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Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent (Horticulture Garden Classic) Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Horticulture Garden Classic
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558216545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558216549
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gardening that requires only planting and picking seems almost sacrilegious, but with Ruth Stout's garden methods, weeds and bugs are no more than fading memories. In a neighborly, conversational tone that makes this how-to book on gardening a lot of fun, Stout gives advice on growing various vegetables and flowers, finding the best catalogues and nurseries, avoiding chemicals on plants, and--best of all--year-round mulching, which is Stout's pièce de résistance that keeps the unwanted elements out of your greened acres. If you've ever wanted your own asparagus bed, but thought it was too exotic a plant to grow on your own, Gardening Without Work is a great place to dig in.

From the Back Cover

With this delightful book, you can garden with hardly any labor except planting and picking. The Stout System of mulch gardening will allow you to throw away your weeding tools, pesticides, and fertilizers, and will conserve and replenish the soil to make plants thrive. (6 X 9, 226 pages, illustrations)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 55 customer reviews
Ruth Stout is a gardener whose voice sparkles with Yankee wisdom.
R. G. Gordon
Her methods have taken so much of the strain and aches out of gardening that I am sure I will be able to enjoy it for many more years.
Dana T
I enjoyed reading this book and I have found it to be very informative.
Judy ivanov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sullivan on July 11, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ruth is pretty much a one-note song (mulch, Mulch, MULCH) but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in using tons of hay to mulch my gardens. This isn't literature and Ruth is, at times, a bit too folksy but given that my method of gardening isn't much different, I would probably write a lot like her. It turns out I've been a Ruth devotee for a while without even knowing it.
If you are not using mulch in your garden/landscape and are tired of weeding and looking at hard, baked dirt, you owe it to yourself to give Ruth a shot. Though written in 1960, the book is still relevant and useful (except the parts about parsnips and turnips :-).
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite books on gardening. Humorous and folksy. Her methods work extremely well. Save yourself lots of sweat in the garden. Read this book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Willow on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've seen some of the Ruth Stout videos on YouTube and I ADORE her (R.I.P. Ruth). The writing style is very much like her videos would suggest, you can hear her voice in every word.

However, on the practical side, the primary thing you will learn from the book is PUT STRAW OR HAY MULCH ON EVERYTHING IN YOUR GARDEN AND YOU WILL HAVE VERY LITTLE WORK TO DO WHILE ENRICHING YOUR SOIL. There, I just saved you some money.

It's still rather sweet, I'm just not sure that beyond the primary tip I just revealed, you'll gain much else here that you can't gain from any other source on gardening. Ruth still rocks though!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sheila on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to garden, without killing myself, and I got that, and much more from this book. Indeed, the book is not new, however, I know you will find the information in it, as wonderful as I did, and if you want to save your back, knees, sweat, and tears, then purchase the book. It turned out to be so much more than I ever expected. Not just in the reading, but in the doing. For the first time in a long time, I know that I will be able to garden for many years to come, and for those who are young, it will not wear you down like old gardening does. Trust me, I know both, and THIS METHOD IS OUTSTANDING! I intend to grow all of my produce myself, and this is the ONLY way I will be able to do that for so many in my family. I may be old, (64) but I can do it with Ruth's method. She gardened until she was 90 yrs. old! How's that for proof of her method! She was before her time, follow it, you won't be let down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dana T on November 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE Ruth Stout. I only wish she were still alive so I could tell her so. This woman is the patron saint of folks like me who are physically limited. I have arthritis in most all of my connective tissue and I really thought I would have to give up vegetable gardening as I got older. Her methods have taken so much of the strain and aches out of gardening that I am sure I will be able to enjoy it for many more years. She has wonderful, experience-based tips and methods that you most likely wouldn't think of if you have been raised in the traditional mindset of growing your own food. The only thing I find to be a drawback is that come harvest time, you will probably want to invite a few friends over! LOL LOL. The bounty is plentiful and there is work to do on that end. When you get such satisfaction from planting something and watching it grow, how can that be a drawback? Her dry sense of humor makes the reading a delight as well. I would, and have, recommended her books to anyone that has ever engaged me in a conversation about gardening. I hope you will give her a try. It is worth triple the price!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Judith L. Lee on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tried a few of the tips and had the best crop of pumplins I have ever had. Over 18 monsters, 23 small and 10 Hubard. The corn was tall and so sweet. No more digging for me mulch is the way.
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34 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Kottke on August 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ruth Stout knows what she is doing but I sensed a tone of irritation in her book with people who need information on what to do. Most of the book is relating her experiences without any real information. She talks about a fence her brother built to keep out raccoons but yet no details about what this fence was or how it was constructed. This isn't a book for beginning gardeners. I was dissapointed with the books lack of real information. If you want information on how to garden this is not the book to read. If you want to read about a gardeners experiences and how irritated she gets with beginners this is the book you want.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By diamondove on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i can now garden without killing myself. her methods are easy, and works for us. thank you Ruth Stout for the awesome info, and thank you Robert for republishing this awesome info!
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