Monday, January 10, 2011
I Love This Gardening Book, And Here's Why:
Instead of organizing the book by fruits, vegetables, trees, etc., as most books of this ilk are, it's organized by season, with the granularity of early season, mid season, late season. So you could argue that it has twelve sections, which corresponds almost monthly, depending on what your climate is like. It may be a bit of a stretch for a new gardener who is not terribly familiar with where on the calendar each part of the season hits for their area, but for anyone else it should prove to be very helpful. On second thought, it could be the perfect book for the new gardener, because it gives information on getting started- the new gardener will learn soon enough how the seasons hit their garden. The book tells you what you should be planting and doing in the garden now, which is exactly what I need to know. It also tells you what from the garden you can still be enjoying at any given time, and it give cultivation tips and information for each thing.
The vegetable sowing and harvesting charts that start on page 278 are organized by region, as in cold-winter, mid-temperate, and mild-winter, and each of those sections is further organized again into early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, etc. So unless you're a clueless idiot, you really can't go wrong (barring the vagaries of the whacky weather we've all been having lately, and frankly, on some subjects, I'm a clueless idiot). Of course there's a section on dealing with pests and diseases. It's also peppered with pruning and cultivation instructions; now I know what a canker looks like on an apple and I also know what to do about it.
It's interspersed with various subjects, like growing vegetables in containers, how to grow fruits in small spaces, using green manures, as well as specifics on various things, like tomatoes and native fruits and other subjects.
I am a sucker for the beautiful pictures, but the kicker for me really is the advice on what to do when, because that is what I struggle with the most, next to making good compost. Really, this book covers absolutely everything, and I think I can make space for it on the bookshelf by getting rid of a few other gardening books that I already have.
So I hope my library holds hurry up and come, because I'm very anxious to order Homegrown Harvest for myself.