Gardeners Supply, High Country Gardens (and many more) so your email inbox won't get all filled up! Check back often and find out the latest and greatest offers, specials and cool content. Contact us if you'd like your email newsletter to be included. Click here to find out all the great deals in our Special Offers section.
 
 

Gardening Events

We have a very nice gardening events calendar which is updated all the time. It's even seperated into different categories (like plant sales, lectures, classes etc) so you can easily find what you're looking for! The calendar can be found in our Community section - in the main navigation hover your mouse over Community then click on Events Calendar

Members can post your free gardening related event in our calendar. It's super easy to do, scroll down to learn how. We ask that you are a member of the Mulch, so join now (if you haven't already)!

If it's an event which charges money to attend we'll gladly post that too, but there may be a small fee involved, Contact Us and we'll help you!

Post Your Gardening Events - It's FREE!

Now you can post your own club events, garden tours, plant sales or anything gardening related. It's very easy to do and it's FREE for members:

If you'd like to have even more exposure you can have your event Featured, learn more here!

1. Log in (You need to be a member of the Mulch). Not a member? It's Free - Join Now!

2. Go to the Calendar - (Hover your mouse over Community , then click Event Calendar).

3. Click on the "+ Add Event" button (see below). Please note, the "+ Add Event" button is only visible if you are logged in.

calendar

4. This will take you an easy to use page to write the details of your event.

You can post all of the following:

  • Title
  • Description (it's just like writing an email)
  • Pick a Category (Plant Sale, Class, Lecture, Club Meeting etc)
  • Date & Time
  • Contact Information (email, website)
  • Repeat Date (does this event happen on a regular basis)

If you're adding a link to a website, please add a link back to us (these kind of links really help both of us).

Here's an example of what the page looks like - BE SURE TO CLICK THE "ADD EVENT' BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO SAVE YOUR CHANGES!

Addevent

5. That's it - your event is now posted on our website for all to see. Feel free to post as many gardening related events as you'd like.

Have Fun and Tell Your Friends to Join the Mulch!

TOP

Plants

Researching Plants

We spend a lot of time researching and adding plants to our Plant Encyclopedia, it's a huge job, and we'll forever be adding new varieties and cultivars. Our goal is to add the correct names to the data base of plants and then research their characteristics. One reason we add the names first is so you can add a plant to any of your plant lists (My Plants, My Wishlist, My Recommendations, Plant Cemetary, Troubled Plants). Once you've added the plant to one of your lists you'll be connected to that plant and you'll easily be able to see new research, new Plant Care, new Forum discussions, who else owns the same plant, new Photos and much more.

The key is to join the Mulch and add your plants to the appropriate lists - that way you'll be automatically connected to new information all the time!

Some other ways to Research Plants at the Mulch:

  • Search our Forums for similar questions
  • Look for Plant Photos
  • Find Plant Recommendations from Experts and other avid gardeners
  • Search our Plant Care Sharing feature
  • See who else owns a plant you're interested in
  • and much more!

TOP

Plant Recommendations

There are a number of ways to find plant recommendations at the Mulch.

1. We have a section called Featured Experts where we've asked experts we know to tell a litte about themselves and give plant, book and website recommendations. You go directly to their plant recommendations  by going Recommendations - Plant Recommendations.

2. You can see recommended plants by members of the community in our Plants Section. We compile the lists of plants which are on our members lists. This includes the plants they recommend and the most popular plants. To see them: hover your mouse over the Plants menu item, and you'll see all sorts of examples - Most Owned, Most Recommended, Most Desired and many more.

3. Use our Forums to get plant recommendations -A forum is just like a bulletin board, where you can post a question or make a comment to the whole community. This is a great resource which we hope everyone uses. There are no bad questions and we have gardeners of all levels from beginners to experts. This is the best place to ask a question because the question stays visible for longer and therefore more people have a chance to answer it for you!

In order to post a question in the forums, just click on the Forums link, you can find it in the main navigation menu - Forums, then select the category you think is best and click on the title (which is a link), then click "new thread" and then it's just like writing an email (be as specific as possible) - you can even post a photo if you'd like!

Another great feature of the Forums is that you'll automatically be notified whenever someone comments on your question! So go ahead and Ask Your Questions! 

TOP

Plant Encyclopedia (three ways to search for plants) 

We have over 85,000 plants in our Plant Encyclopedia. They don't all have complete information, but we're working on it all the time. As you can imagine it's a big job, as new plants are found and created all the time. The main feature of the Plant Encyclopedia is to make it possible for you to ADD the plants to your plant lists (and therefore be automatically connected to new information as it comes available). 

plantssearch.jpg

There are three ways to search our Plant Encyclopedia; by Common or Botanical name, by Plant Attribute, or Alphabetically by Botanical Name.

