Best book for beginning gardeners? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 05-02-2008, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After a decade of city living, we'll be moving to a small town at the end of the month. In fact, our (wonderful) tenants have already started a veggie and herb garden for us--and I'm hoping to find a good gardening book. My kids will be helping, so something for them would be fun too. We'll be in New England if that makes a difference.

Thank you.

I hope to be spending more time here!

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#2 of 21 Old 05-02-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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My mom gave me a copy of her 'gardening bible' when I first started out. It's very easy to follow and lots of pictures/illustrations. It's called the 'joy of gardening' http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Gardening-.../dp/0882663194

I also bought 'gardening for dummies' and it's o.k. but I wouldn't put it on the top book list.

You might want to try your local extension office for plants/methods suited for your specific area. These people are a wealth of knowledge.

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#3 of 21 Old 05-02-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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I really like you grow girl. It reads like a magazine, but does have a lot of useful info.

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#4 of 21 Old 05-03-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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"The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food." It's a good beginner book and a good reference guide for seasoned gardener's.

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#5 of 21 Old 05-03-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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I really like "How to Grow More Vegetables (Than You Ever THought Possible on Less Land than You Can Imagine)" by John Jeavons. It details the French Biointensive method brought to the US by Alan Chadwick in the 1960's. It's a little different approach than more traditional gardening books, but it's all about big productivity with high space efficiency. THis is how I garden, and it grows A LOT of food!

I also like to have my Western Garden Book (by Sunset Press), as a general reference for basic cultural information for most commonly available plants, including veggies and herbs. There's probably a text by the same publishers for New England.

Have fun gardening!

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#6 of 21 Old 05-03-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eastmillcreekmama View Post
I really like "How to Grow More Vegetables (Than You Ever THought Possible on Less Land than You Can Imagine)" by John Jeavons. It details the French Biointensive method brought to the US by Alan Chadwick in the 1960's
Oh, I'm pleased to read this! I have it out from the library atm, but had completely forgotten about it at the bottom of the pile. Getting it out now for a read lol.

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#7 of 21 Old 05-03-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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Hmm... too bad Gardening for Dummies wasn't great... I don't have it, never read it, but that's the sort of concept I personally would need. like, simple approach, just tell me what to do b/c I don't have time to make an indepth study of how to make a garden work when I've got two kids clamoring for my attention... I need to know what i need to know fast!
That, or I just wing it. which is what I'm doing ATM.
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#8 of 21 Old 05-03-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Well, for the first year I would suggest just add 4-6" of compost to all your beds or planting area and plant. Go by this chart for companion planting (meaning plant things next to each other that like each other and keep plants that don't like each other in seperate parts of you bed).

Then read books this next year to get you ready for next year. That would be the easiest, fastest way to go.

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#9 of 21 Old 05-04-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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I really like the encyclopedia of organic gardening by the editors of organic gardening magazine. mine is copyright 1978 and printed in 1985.

I really like looking at all different books, some have more info on certain types of plants or certain types of gardening style. Browse the library shelves and see what they have don't close your mind to the ones that are more conventional gardening because many times they have some really useful info in them, just when you are reading them isert 'compost when you rad 'fertilizer' and figure out ways to control insects w/o using the scary stuff they may reccomend.

Also check with the extension office in your area to see if they have pamplets for your specific area. 4-H books/leaflets are really nice too.
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#10 of 21 Old 05-04-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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"The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food." It's a good beginner book and a good reference guide for seasoned gardener's.
I love that book! I keep checking it out at the library. It's about time I buy a copy

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#11 of 21 Old 05-04-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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#12 of 21 Old 05-04-2008, 10:19 PM
 
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The first and only gardening book we own is Lasagna Gardening. We really like it. It is very easy for us to follow.

Hanna :, Wife to Chris. Mama to : Gracie (6/05), : Annie (1/07) and : Cole 7/25/09 Expecting #4 in March 10
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#13 of 21 Old 05-05-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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I really like Square Foot Gardening. I found it very easy to set up my garden, and I am def a beginner.

Mama to two lovely boys and a new baby due mid-May 2011
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#14 of 21 Old 05-05-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Given what you've said, I'd second the recommendation for "How to Grow More Vegetables." It has tons of information on the 'whys' for what works, but it also includes sample garden plans that you could follow verbatim if you don't feel like figuring it all out yourself at first.
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#15 of 21 Old 05-05-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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I second the "Square Foot Gardening" recommendation as a really good starter book, but my favorite is Patrick Lima's "The Organic Home Garden: How to Grow Fruits and Vegetables Naturally." It's a treat to read, and I find the organization and instructions very clear and helpful.

DD 7/07 DS 1/11

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#16 of 21 Old 06-02-2008, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry it took so long for me to do this, but I wanted to say thanks for these recs. I'm in the library in my new little town, and searching for these books. Thank you all for the suggestions! It all seems a little daunting, but exciting--a whole new world for me and my kids.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#17 of 21 Old 06-03-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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I think this book has great inspiration if you really want to involve the kids!
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#18 of 21 Old 06-03-2008, 08:32 AM
 
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For a good overall gardening book, I like "The Garden Primer" by Barbara Damrosch. We were given this as a housewarming present years ago by DH's arborist aunt and my copy is totally falling apart. They just released a new edition. The author is Eliot Coleman's wife and they have a famous organic farm in Maine, so she knows New England gardening. It covers flowers, trees, etc. as well as veggies and herbs.
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#19 of 21 Old 06-03-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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: Just wanted to say, as another wanna-be gardener (and New Englander), thank you so much for all the recommendations.
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#20 of 21 Old 06-04-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#21 of 21 Old 06-04-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katiedidbug View Post
I really like Square Foot Gardening. I found it very easy to set up my garden, and I am def a beginner.
:

Used to have a 12 x 12 plot about 30 feet from my house out back that was planted in rows. Lost count of how many times I got sunburned pulling 2,000 weeds. By early August each year I just gave up and grabbed a few cherry tomatoes and abandoned the whole thing.

With SF gardening I used salvaged bricks to build raised beds just outside my front door. When I pull up in front of the house I just leave the girls in their car seats for 5 minutes, pull a few weeds, water if it's the right time of day, and plant a few new things. Then we go in the house.

-V.
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