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Gardening Without Irrigation Or Without Much Anyway [Paperback]

Steve Solomon
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Paperback, June 30, 2004 --  

Book Description

June 30, 2004 141912143X 978-1419121432
A related problem many backyard gardeners have with establishing the winter and overwintered garden is finding enough space for both the summer and winter crops. The nursery bed solves both these problems. Instead of trying to irrigate the entire area that will eventually be occupied by a winter or overwintered crop at maturity, the seedlings are first grown in irrigated nurseries for transplanting in autumn after the rains come back. Were I desperately short of water I'd locate my nursery where it got only morning sun and sow a week or 10 days earlier to compensate for the slower growth.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Pub Co (June 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141912143X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419121432
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,809,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird print edition, good information June 15, 2008
I don't quite get what this book is. I think it's some transcription of some take-off on a 'real' book by Steve Solomon, now out of print, called Water Wise Gardening. This has typos starting on the cover, and continuing throughout, and has the feel of some vanity press book- it reminds me totally of a bootleg tape. But it's cheap and the information is really good if you're interested in growing a food garden without irrigation. The secret is that you need a LOT of room. I have NO room, or nearly none, so many of the spacing guidelines given for planting are not applicable, but the principles are well-explained and there are definitely some methods I can and will immediately adopt to reduce my water use in the garden.

Steve Solomon is the guru for those of us growing vegetables in the Pacific Northwest, and this reprint or whatever it is of some of his wisdom is worth the low price, for sure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its all in the preparation December 31, 2012
By EdB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Recent changes in seasonal weather patterns have presented issues over the past few growing seasons. Rain seems to come only in the spring and fall with very little during summer months. This book was reviewed for some ideas. Two main ideas surfaced that may have application.

First regards the garden bed preparation. The author recommends and describes deep bed preparation. We're talking feet, not inches, to get down under any existing hard pan. For many, double or triple digging to create deep beds of several feet may be intimidating. The other concerns have to deal with inverting the soil structure to get amendments deep into the bed. The deep bed preparation is where the plants are supposed to find water during dry spells as roots grow to maintain access to the water table.

Second is plant spacing. The author rightly points out that intensive gardening spacing cannot be sustained with-out adequate water and nutrients. The flip side is that not many small plot gardeners will have the space to dedicate to wider spacing. Even with wider spacing, the author recommends 'fertigation', or periodic foliar feedings or deep drip irrigation with nutrients.

As with all books of this nature, careful consideration of the techniques and how they can be applied is necessary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm.... March 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hmmmmm... well, this book did cause me to think and that's what a good book is supposed to do. And much of what Solomon contends I have witnessed myself and don't disagree with. I guess my problem is that I'm just not sure his methods are practical - at least not here in the Northeast where I live. Solomon is from the Pacific Northwest and the environment and soil conditions may in fact be different enough there that his techniques have more practical merit. But here in New England my experience has been that dry gardening is not successful, even with the much wider plant spacing the author prescribes.

Personally, I've been well served by deep mulching with hay or straw. We leave for vacation each summer right in the heat of late July and I don't worry about the garden at all because experience tells me the deep mulch will keep the soil moist. What's more, a mulch of hay, straw, or other organic material will decompose in-situ and feed the soil from the top down. The author's dry-gardening methodology relies on "fertigation" to supply nutrients to the soil, but with deep mulch this is not even necessary.

What's more, the wide plant spacing necessary to make dry gardening work will mean that I can plant much fewer vegetables in the same space. And I just can't see it working for thinly rooted, fast growing veggies like spinach, lettuce, or even most of the brassica family (if memory serves, Solomon admits as much).

I'm not really being critical of the author or the book. It's certainly well written and well researched. I've been gardening long enough to know that what works in my back yard may not work in yours. That's probably the case here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well it was free March 13, 2013
By Frank
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
it was just totally weird. Nothing but errors which really took away from the book. I cannot figure out what the book is about. That and well it seemed dated to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like to cut watering time in my garden. March 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The information given gave me more to think about how to make my garden more productive. Planting a little farther apart is one idea to get better yields. And that mulch is not always the better idea or the kind of mulch can make difference. I will use this book over and over again to grow a better garden.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gardening without irrigation March 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It requires a lot of space to separate the plants, and I don't have that much space here on the desert so it didn't meet my needs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gardening without irrigation June 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is some useful information in the book. The planting information in the book is helpful if you are a new gardener
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardening without irrigation or without much of the anything
I bought this book because I'm taking a course in horticulture and I'm interested in what this book has to say, however I can't believe that you can grow a garden without... Read more
Published 14 months ago by David
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Simple, interesting, and informative with some great references for further reading. So far I have enjoyed reading all of Steve Solomon's books. Thanks Steve.
Published 15 months ago by Matthew Lauber
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for changing climate conditions
In addition to fundamentals of dry-land farming, Solomon give helpful tips for conserving water and increasing yields in atypical conditions. Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Bach
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit boring
as it is trying to be more funny than helpful, and for the places where other people live (Sydney, Australia) does not help much. Good as reference book, if I move to USA.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Picky Gardner
I think this is worth the read, but much of it doesn't apply to my situation. If you have the same conditions as he wrights about, then is really worth the read.
Published 18 months ago by seventyplus
3.0 out of 5 stars Counter Intuitive
Mulch is a great way to retain moisture, right? Well, we might want to think about that a bit. Once mulch gets wet it tends to stay wet, at least in comparison to your dry, dusty... Read more
Published on March 2, 2012 by jvangeld
4.0 out of 5 stars dry farming
this book has the basics of dry farming. what crops are better to use with little or no water. the newer books of today are more de-tailed.
Published on September 23, 2011 by Fred Stephen
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