To find the Plant Encylopedia hover your mouse over Plants - Plant Encyclopedia and you'll see your options. If you click on the Search by Name you'll be taken to a search page (see below).

plantsearch.jpg

We Can't Stress this Enough: If you Add the Plants you own, or are interested in, to one of your plant lists then you are automatically connected to that plant - and as we get new research, photos, plant care instructions, special offers or anything else related to that plant you won't have to search all over the internet to find it, it will be right on your My Profile page waiting for you!

If you can't find a specific name in our Plant Encylopedia just post the name in our "Missing Plant Names" section of our Forum.
 
 
Add Plants to your Profile
We keep talking about this, and how important it is to the whole system here at the Mulch. Once you Add the Plants you own, or are interested in, to one of your plant lists then you are automatically connected to that plant - and as we get new research, photos, plant care instructions, special offers or anything else related to that plant you won't have to search all over the internet tofind it, it will be right on your My Profile page waiting for you!
It also makes it possible for you to do the following:
  • Communicate with other members who are interested in the same plant.
  • Keep private notes about that plant (ie when you last fertilized, where you bought it, where it's located etc).
  • Ask a question on our Forums about that plant.
  • View photos.
  • Add your own photo of that plant.
  • Use someone elses Plant Care Reminders.
  • Create your own Plant Care Reminders.
  • Make a comment about the plant.
  • and much more to come in the future. 

HOW TO ADD A PLANT: 

Its simple - find the plant in our Plant Encyclopedia and click the "ADD" button for the appropriate list. You have five choices of lists - My Plants, My Wishlist, My Recommendations, Troubled Plants and Plant Cemetary.

Step One: Find the Plant in the Plant Encyclopedia. There are two ways - Here's the First - Hover your mouse over Plants, then click Plant Encyclopedia and you'll land on this page (as shown below). Put the name (either Botanical or Common) in the search box and hit GO.

plantsearch3

If you decide to use the "Search By Name" option it will look like this:

plantsearch6

The results will come in the form of a list like this - simply click the ADD button and your Plant will be added to the appropriate list on your My Profile page. Once you've added the plant you'll be able to use all the cool features mentioned above!

plantsearch7

Important note: It's possible to add as many plants to as many lists, all from the same page! So when you search for "Salvia", you may get 100 results, now you can add all of them from one page! Just click on as many of the "Add" buttons from any of the lists, they will all be immediately added to your lists.

Hint: If you want to add multiple plants, use a general term to search in order to get more results. For instance if you search for "Salvia" you may get a list of over 100 plants, then you can add all of the Salvia that are on the list.

Here's an example of My Plant Lists - You can see there are a lot of unique and useful features we've created for you!

myplants2

So now is a good time to CREATE YOUR OWN PLANT LISTS! Try it out!


 

TOP

Private Notes About Your Plants

We've made it really easy to keep notes about each plant in your garden. Maybe you'd like to say where you purchased it, how much you paid, any special requirements or maybe when you fertilized or pruned it last. Any notes you write will only be seen by you, visitors to your profile page cannot see them. This is a special area just for you. 

In order to write a note simply find the plant you're interested in (here's another reason to add your plants to your My Plants list, you can find them very easily), click on the Notes (see below) link and you'll be able to write a private note!

noteslink.jpg

 
Find others who have the same plants as you (or that you're interested in)

One of the really great features at the Mulch is that we connect members by the plants they're interested in. As a member adds a plant to one of their lists we've made it very easy to communicate with other with the same plants.

Anytime you see a series of five numbers like this 13*5*2*2*0 (as seen in the image below) it represents the five possible lists a plant could be on (My Plants, My Wishlist, My Recommendations,Troubled Plants,Plant Cemetery). If you hover your mouse over those numbers it will give you a little snapshot of how many people have put this plant (see blue box below). 

ownersofplant1.jpg

 
 
memberplants1.jpg
 
 
If you click on the numbers it will take you to the Most Owned Plant list.  It's also possible to go directly to any of the other lists by using the main navigation as seen to the left. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TOP

Forums - Ask Gardening Questions
 
Forums are a VERY POWERFUL tool on the internet. A Forum is just like a bulletin board, where you can post a question or make a comment to the whole community. We strongly recommend using the Forums to ask your gardening questions, we have a lot of very knowledgable members who are sharing their expertise and experiences.
 
