From Publishers Weekly
In this wonderfully structured gardening guide, generously illustrated with luscious photos, the American Horticultural Society shows temperate-climate gardeners how to make their ways through the gardening year. The book is arranged by season, from early spring to late winter, with how-to advice on growing vegetables and fruits, subdivided into tasks for the different vegetable families and fruit trees, bushes, and vines in each subseason, individualized for mild-winter, medium-temperature, and cold-winter regions. Interspersed are instructions on basics such as how to test soil, grow seedlings, combat pests, and harvest, as well as more esoteric activities like drying herbs for winter use, grafting and pruning fruit trees, and growing edible flowers. Common vegetables and fruits are thoroughly covered, but readers are encouraged to try more exotic edibles as well, from kiwis and lingonberries to Claytonia and red orach (both salad greens), with full pages devoted to the myriad varieties of tomatoes, pears, and potatoes and a section by Lee Reich on growing less familiar native fruits like pawpaws, juneberries, elderberries, and beach plums. The book's sumptuous tone, instructive photographs, and detailed directions should give beginning gardeners the enthusiasm and confidence to get started and organizationally challenged old-timers a sigh of relief that they won't have to figure out what to do next. (Jan.)
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Sustainable agriculture has become a watchword for applying sound ecological principles to contemporary fruit and vegetable gardening. Anyone with an urge to use this system to design and construct a viable garden for supplying a community’s produce needs will welcome the vast amount of helpful, detailed information that this book offers. Whether one has only a small area for a few containers or a substantial plot that can accommodate raised beds, a motivated gardener can grow something worthwhile. Because all agriculture depends on availability of light, warmth, water, and soil, the text inventories what plants will thrive under what conditions, and what a gardener can do in diverse areas to maximize the varieties of fruits and vegetables the ground can reasonably hope to generate for consumption. Produced under the aegis of the American Horticultural Society, this volume offers a host of techniques and resources that both beginners and experts will find valuable. --Mark Knoblauch