Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{Blogging for Books Review} The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

I am not a gardener.  No, let me rephrase that.  I am not a successful gardener.  Every year I try.  Every year I fail.  Now, one would think that, being a prolific reader, I would have read a few gardening books to accelerate my success.  I've read.....zero.  Pathetic, I know.  

I agreed to review The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb to remedy my years of knowledge-less gardening.  And on the first page, the very first page, she told me what I was doing wrong all these years!  I'll tell you what it is at the end.  But, first, let me describe how the book is laid out.

Chapter 1 - Planning Your Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden.  This chapter details where to plant, what to plant (including a chart showing how many plants per person), size and arrangement of your garden.  It also contains drawings of several garden plans and details on how to grow a container or boxed (raised) garden.

Chapter 2 - The Postage Stamp Soil Mix.  Detailed, but not complicated instructions on how to create the right soil for your garden.

Chapter 3 - Getting Your Ground Ready.  Preparing and maintaining the soil, crop rotation and a helpful chart on soil nutrient deficiency.

Chapter 4 - When and How to Plant.  An informative chapter if you would like to start your plants from seed.

Chapter 5 - Watering Your Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden.  Short, but very helpful chapter for the beginner.

Chapter 6 - Heirloom Vegetables and Herbs You'll Love to Grow.  This chapter is the heart of the book.  Alphabetical list of vegetables containing the following information:  season (cool or warm crop), rating for postage stamp gardens (marginal, good, excellent), planting instructions, crop stretching (tips for a bigger and better harvest), recommended varieties, typical problems, harvesting, storage and growing tips.

Chapter 7 - Plants That Like Each Other.  Vegetables, herbs and flowers that grow well together and can stimulate growth.

Chapter 8 - Controlling Pests, Diseases and Critters.  Great reference (with chart) for when you need it!

The book also contains an appendix on how to compost and seed sources.

So, what have I been doing wrong all these years?  The book says, "Keep your garden bed at least 20 feet away from shallow rooted trees.."  Oops.  I always thought those shallow tree roots in my garden were a nuisance.  The problem is there is no good place in my yard away from trees.  But, I have a huge deck, a ton of pots and now a great resource to successfully start a container garden.

Overall, this classic reprinted gardening book is a great resource for a beginner and I would think there is useful information for the more advanced gardener.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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