This is a great resource which we hope everyone uses. There are no bad questions and we have gardeners of all levels from beginners to experts. This is the best place to ask a question (rather than in the "Mulch Chatter" or "Comments" areas) because the question stays visible for longer and therefore more people have a chance to answer it for you!

In order to post a question in our Forum, just click on the Forums link, you can find it by going Community - Forums, then select the category you think is best and click on the title (which is a link), then click "new thread" newthread.jpgand then it's just like writing an email (be as specific as possible) - you can even post a photo if you'd like!

More cool features:

  • You can easily search our Forum for similar questions and discussions.
  • You can add photos to your Forum posts.
  • You'll automatically be notified whenever someone comments on your question! 
  • All of your Forum posts are kept on your My Profile page, so you can easily find your earlier discussions (see arrow below). 
myforum1.jpg
 
 
So go ahead and Ask Your Questions! 
 
 

Sharing  Photos:

Sharing is one of the fun things about the Mulch. There a number of ways to share photos, the four most popular ways are:
1. Share a photo of a specific plant to our Plant Encyclopedia:
We love when people add their plant photos to the Plant Encyclopedia. We're always looking for more photos - so please feel free to upload as many as you'd like. You'll get all the proper credit and you'll retain your copyright (click here to see all the legal stuff).

We have a detailed description of how to do this in our FAQ's section: Click Here To View

Read More
2. Create a Personal Photo Gallery:
This is a fun way to show off your photos of gardening related things. As a member of the Mulch you can start your own photo gallery (and we encourage you to). This is your own area to share your photos, brag about your garden, ask for help or just put some fun photos up for everyone to see! It's also a good way to show work you've done as a professional or give a little tour of your nursery (or gardening related business).
We have a detailed description of how to do this in our FAQ's section: Click Here To View

Your photos will be shown in a gallery along with other members, and it even includes a cool little slide show. You're able to give a little description and other members will even be able to comment on how great it is!

Please Note: the first thing you should do is create a gallery, then add images to your gallery. Our new system is super easy to do, our gallery even automatically resizes your photos for you!

3. Share photos in a Blog

Don't be intimidated by the word "Blog", it's just a cyberspace word for sharing. Some people use it to write every little thing they're doing, some to give their point of view, some use it to promote their business, some to share recipes, some to stay in touch with others and some just to share photos.

gloriosa-daisies_sm.JPGWriting a blog is very similar to writing an email, you open a window, write what you'd like and add any photos you'd like. The main difference between an email and a blog is a blog gets published for anyone to see. So it's sort of like putting a flyer or notecard on a bulletin board (it's very easy and we encourage you to do it)!

In the main menu hover your mouse over 'My Profile' - 'Things To Do'  then click 'Write A Blog'. This will take you to your personal blog page. Click on the 'Write New Entry' tab and you'll then it's just like writing an email.

If you'd like to add a photo you'll need to upload it first, then insert it. To upload the photo click on the words 'Images and document' and it will open a window where you can browse and upload the photo from your computer. Once the photo is uploaded you can place within the text of the blog.

Tags: a tag is a one or two word description of your blog which we (the Mulch team) can display in different places so more people can get to your blog. Some people use the same Tag for everything to show it's from them.

4. Share photos in the Forums

This is another great place to share photos.There areall sorts of different categories, so you can post photos to help illustrate a question you have, or ask for help identifying a plant, or bragging about your garden, or showing off your harvest (or anything else gardening related)!

Click here for details about Using the Forums (it's easy to do and it's a great resource).

TOP

Plant Care Sharing -Our special system

With our Regional Monthly Plant Care System you can use other experts' Plant Care Knowledge to easily create your own Monthly Plant Care Calendar!

Home gardeners can say this is where I live, and these are the plants I have then in turn get plant care advice sent directly to your personal profile page, so then you can simply check your Monthly Plant Care any time, day or night, to see what you should be doing in your garden. See when to Buy a Plant, Fertilize, Prune, Harvest, Transplant and all sorts of other important tasks, automatically, year round.

Here's an example of what you can do with our plant care system:

Mitch has created his own plant care calendar using other experts monthly reminders and you can see it here (just click on the little "+" sign to expand each category). The best thing is all he needed to know was the name of the plants he has and the zone he's in (find your zone here). He's got reminders from Walter Andersen Nursery, Solana Succulents, Steve Brigham, Jack Shoultz and many more! YOU CAN DO EASILY DO THE SAME FOR FREE!

