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on March 25, 2012
Sidebars, tidbits, authentic down-to-earth advice make this my new favorite gardening book!

I have a lot of gardening books and have grown tomatoes for many years, so when I was given this book I had low expectations.

But Mike McGrath really knows his stuff. He doesn't promote buying lots of things I don't already have in order to guarantee success.
(But he also knows gardeners will do it anyway: Page 32 One of the greatest things about seed-starting is that you can go out and buy lots of stuff and actually claim you are going to save money by doing so. It's probably going to turn out to be a lie, but hey - the shopping is still fun.)

Unlike some books that can overwhelm with all the possible causes for failure. Mike keeps things practical and useful - Page 39 - Overwatering kills more plants than everything else combined.

In addition to the humor that keeps the book fun to read and his points memorable, Mike jams a lot of information into the pages. I like the fact that the sort of information you'll want to reference quickly for comparison is nicely formatted into charts and tables. For example the Top Tomatoes chart includes color photos of the variety next to his comments, heirloom/hybrid, determinate/indeterminate etc.

Mike puts flimsy storebought "cone" cages in their place then tells you how to build (not buy) a worthy example yourself from fencing wire.

The sections on soil and pests are worth the price of the book alone. I'm now collecting my egg shells and will try his tip - one dozen crushed egg shells per plant -to surround it with slow-release calcium to avoid blossom end-rot - when the bottom part of the fruit goes bad and turns black just as the tomato is getting ripe.

As an experienced gardener, I learned a lot from this book. But it would also be good for someone starting out. If you knew nothing about gardening or tomatoes - Mike gives it to you straight. You'll be guaranteed to have a decent first-year crop while saving yourself from buying a lot of hokey, un-needed stuff.
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on August 10, 2015
The book has good, down-to-earth advice about growing tomatoes. It would be perfect for someone growing tomatoes for the first time, but it's a little basic for those with more experience. I took off a star because he goes off on the evils of genetically modified supermarket tomatoes when a tomato expert really should 1) not take a kneejerk anti-science position on GMOs and 2) know that there are actually no GM tomatoes being sold to U.S. consumers. It's a bit of an embarrassing slip for someone who usually gives good gardening advice.
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on April 9, 2015
There is good basic information in this book. It is clearly and simply instructional. I listen to him on the radio so I am used to his delivery. It can be annoying but the information he gives is sound. The book is a helpful tool and an easy read.
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on September 28, 2014
If you are looking for information on how to grow great looking and tasting tomatoes, your search is over. Humorously full of valuable information, acquired through years of experience, this book will get you on track to solving the problems of harvesting ugly, tasteless tomatoes.
Originally purchased to gift to my son, peeking through it I found I needed my own copy be able to keep up to speed on the subject. Get your own copy and you will become the neighborhood tomato authority, yourself.
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on June 18, 2012
great book very informative i learned quite a bit but it was also very very funny, the author has a great sense of humor and he keeps you laughing. the humor kept it from getting boring and i was able to go through the book and found many helpful hints
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on June 6, 2015
A collection of primitive tomato-related jokes. Not a gardening guide. A low-level pamphlet with few colorful pictures. Its useful content can be published on two pages of paper, the rest is blah-blah-blah. Avoid to waste money on this book, I have had to return it.
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on July 3, 2015
Was a Father's Day gift to my husband. He loves it. Has read and reread it.
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on September 27, 2014
Very informative book - with a little humor thrown in!!
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on July 22, 2014
great book. mike is funny and his advice is right-on.
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on February 25, 2016
This is a great book!
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