The Vegetable Gardener's Bible|
by Edward C. Smith (Author)
Wouldn't it be lovely to have a patch of corn, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and
beans just steps from your kitchen door? Would you like to learn how to control
your zucchini plant? Ed Smith, an experienced vegetable gardener from Vermont,
has put together this amazingly comprehensive and commonsensical manual, The
Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Basically, Ed and his family have been growing a
wide variety of vegetables for years and he's figured out what works. This book,
filled with step-by-step info and color photos, breaks it all down for you.
Ed's system is based on W-O-R-D: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep
soil. With deep, raised beds, vegetable roots have more room to grow and expand.
In traditional narrow-row beds, over half the soil is compacted into walkways
while a garden with wide, deep, raised beds, plants get to use most of the soil.
In Ed's plan, growing space gets about three-quarters of the garden plot and
only about a quarter is used for the walkway. Ed teaches you how to create
raised beds both in a larger garden or in separate planked beds. One of the most
important--and most often overlooked--aspects of successful vegetable gardening
is crop rotation. Leaving a crop in the same place for years can deplete
nutrients in that area and makes the crop more likely to be attacked by insects.
Rotate at least every two years and your vegetables will be healthier and
bug-free. There's also a good section on insect and blight control.
Before choosing what to grow, go through the last third of the book, where Ed
takes a look at the individual growing, harvesting, and best varieties of a
large number of both common and more exotic vegetables and herbs. Whether you
are a putterer or a serious gardener, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is an
excellent resource to have handy.
From Publishers Weekly
A committed organic gardener, Smith is a proponent of staggered planting in
raised, wide and deep beds that provide conductive root systems and produce
abundant harvests. He explains his system, from optimum siting and soil
preparation (he prefers broad-forking over rototilling or double-digging) to
companion planting and compost ("The path to the garden of your dreams leads
right through the middle of a compost pile"). For beginners, he takes the
mystery out of such subjects as hardening off ("like a little boot camp for
vegetables") and deciphering the shorthand used in seed catalogues. An abundance
of photographs (most of Smith's own garden) visually bolster the techniques
described, while frequent subheads, sidebars and information-packed photo
captions make the layout user-friendly. The book concludes with an
alphabetically arranged listing of vegetables and herbs in which Smith offers
advice on every aspect of cultivation, as well as a selection of the most
flavorful varieties. Smith doesn't necessarily break new ground here, but his
book is thorough and infused with practical wisdom and a dry Vermont humor that
should endear him to readers.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (February 15, 2000)