The basic idea is very simple (you must be a member and be logged in first): 

1. Find the PLANT you want the instructions for. 
2. View the  available CARE INSTRUCTIONS by clicking on the button like this view .
3. Decide which instructions best fit your gardening habits.
4. Click the "Use" button use to have the instructions sent directly to your "MY Profile" page. 
5. Review your "My Plant Care" to see what you should be doing that month in YOUR garden for YOUR plants.

Here's a small example of what to BUY in September on Mitch's Plant Care list (each of 14 tasks have their own list, Fertilize, Plant, Prune etc).

plantcareedit2

There are a number of ways to find free care instructions which can be sent to your profile page. Everywere you see this watering can icon it means there is Plant Care Advice available for that plant.  Just click on the icon to view the instructions and see if you'd like them to be sent to your profile.

A number of ways to find the regional plant care instructions available on the Mulch.

1. Find plant care that has already been created. A number of options are located in the menu bar (see examples below):

plantcaremenu
  • Find the Latest Plant Care and Plant Care by Group on the Plant Care Hub (shown above).
  • Find Plant Care by the different Plant Care Providers (shown above). 
  • Instantly see what the plant care providers are saying you should be doing in your region in our View plant Care by Month section (shown above). 
  • Browse the whole list of available plant care (listed alphabetically) in our View All Plant Care Section (shown above).

2. Another way to find available plant care is on the individual plant detail pages (we also call these the Plant Encyclopedia pages). Below you can see where you can find our Plant Encyclopedia.

plantsearch3

Once you've found the plant you're interesed in our Plant Enclopdia you'll end up on a page something like this. You can see the "View Plant Care" link in the example below.

viewplantcarelink1

 

When you click on the "View Plant Care" link (shown above) it will show you a list of all available plant care for that specific plant (example below).

 

viewplantcare1

3. Another way to find Plant Care is to create a list of plants that you own (learn how here).

This is a great and important feature of the Mulch and an excellent way to start.  Your "My Plants" area acts a HUB for plant information. When you add a plant to your "My Profile" page you'll see all sorts of related information about the plants you own. Including photos, links, a place to comment, to create private notes and most importantly Plant Care Information! Specifically.  This icon plantcarenew2 is a link to all Plant Care for that specific plant. You can see the number 2, that means there are two sets of Plant Care available for this plant.  Just click on the button and it will take you to the "view plant care" area (see above).

Here's an example of what it one plant looks like on the "My Plants" page once you've clicked on the "USE" button. You can see lots of great information and links automatically created specifically for the plant you are growing in your garden!

plantcarenewsm

4. Use our Plant Care Module.

You'll see a module (shown below) that will display random Plant Care links based on a group of plants. For instance the module below is showing flowering shrubs that have Plant Care created for our members. Simply click on the botanical name in the module and it will take you to the list of available Plant Care for that plant.

Flowering Shrubs: Get plant care reminders sent to you for the plants in YOUR garden. Click below to visit each plant and their available plant care!

Plant Care (422)
Rosa hybrid 'Blushing Knock Out'
Blushing Knock Out Shrub Rose
7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
SteveBrigham
Berberis thunbergii 'Koren'
Sunjoy Citrus Barberry
4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
Pyracantha koidzumii 'Santa Cruz'
Santa Cruz Pyracantha
22, 23, 24
Berberis thunbergii 'Maria'
Sunjoy Gold Pillar Barberry
4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
Loropetalum chinense
Chinese Fringe Flower
22, 23, 24
10a, 10b
Hibiscus syriacus 'Antong Two'
LIL KIM Hibiscus
7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Rosa hybrid 'Blanc Double de Coubert'
Blanc Double de Coubert Hybrid Rugosa Rose
21, 22, 23, 24
9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11
JackShoultz
Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
Purple Sage
22, 23, 24
10a, 10b
Buddleia davidii 'Pyrkeep'
Purple Emperor Butterfly Bush
5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sonmarie'
Pink Shira Hydrangea
7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

It may look pretty complicated, but it's not:

1. Find the PLANT you want the instructions for. 
2. View view the available CARE INSTRUCTIONS.
3. Decide which instructions best fit your gardening habits.
4. Click the "Use" usebutton to have the instructions sent directly to your "MY Profile" page. 
5. Review your "My Plant Care" to see what you should be doing that month in YOUR garden for YOUR plants. 
 

 

To find existing plant care:

viewClick the "view" button to see if you like the plant care advice.
useIf you like it, just click the "use" button and the instructions will be sent to your "My Profile" page on the "My Plant Care" tab.
 
 
Create Plant Care Reminders
Our new plant care feature has a lot of  moving parts, all of which are going to be great. If you have knowledge of how to care for a specific plant, please share it with the Community.
 
