cover image The Container Victory Garden: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Own Groceries

The Container Victory Garden: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Own Groceries

Maggie Stuckey. Harper Celebrate, $28.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-7852-5576-5

Gardener Stuckey (Soup Night) delivers a simple manual on how to grow plants in containers. “Gardening is hope made real,” she contends, and offers guidance on how those short on outdoor space can develop their green thumb using pots and other receptacles. She explains factors to consider when planning, including how much sunlight the plants will require, which are best suited to one’s region, and which thrive during which seasons. Stuckey recommends readers acquire a trowel, cultivator, hand pruner, watering can, and gloves to get started, and she provides a rundown of the pros and cons of various container types (ceramics are “elegant” but break easily, while plastic planters are durable but “not especially handsome”). Step-by-step guidance describes how to plant seeds and nurture their growth, offering such useful suggestions as thinning out seedlings that have sprouted too closely together and transferring newly purchased plants into a watery fertilizer solution before placing them in their final container, so as to loosen up their roots. Ideas on how to make the most of limited space include stacking plants on a baker’s rack or fashioning a makeshift trellis out of fishing line. The thorough, no-fuss advice for growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers will get beginners started in no time. Urban gardeners will appreciate the recommendations on making the most out of limited space. (Feb.)