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

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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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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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 (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,592,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only time we actually had a successful gardening experience with plentiful harvest and hardly any weeds was when we took the advice in this book. It may be a tad bit misleading as to the amount of work involved—there is some, of course—but the back-breaking chore of dealing with weeds is so much less! I would say that after the first season using Ms. Stout's methods, the gardening would just keep getting better and better. This is a reprint of the original and well worth getting your hands on!
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Well it must be very good ! I did not get to finish it. My landscaping friend took it, read it passed it on to sister...they inform me its great and I need to go back to work...so I am getting another. And will try to read before my sisters find it...everyone seems to like it.
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Owned this back in the 70's and needed a new copy. So easy to garden using straw mulch in my first time raised beds - got us through a very hot, dry summer.
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Ruth Stout is one of my favorite authors. It saddens me to know she is deceased. Her writings are very practical, and read more like a slightly rambling talk with a friend over a cup of warm tea than a bound volume!. Delightful!

Ruth Stout is one of the modern pioneers substituting extensive mulching for back breaking spade and pitchfork work. I don't believe she developed her gardening techniques through scientific research, but rather by doing what she thought made sense, and then astutely observing the results.

She developed her gardening practices by extensive and continuous mulching.

Whether you want to understand her techniques or you want a delightful curl-up-in-thr-armchir read for a cold wintery (or rainy summer) night, I think you will find Ms Stout's books easy to read and a constructive delight, as well.
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Ruth Stout was a very interesting personality and an innovative gardener. I would like to have had her for a neighbor. Her methods of gardening reflected her outlook on life, it's here to enjoy. Her methods worked and saved time and effort that could be employed more gainfully elsewhere.
I read the book and it is now making the round of my friends who will probably order their own copies.
If one gardens, one needs, and will enjoy this book.
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This is an old book that has been reworked. Lots of information, lots of repetition. I have set it aside but will read it again as the weather gets colder. Nothing works all the time and this helps you understand that. IMHO, it could have been edited better. Still a staple in the gardener's library.
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By JoAnn on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading her first book I was left with a lot of questions. This book answered them. I love the fact that if she doesn't know the answer she just says so and refers you to who does. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it.
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