Are you a nursery, a landscape designer, a landscape architect, a gardening coach, an online plant seller, an avid gardener with a lot of experience, or a member of a gardening club who would like to promote their organizations by leveraging your plant care knowledge? If so, click here to learn more...
 
CREATE CARE INSTRUCTIONS: learn how now!
 
 
TOP
 

Finding Available Plant Care (and one way to request it)

There are a number of ways to find free care instructions which can be sent to your profile page. Everywere you see this plant care icon it means there is Plant Care Advice available.  Just click on the icon to view.

A number of ways to find the plant care instructions for you:
  • Find the Latest Plant Care and Plant Care by Group on the Plant Care Hub page.
  • Find Plant Care by Plant Care Provider here.  We realize members may want to see all of the available care instructions a specific person may have provided. So instead of looking for each plant to find plant care, you can go to the Plant Care Providers Page to see all of the contributing experts and choose the care which is best for you!
  • Pick your Zone, pick a task, then see what you should be doing this month on our View All Plant Care By Month section. You can mix and match the different tasks, different climate zones and even different Plant Care Providers.
  • Browse our complete database of available Plant Care Reminders in our View All Plant Care section. It's an easy way to see if there are any Plant Care Reminders available for the plants you have. It's alphabetical by botanical name, and there are all sorts of ways to sort and find the plants you're looking for, including climate zone and plant care provider.
  • Find instructions by Plant Group or Latest, or submit a Request for a plant you own. Click on the botanical name to be taken to the specific plants Care Instruction Area to view the complete instructions before you use them.
  • When you add a plant to your "My Profile" page you'll see the Plant Care Icon if there is available Plant Care for that specific Plant. Just click on the Icon and it will take you to the "view plant care" area for that plant. 
Click Here to learn more about finding plant care instructions and getting them sent to you!
 
 
Navigating the Mulch
We know there is a lot going on, and sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, but don't worry, it's all there for you.  We've tried to make it possilbe to get anywhere on our site from our maiin navigation, so no matter where you are, you should be able to find anything else on the website. The exception is in the individual Plants, we have a number of features (and navigation) which are on the plant detail pages (see graphic below).
 
A good rule of thumb is to click on the top level navigation to get an overview of that section. For instance if you click on "Plant Care" it will take you to a "Hub" which explains some of the available features in our Plant Care Sharing feature. 

Hovering your mouse: we use a website feature where you can see a lot of information by hoving your mouse over photos and navigation menus. It saves space, and makes it so we can give a lot more information on a page. In the example below the blue box with "Plant Owners" is what pops up when you hover your mouse over the numbers. This same feature is used all over the place, so be sure to HOVER, HOVER, HOVER!
 
ownersofplant1.jpg
 

Communicate with other members

  
Invite friends to join

We love it when you invite your friends, it's really the best way to grow the Mulch. We need your help, every new member helps make the whole website better, so please take a few minutes to invite a few of your gardening friends. 

"My Invites" is an easy way to invite your friends to join the Mulch Community! This sends an email with a note and your Avatar photo from you which includes a link back to the Mulch. You must be logged in to proceed.

There are two ways to find the “My Invites” feature:

1. Remember, you can get to everything about you at your My Profile Page, so start their! Click on the My Profile link then go to your My Invites Tab and you'll be taken to the Invite a Friend Feature.

2. In the main navigation; hover over My Profile - Things to do - then click Invite a Friend and it will take you to the "Invite a Friend" feature.

Here's a link to a tutorial video which give a click by click acount of how the Invite a Friend feature works. Click Here To Watch Video.

Once you're on the My Invites tool it's very easy to use. Here's a screen shot of the "My Invites" tab on your "My Profile" page. We'll show you below:

1. Once you're on your My Profile page, click the My Invites tab.

2. Click on the Invite Tool tab

3. Put your friends email address in the "Other Recipients" text box. You can put up to fourty addresses (each one seperated by a comma) at time. 

4. You can write a personal message which will be seen in your invitees email. 

5. Click "Send" and your email invitation will be sent!

inviteafriend2.jpg

 
 So go ahead and do it! Invite everybody you know to join you at the Mulch!
 
TOP
 
Finding a Member

TOP
 
Private messaging

You can easily send private messages to anyone in the Mulch.  This is an easy way to safely communicate inside the Mulch.  Your email address is not revealed when sending a private message.  This is the best way to ask questions about plants of people you don't know personally.  

