Smith’s legendary high-yield gardening method emphasizes wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil. Succeed with fussy plants, try new and unusual varieties, and learn how to innovatively extend your growing season. With thorough profiles of hundreds of popular varieties, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible provides expert information and an inspiring roadmap for gardeners of all skill levels to enjoy abundant homegrown vegetables.Community Review
- I gotta tell ya… I have no idea what I’m doing. Let me start by saying how I came to find this book; I am a mother of two little boys and lost my mother to breast cancer at a young age. The food I buy at the grocery store, no matter how thoroughly I read the label I know will always have something I don’t want in it. I put an exhausting amount of effort into thinking about the food my family eats but sometimes it’s just so overwhelming, I give up and just order a pizza. Sounds off topic but that is how I landed on this book, I was exhausted and feeling like nothing I could ever buy would truly be a healthy option to feed my family and steer away from harmful cancer-causing chemicals in our food. So, I went to the internet to search for something to help my black-thumb and figure out how to provide the healthiest food for my family, without breaking the bank. Like I mentioned before I have no idea what I’m doing. I come from the school of thought that if I kill my flowers, I just run down to the store and buy new pretty flowers and throw away the old ones I killed and replace with new said flowers. Happy day. Well, that doesn’t really work when you’re trying to actually produce a harvest of some kind…
I have been reading this book for months and I started by dog-earing pages that were helpful… Don’t do it. I soon realized I was dog-earing every single page. This book has helped me to understand every aspect of starting and maintaining a garden. My dad, who actually grew up on a farm, read some of my book when he came to visit and even he was very impressed. I mention this because I don’t think this book is only for idiot-gardeners like myself. He read a lot of the recommendations and theories for wide-row and organic methods and he even learned from this book. I would highly recommend purchasing this book. Great photos, diagrams, illustrations, bullet-points, what to buy, what to reuse & recycle, incredible in-depth bios of vegetable plants (encyclopedia-style, more than you could ever want to know about a plant). The list really goes on and on. The pictures are so helpful!
This book showed me how to start with a 3×3 raised bed, non-permanent, producing vegetable & herb garden (which is great for me because we are in Southern California so any amount of land is tough to come by & we rent). It helped me to not feel overwhelmed or take on too much too soon in my first major gardening endeavor and now I am able to start feeding my family more and more healthy organic vegetables that I grow from seed. I don’t even have to go to Whole Foods and spend 50% of our income on our veggie budget each month. I learned how to plan everything out, start my seeds indoors with soilless seed-starting mix, transplanting, soil temp, vertical gardening, composting and how to save my plants organically and relatively simply when something (be it bug, bird or disease) is trying to eat or kill all of my efforts.
In summation, I learned how to grow a self-sufficient garden for my family with this book and it will be my most trusted garden companion for years to come. So well written.
- UPDATE: I just had to come back a year later to reaffirm just how much I depend on this book. Seriously, it’s all that and then some! My poor paperback is so beat up on the outside. But the inside is holding up very well, so is the actual binding. I’ve tried so many times to put it away, but it ends up coming right back out shortly after. Anytime I get to thinking about growing something or if I want to improve things in the garden, check the PH, nutrients, etc. back to the book I go. I really do highly recommend it to anyone who isn’t yet a “master” gardener. Who knows, they might even learn something from it! I think the reason it is so popular, other than the data being dependable, is the layout is so common sense. The whole back of the book has pages dedicated to each vegetable and you just go in alphabetical order to access that page. So my point is, if you are floundering around Amazon trying to pinpoint which gardening book to start with, this is it!
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I started gardening for the first time last year and have used this book to the point that the edges are curled and it looks like it’s 10 years old! It tells a little about everything. Whenever I need to know how deep to plant, spacing or what nutrients plants need, it’s all right there on one page! I believe it is more focused on northern gardens, but I live in the deep south and it still came in quite handy! I never actually put this book away. If I do, it comes right back out within a few days. It is a great introduction to gardening organically and tells enough to get you started on everything. If you need more information you would need to research further, but this book provides enough to get you going for sure. I give it 5 stars for the layout, pictures, information and ease of use! Happy gardening!