Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible

There are so many books out there on gardening and it seems that they all say about the same thing, just in a different way. Occasionally,  you'll find one that introduces some revolutionary idea or thoughts. Or perhaps you'll come across one that is just a joy to read because of the author's style, the layout of the subject, or the lovely photos (I love photos!). But rarely do you find a book that works hard for you. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, by Edward C. Smith, is definitely one of those books!

Ed Smith has compiled some really pertinent information for the home gardener in a easy to reference book that you will refer to again and again. The topics in the Table of Contents sound typical, but the information in each chapter is extremely practical. In chapter one he explains his W-O-R-D system for wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil in order to harvest a high yield. Chapter two covers purchasing seeds and how to select them, companion plantings, and crop rotation. And all of this is explained with pictures, drawings, charts, and well written descriptions!

If you are like me, and you need to extend your season or get an early start indoors, then Chapter 3 is very helpful. And if you're not sure which kind of plant cover to use, Ed shows you several as well as some great trellis ideas. Other chapters include composting, storing your harvest, watering, soil pH, disease and pest control, and earth worms in your garden. But my absolute favorite part of book is the section on "Getting To Know What You Grow".

This last section is a plant directory covering 41 vegetables and herbs, outlining everything you need to know to grow that particular item. Rarely found information such as rotation considerations, good companions, bad companions, nutrient requirements, and soil temperature is right at your fingertips. Ed includes tips, harvesting and storing information, and varieties he considers the best.  There is so much more in this handy book, but I hate to talk on and on...

A lot of the time, it is best to just check out a book from the library, read it for the information you need, and then move on. Not so with The Vegetable Gardener's BibleYou'll want to buy your own copy... you'll need to buy your own copy. And it'll get a bit dirty and worn because you'll use it again and again and again...

I invite you to go to my bookstore on the left sidebar, click on the store,  shop around, and purchase The Vegetable Gardener's Bible


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