There are two ways to send a Private Message. The first is to write a message and address it to the Member, the second is to go to the members 'My Profile' page and send it from there. In either case you'll need to be a member of the Mulch (it's free and easy), and be logged in.  

The first way is just like writing an email. Start by going to the Private Message page,  to do this, hover your mouse over the 'My Profile' navigation, then the 'Things to do' link then click on 'Send a Private Message'.  - you'll be taken a page where you can write your message, check for incoming emails or see old one's you've sent.

To send the message you'll need to choose who you'd like the message to go to, do this by clicking on "Show Users" link.  You'll see a list of every member in the Community, click on who you'd like to send the message to (it can be more than one person) then click 'Add Users'.  Then click 'Send' and whoosh - off it goes, just waiting to be answered by one of your gardening friends!

The second way is to simply go to the Member Profile page of the person you'd like to send the private message.  Once on their profile page you'll see an area in the upper left hand corner to write them a message.

Note: Anytime you see a members username of Avatar (their profile photo) you can click on them and be sent directly to the members 'My Profile' page. So if a member asks a question in the forum, or posts a cool photo, or has a similar plant as you (or for any other reason), you can easily send them a message! 

TOP

Connecting to other members (using the My Friends feature)

This is a super cool tool that lets you create a direct connection with people you know or trust who are also members of the Community. When connected, you can easily communicate through a variety of ways. You'll also be able to see how many degrees of separation you are from any other members. Both parties need to accept a connection request, so don't be concerned that unwanted people can connect to you.

Summary: Find your friend, ask them to connect to you, wait for their response, connect and have fun.

Detailed directions: To "Connect" to your friends - click the "Member List" link, find the person you'd like to connect to, click the persons "Name" link, this will take you to their "Member Profile" page. Once you're on their page, you click on their "Options" tab and click on the "Request Connection". A small box will appear asking if you'd like to write a note, then click "Submit" and your request for connection will be delivered. 

 
Commenting on content
Finding out about other Members
Create or Join a Group
 

Personalize

Create your personal member profile  - plant lists
Track Forum Discussions

Add/Change a personal Avatar (the photo shown on your profile and your communications).

tnnophoto.jpgAn "Avatar" is a photo or graphic image of a user intended to make the computing or network environment a more friendly place. We encourage you to replace the default one with a photo of you, or something fun or whimsical. You can change this as often as you like and it's sort of fun to mix things up!

 When you join the Mulch, your member page (My Profile) shows a default "Avatar" which looks like a silouette of a person with the words "No Image" on it.  This can easily be changed to a photo of your own, or you can choose from our image gallery.

There are two ways to get to the page to change your Avatar. The first time you log in you will probably be redirected to the correct page to change your Avatar, if not, or you'd like to change it again:

1. Go to your My Profile page, click the Options tab, select the Update your Image link and follow the instructions.

2. Go My Profile - View My Profile - Add/Update my Avatar avatar.jpgand follow the instructions. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contributing
Plant Photos
Contests
Blogs
Articles
Answering Forum Discussion Questions
Post Your Favorite Links
 
Find Relevant Content
Searching the website
Searching the Plant Database
Articles
Special offers and Newsletters
Gardening Events

Getting Help Using the Mulch
Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
Tutorials
Contacting Us

2. My Profile - tell people about yourself and your gardening philosophies by answering our gardening profile questions.

To answer the questions: Go to your "My Profile" page, click the "My Profile" tab, click on "Update Your Profile" and you'll see where you can tell people about your gardening philosophies!    Answer as many or as few as you'd like, but the more the better!

3. My Articles or Blogs - Publish your own gardening articles to the Mulch Community.

We want you to contribute! If you'd like to publish an article or write a blog just contact us and we'll set one up for you. (NOTE TO JONNI - this isn't really set up to well yet, this may be a less important feature)

4. My Plants, My Recommendations, My Wish List, Plant Cemetery, Troubled Plants - As a member of the Mulch Community you can create personal lists of the plants you grow, plants you like and the plants you wish you had.  To do this go to your "My Profile" page, click the "My Plants" tab, click on the "add a plant" link, search for a plant you own, click the "Pick" button, then click the "add" button at the bottom of the list - you now have that plant and it's details in the "My Plants" tab.

Repeat these steps to add plants to your "My Wish List" tab, your "My recommendations" tab, your "Plant Cemetery" tab, or your "Troubled Plants" tab . 

This is what really makes the community unique - we need you to add your plants, the more you add to your lists, the more the collective community can learn about what plants people grow and like.  Once your plants are added you can see who else owns the same plants!  Imagine the possibilities to be able to communicate with others from all over who own your same plant!!!

