Working in the world's largest independent new and used bookstore, I am constantly reminded of how little I actually know about gardening. There are literally thousands of books on the subject, so it stands to reason that those of us with neither a degree in horticulture nor free time enough to read everything on the shelf might find ourselves a little overwhelmed... and complete novices might give up before they even start! If all those gardening books are making you dizzy, take a deep breath and grab a copy of Barbara Pleasant's Starter Vegetable Gardens. As beginning gardening books go, this one's a champ, complete with step-by-step instructions, full-color photographs, and illustrations... even a glossary that demystifies gardening lingo. (Quick! What's a berm?) Pleasant encourages first-time veggie gardeners to start small and grow with the seasons, and as someone who made the mistake of doing the exact opposite her first year, I can assure you: she's onto something. I give this book two (green) thumbs up. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Home vegetable gardening is all the rage. Millions of Americans have picked up spade and hoe and are digging into the soil for the first time. But starting a garden isn't always simple. Many hopeful growers find themselves confused by the dizzying array of things to know about soil quality, garden layout, seeds, temperatures, planting schedules, fertilizer, pests, watering, and harvesting. Still other first-time gardeners plant too much, only to find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted by July.
Barbara Pleasant is here to help. In Starter Vegetable Gardens, Pleasant a master gardener and award-winning gardening writer takes the guesswork out of growing food, explaining in simple, straightforward language how to start, maintain, and expand a bountiful vegetable garden in small, manageable spaces.
Pleasant presents 24 no-fail, small-scale garden plans from a simple bag garden (planted right in soil bags!) to an orderly border and from a family food factory to specialty beds for salads, Cajun flavors, and Italian cuisine. For each plan she provides plant and material lists, a plot layout, four-color photographs, and tips for succession planting to keep the garden productive all season long. Her all-organic approach ensures that the harvest is not simply tasty but also chemical-free.
Pleasant anticipates and answers novice gardeners myriad questions, guiding readers through the complexities of assessing site and soil, understanding the climate, choosing the very best vegetable varieties, starting seeds, identifying insect friends and foes, watering, fertilizing, mulching, and harvesting.
The books layout is friendly and accessible, filled with detailed images that bring the concepts to life. Both instructive and inspiring, Starter Vegetable Gardens is an essential one-stop resource for anyone just beginning to cultivate a vegetable-gardening green thumb.
Includes 24 illustrated planting plans including:
- Easy-Care Bag Garden
- Backyard Veggie Border
- Front-Yard Food Supply
- Family Food Factory
- Paintbrush Beds
- High-Value Verticals
- Marinara Medley
- Managed Mulch Garden
- Sweet Corn & Company
- Cajun Spice
- Six-Weeks-Sooner Salad Garden
Pleasant, a master gardener and award-winning gardening writer, takes the guesswork out of growing food, explaining in simple, straightforward language how to start, maintain, and expand a bountiful vegetable garden in small, manageable spaces.
The Complete Kitchen Garden is an inspiring collection of garden designs and recipes for the home gardener and cook. based on the seasonal cycles of the garden, each chapter provides a new way to look at the planning stages with themes and designs such as "the salad lover's garden," "the heirloom maze garden," "the children's garden," and "the organic rotation garden." More than 100 recipes featuring the food grown in each specific garden encompass a full range of soups, salads, main course savory dishes, and desserts, as well as condiments and garnish to dress up the plate.
About the Author
Barbara Pleasant has written five books for Storey, including the Garden Writer's Association 2003 Garden Globe Award of Achievement winner, Garden Stone. She lives in Virginia.