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Burpee : The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener : A Guide to Growing Your Garden Organically 1st Edition

58 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0028620053
ISBN-10: 0028620054
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Editorial Reviews Review

Burpee has created a truly encyclopedic, but non-intimidating, guide to organic vegetable gardening that can be used and appreciated by anyone, whether or not they've ever stuck a seed in the ground. All the essential information is here--how to condition the soil, how and where to plant, sprouting schedules, what kind of yield to expect from each plant variety, and harvesting tips--in beautiful, bountiful, illustrated detail; the book's largest section, "Plant Portraits," contains explanations of the many cultivars of each vegetable and herb. If you're a novice vegetable gardener or new to organic gardening and can only afford one gardening guide, this may be your best value.

From the Inside Flap

This information-packed reference contains everything a gardener needs to know to produce bumper crops of succulent tomatoes, spicy peppers, melt-in-your-mouth lettuce, and fragrant, flavorful herbs. Whether you are a first-time gardener or a seasoned expert, you will find clear, knowledgeable answers to all your vegetable- and herb-growing questions.

Over 280 full-color photographs and 30 line drawings make this essential reference as beautiful as it is useful. Easy-reference charts put a wealth of information at your fingertips, including the amount of water each crop requires for best growth, application rates of common organic fertilizers, and first-and-last frost dates for locations across the country.

Part One, Vegetable Gardening from the Ground Up, contains the information gardeners need to plan, plant, and care for a healthy, bountiful, all-organic garden. Topics covered include how to select a suitable garden site, what tools make gardening easier and more rewarding–and how to fill your tool shed with an arsenal of sturdy tools that will last a lifetime–plus how to make compost and transform any soil into fertile "fat earth." Chapters on laying out and planting the garden include details on how to use space-saving, harvest-enhancing techniques such as intercropping, succession cropping, and trellising, and also cover how to determine planting dates and extend the season. Care through the season–including mulching, watering, midseason, planting, and harvesting–as well as pest and disease control are also covered.

Part Two, Plant Portraits, features descriptions of over 100 plants, including information on growing hundreds of herbs and vegetables–from common to exotic. Entries on popular crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and lettuce are accompanied by information on unusual, yet easy-to-grow, edibles such as bok choy, corn salad, New Zealand spinach, salad burnet, and shallots. These portraits contain esssential informaiton on deciding which tomatoes or peppers to grow–and how many to plant–along with information on the best site and soil for every crop and complete growing instructions. Harvest and storage information is also included. Each entry explains how to select the best site and what care the crop requires through the season.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028620054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028620053
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karan Davis Cutler is the author/editor of three garden books--Vines (Camden House), Salad Gardens (Brooklyn Botanic Garden), and Tantalizing Tomatoes (Brooklyn Botanic Garden)--and the author of many garden articles. She worked as the managing editor of Harrowsmith Country Life for six years and was a newspaper garden columnist for the Rutland Herald and Barre Times Argus from 1987 through 1991. She has received eight Quill & Trowell awards for outstanding writing from the Garden Writers Association of America. While tending gardens in northern Ohio and then in Vermont, she has grown nearly every vegetable in this book.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

187 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Life and Things on April 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book could easily be worth $50 and it would be worth the investment. I've been a gardener for a number of years, and out of the entire bookshelf of gardening books that i own, this book, hands down, is far more comprehensive than all of them put together. The first section of the book, a complete book in intself, will teach you just about everything you ever wanted to know about almost every aspect of gardening, and is comprehensive enough that if you learned it all you would be well on your way to becoming a master gardener. The second section, the plant portraits, gives you more information about each vegatable and herb in your garden than you could ever dream of knowing about, and more information than you would even be able to find. Like tomatoes? there are almost eight pages dedicated to them alone. The entire book is filled with beautiful color photographs, and it is packed with tons of hard-core information. Not like the "fluff" and tons of meaningless words without any content that practically all the other books are filled with. Recently i have moved to all hydroponics, and most of the rest of my gardening books are now about worthless to me, however this book is still prooving to be an invaluable source of information. The only thing this book does not cover very well is insects and plant diseases, although it still does quite a bit better than most gardening books do. Of course, if it did, this book would probably be over 700 pages long, "complete vegatable and herb gardener" style. The book "The organic gardeners handbook of natural insect and disease control" is a very good book on this subject. Spend the money and get both of these books. You wont need anything else.
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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Richard Szkodzinski on November 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very similar in content and structure to Ortho's Complete Guide to Vegtables. The difference comes in the experience the writer has growing and maitaining the various plants. I find using both books gives different perspectives for growing and caretaking of plants but conatins the same basic information. For instance the Ortho book has better Garden Setup and maintenance data, and raw data on the various gardening aspects like fertilizer and pest eradiction. The Burpee book focuses on plant and cultivar details a little better. The book is filled with plenty high quality pictures of plants and their fruits using multiple pictures of various cultivars within plant families.
The book is geared for both beginners in gardening and the handy do it yourselfer types. Chapters progress you through the steps from site selection and plant selection to harvesting, crop rotating and soil conditioning over winter and indoor greenhouse seed starting. The book also contains references to various cultivars within vegtable species, so a beginner gardener could not only successfully select and grow well know vegtables, but could also grow and use the odd often hard to find fresh herbs.
I consistently flip between both this book and Ortho's book. I find using them in this manner makes the information extracted complimentary and thorough.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By John M. on August 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've dabbled with vegetable gardening all my life. Now that I'm retired, I wanted to get serious about it and expand my postage stamp garden. It doesn't take a lot of skill to grow tomatoes this close to California's central valleys and I wanted to go beyond the slam dunk crops and grow a variety of things that I enjoy eating.
The Burpee book is perfect for my purposes. It has two major parts; the first section deals with gardening in general and provides a broad base of information on how to prepare for and raise your own vegetables. The second part is an alphabetical tour of more than 100 of the most commonly grown vegetables with a general description of each vegetable or herb and its varieties, and some specifics on how to grow and harvest that particular plant.
I was looking for a single reference book that would get me into some serious vegetable gardening, and I hit the jackpot with this book. It is definitely a keeper. I won't say that I'll never need another book on vegetable gardening, but I should be so lucky as to live long enough to outgrow this one!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Complete"is not an overstatement. This volume on organic gardening says it all, is written in a readable and entertaining style, and is beautifully illustrated. As a reference it is as essential to the gardener as a dictionary is to a reader. it's the best gift I've had in years!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "readingsometimesisfun" on August 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Burpee's "The Complete Vegetable and Herb Gardener: A Guide to Growing Your Garden Organically" is fantastic. In addition to what Burpee lists on the back cover of what is inside the book, there are also many easy-reading tables that contain excellent information such as the vitamin(s) that each vegetable contains, different cultivars, plant PH needs, watering needs per week, crop yields, etc. Many interesting tidbits.
The layout is so wonderful, one does not feel overwhelmed with all of the information that is in the book!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. D. Kelly on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I just finished the book and am re-reading the vegetable profile section in the rear. The book written in a clear and concise style (and not devoid of humor either). The book is also well illustrated and photographed. The book presents the garden from the soil on up and leaves no stone unturned. This is a very good book for someone starting out or even for those who have gardened for several seasons. What I found very helpful was the section in back of the book on plant profiles and cultivars. The only drawback to the book is the lack of any mention of fruits (strawberries for example).
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