Connect with People:

1. My Friends - Connect directly with other members of the Mulch Community.

This is a super cool tool that lets you create a direct connection with people you know or trust who are also members of the Community. When connected, you can easily communicate through a variety of ways. You'll also be able to see how many degrees of separation you are from any other members. Both parties need to accept a connection request, so don't be concerned that unwanted people can connect to you.

Summary: Find your friend, ask them to connect to you, wait for their response, connect and have fun.

Detailed directions: To "Connect" to your friends - click the "Member List" link, find the person you'd like to connect to, click the persons "Name" link, this will take you to their "Member Profile" page. Once you're on their page, you click on their "Options" tab and click on the "Request Connection". A small box will appear asking if you'd like to write a note, then click "Submit" and your request for connection will be delivered. 

2. My Guestbook - sign others guestbooks, rate them and just say hi!

First find the other community member you'd like to sign their guestbook, you can do this by using the "Member List" link or by clicking on their username one of the many reports about plants people own.  You'll be taken to their profile page, then click on the "My Guestbook" tab and follow the instructions. 

3. My Messages - send private messages to anyone in the Mulch Community.  This is an easy way to safely communicate inside the Mulch Community.  Your email address is not revealed when sending a private message.  This is the best way to ask questions about plants of people you don't know personally. 

There are two ways to send a private message:

From your "My Profile" page click on the "send a message" link in the upper left hand corner - you'll be taken a page where you can write your message.

You'll need to choose who you'd like the message to go to, do this by clicking on "Show Member List" link.  You'll see a list of every member in the Community, click on who you'd like to send the message to (it can be more than one person) then click "Add Users".  Then click "send" and whoosh - off it goes, just waiting to be answered by one of your gardening friends!

Another way is to go to the member profile page of the person you'd like to send the private message.  Then click the "My Messages" tab and you'll see where you can write a message.

4. My Invites - An easy way to invite your friends to join the Mulch Community! This sends an email with a note from you which includes a link back to the Mulch.

There are two ways to use the "My Invites" feature:

1. Select the "My Invites" tab on your "My Profile" page, you'll be sent to a page where you'll be able to write an email.

2. Click on the "Invite a friend" link on the left hand navigation and it will take you to the same page where you can write an email.

5. Member List - This is really the key piece to communicating within the Community. From the "Member List" you can see who else is a member, who's online right now, and you can easily visit other members' member profile pages. This is how you get around. Just click on the "View Member List" link on the left hand side navigation and you'll see a list of all members of the Community.  Click on any persons name and you'll be take to their profile page.

You can also easily find your friends on your "My Friends" tab (if you're connected to them).

Connect to other members by the plants you have:

1. Once you've added plants to any of your plant lists ("My Plants", "My Wishlist","My Recommendations", Plant Cemetery" or "Troubled Plants") you can easily start a forum about that plant by clicking on the "Forum" link, or see who else owns that same plant by clicking on the link with five numbers. When you click on the five numbers it takes you to a report showing who else in the Community has that plant on one of their lists. You can then click on the persons username link and go to their profile and see more about them - maybe even ask them a question about the plants!

Share -

1. My Forums - ask questions, get answers!

This is a very powerful system with a number of user friendly features. As a member of the Mulch Community you can ask questions on our Southern California Forum about any gardening related topic you'd like.  You can also answer any questions you'd like. The more you participate the higher "Forum Ranking" you receive (you can see a persons' rating on their "My Profile" page). Any topics you participate in are automatically tracked on your "My Forums" tab on your "My Profile" page. You can also subscribe to any Forum topic which is also tracked on your "My Forums" tab.

This is a very powerful system with a number user friendly features and ways for you to participate.

1. To ask a new question from anywhere in the Mulch Community - Click on "Forums" along the top navigation in tan, decide which topic is appropriate and click on that link (ie under Southern California Gardening choose the "Plant Care" topic) this will take you to a new page, click on "post a new topic" where you can write your question and add a photo if you'd like.

2. From any of your "My Plants" lists, you can click on the "Forum" link for a specific plant and it will take you automatically to the Forum where you can ask a question, see discussions, or give answers.

It's possible to add a photo to your Forum question, when

2. My Gallery - share photos, brag, ask for help

This is your own area to share your photos, brag about your garden, ask for help or just put some fun photos up for everyone to see!

How to Use it: On your "My Profile" page click on the "My Galleries" tab and click the "Edit Gallery Items" link.  This will take you to your "My Galleries" area. This is where you create galleries and upload photos.

