The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions

Edward C. Smith, Author, John Storey, Foreword by
Edward C. Smith, Author, John Storey, Foreword by Storey Publishing $37.5 (309p) ISBN 978-1-58017-213-4
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-1-58017-212-7
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-1-4463-0055-8
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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. (Feb.)
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