 

3. Submit Links - tell people about great gardening websites on the internet

4. Subscribe to eNews

5. Marketplace - sell, promote, wanted, notices

 

Learn -

1. News Feeds - read the latest articles from the top gardening websites

We're working on bring Gardening Professionals and Experts together with Home Gardeners of all abilities. We embrace retail nursery, online plant or seed sellers, Master Gardeners, Garden Writers, local experts, garden club members, wholesale growers and anyone else who is passionate and knowlegable about gardening. We encourage participation from 

Sharing  Photos:

Sharing is one of the fun things about the Mulch. There a number of ways to share photos, the four most popular ways are:
1. Share a photo of a specific plant to our Plant Encyclopedia:
We love when people add their plant photos to the Plant Encyclopedia. We're always looking for more photos - so please feel free to upload as many as you'd like. You'll get all the proper credit and you'll retain your copyright (click here to see all the legal stuff).  
 

We have a detailed description of how to do this in our FAQ's section: Click Here To View

_____________________________________________


the-visitor.JPG2. Create a Personal Photo Gallery:
This is a fun way to show off your photos of gardening related things. As a member of the Mulch you can start your own photo gallery (and we encourage you to). This is your own area to share your photos, brag about your garden, ask for help or just put some fun photos up for everyone to see! It's also a good way to show work you've done as a professional or give a little tour of your nursery (or gardening related business).

How to Use it:

Three ways to get to the Member Galleries in the Navigation:
1. Hover over 'My Profile' - 'Things to Do' - then click 'Go To My Gallery'.
2. Hover over 'Community' - then click 'Member Galleries'.
3. Click 'My Profile', then click the 'My Galleries' tab and click 'Upload Now'.

All of these ways will land you on the 'Galleries' page. Click on the phrase - You have not created any album yet Create one now!  link which will take you to your personal gallery area. This is where you create galleries and upload photos.

Your photos will be shown in a gallery along with other members, and it even includes a cool little slide show. You're able to give a little description and other members will even be able to comment on how great it is!

Please Note: the first thing you should do is create a gallery, then add images to your gallery. Our new system is super easy to do, our gallery even automatically resizes your photos for you!

_____________________________________________ 

3. Share photos in a Blog

Don't be intimidated by the word "Blog", it's just a cyberspace word for sharing. Some people use it to write every little thing they're doing, some to give their point of view, some use it to promote their business, some to share recipes, some to stay in touch with others and some just to share photos. 

gloriosa-daisies_sm.JPGWriting a blog is very similar to writing an email, you open a window, write what you'd like and add any photos you'd like. The main difference between an email and a blog is a blog gets published for anyone to see. So it's sort of like putting a flyer or notecard on a bulletin board (it's very easy and we encourage you to do it)!

In the main menu hover your mouse over 'My Profile' - 'Things To Do'  then click 'Write A Blog'. This will take you to your personal blog page. Click on the 'Write New Entry' tab and you'll then it's just like writing an email.

If you'd like to add a photo you'll need to upload it first, then insert it. To upload the photo click on the words 'Images and document' and it will open a window where you can browse and upload the photo from your computer. Once the photo is uploaded you can place within the text of the blog. 

Tags: a tag is a one or two word description of your blog which we (the Mulch team) can display in different places so more people can get to your blog. Some people use the same Tag for everything to show it's from them.

Go For It!  

_____________________________________________ 

4. Share photos in the Forums

This is another great place to share photos.There areall sorts of different categories, so you can post photos to help illustrate a question you have, or ask for help identifying a plant, or bragging about your garden, or showing off your harvest (or anything else gardening related)!

Click here for details about Using the Forums (it's easy to do and it's a great resource).

Trackback(0)
Comments (3)Add Comment
ganapati
...
written by Dileep Wani, June 08, 2009
Slogan for the year-2009:-
Save oil!Conserve soil!
Do composting!
Dr.Dileep Wani
Pune,Maharashtra,India
alisha66
...
written by Alisha Lopej, January 03, 2011
Sage or Salvia is found all over the world, especially in the Mediterranean climates. Culinary sages are mostly native to the Europe, while decorative sage originated largely in the Americas. The plants have been further spread and hybridized by the human intervention, since salvia is a popular addition to the garden. As well as salvia is a Mexican herb that can be smoked to evoke hallucinogenic effects.
http://www.simplehealthguide.com/what-is-salvia/
0
...
written by a guest, January 20, 2014
I just joined the community, I hope I can give my best to this halpful community, thanks.

Write comment

busy

Live Website Help

Guests & Members

We have 1084 guests online