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How to Grow World Record Tomatoes: A Guinness Champion Reveals His All-Organic Secrets Paperback


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How to Grow World Record Tomatoes: A Guinness Champion Reveals His All-Organic Secrets + Giant Tomatoes + The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide Including Heirloom Tomatoes (Back-To-Basics Gardening)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Acres U.S.A.; illustrated edition edition (October 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911311572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911311570
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Patrons with a love of tomatoes and a competitive nature may enjoy these organic tips from Wilber, who earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by coaxing 1,368 pounds of tomatoes from only four plants. This octogenarian's delivery is folksy and no-nonsense as he relates advice on composting, seed selection, pruning, watering, and other basics of tomato gardening. Wilber readily acknowledges, however, that not every gardener is serious enough to get yields like his. This book offers sound advice (particularly for market gardeners), but public libraries may prefer Tantalizing Tomatoes: Smart Tips & Tasty Picks for Gardeners Everywhere (LJ 4/1/97), which has a broader audience and is more comprehensive, including historical background, a guide to cultivars, recipes, and a resource list. Still, Wilber is a remarkable man who has written a useful, reasonably priced book.?Bonnie Poquette, Shorewood P.L., WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Charles Wilber resides in Alabama and is a man on a mission. His entire life has been dedicated to studying nature. And for most of his 80+ years he has been learning how to coax the maximum production from her bounty. He started by emulating the conditions of the forest floor - the same forest where the giant sequoia grow. Then he added in good gardening techniques.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
This is a good book, hard to put down.
Mary C. Dayton
Having had the past growing season to try out the techniques in this book, I highly recommend it.
Ken
Wait until they see my plants next year!
David Stone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By washbear on May 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book deserves serious attention by a generation that is gradually poisoning its own food supply and misusing its agricultural resources. Mr. Wilber teaches a total gardening system that encompasses sound organic principles, including composting with kudzu, watering at the soil-line, using extra-sturdy cage supports, mulching, cover-cropping, observing problems, garden sanitation, etc.. His methods are not earth-shatteringly different from those found in other organic gardening books, but his success in growing record-breaking produce is dependent on the consistent and proven use of all of his collective techniques together. I really enjoyed reading his life's philosophy regarding our stewardship of the earth, i.e. the dominion rather than the domination of the earth ("If you take care of nature, she'll take care of you") and plan to implement his techniques in my own garden this season. One of its main goals is to help you grow the most produce from the fewest number of plants in the smallest amount of space. The fact that his vegetables are often record-breakers is an added bonus. The book is written in a non-technical, easy-going style. The chemical companies will hate this book, but to those of you who care for the earth and enjoy eating your own healthy chemical-free vegetables, I highly recommend this one. I only wish the photos in the book were in color. Thank you, Mr. Wilber, for your generosity in passing your life's work onto future generations!
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By David Stone on December 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book cover-to-cover several times before preparing my 2001 garden. This system works. While I didn't get 30 foot tall plants like Mr. Wilber, I probably quadrupled my previous best results -- and that was only my first try. Everybody who saw my plants commented that they had never seen such healthy, productive specimens. (Wait until they see my plants next year!)
Even if you don't follow his instructions to the letter, you will likely get much better results than you ever had previously. While the compost and mulching are super-important, I think THE most important advice to follow is to build large, strong cages per the instructions. Your plants will be so big that they will literally crush any "normal" tomato cage you can buy at a nursery.
Organic gardening is the ONLY method that makes sense, when you really get into it. I'll go head-to-head with anybody who gardens using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. My plants will be bigger, healthier, with bigger yields of better-tasting produce.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Tomatoes are a passion of mine; I remember my grandfather growing some of the best. I thought of him often when I read this book. It has very practical advice---even if you don't want a world record it is very easy to understand, it makes sense, it's organice, and it's fun to read. My only caveats: I would love to have had a chapter on how to adapt to a more urban/suburban setting (though it does devote time to how to do this in a container) where land space may be limited, and more about the how's of setting up to use rainwater or how to de-chorinate tap water if you don't have another or plentiful enough alternative source. I adapted fairly well to my spot I think and believe I will get a good yield this year!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ken on December 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having had the past growing season to try out the techniques in this book, I highly recommend it. While I live in an area where I may never have crops like Charles Wilbur, with the techniques he demonstrates in his book, I more than doubled my tomato crop this past season! That right there made this book worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lester Bradway on February 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you have ever thought of turning to organic gardening then this book will be very helpful. If you have been practicing organic gandening for years there are still some enlightning new theories for you here. If you believe you can get good produce to grow from a brick with the proper amount of chemical fertilizer and don't plan on changing your mind then this book is a waste of time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hazelnut VINE VOICE on February 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! What he says about growing tomatoes isn't just tall tales - it's a true tale about incredibly tall tomato vines...with incredible numbers of tomatoes! There are photographs to prove what he says, too. You may not want to grow 27-ft vines, or need all that many tomatoes, but you can learn some very useful tips by reading his book. Mr Wilbur does some bragging, but he's earned the right. What he has accomplished with organic methods is something commercial growers with all their equipment, artificial fertilizers and bug and weed sprays will never accomplish. The point is, you can also grow bigger, better and healthier tomatoes (and by extension, all your homegrown vegetables) by adopting his organic methods.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RosaBianca on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading several of the previous reviews, I thought I was buying the greatest tomato book ever. But once I read it, I was pretty disappointed. This book tells you a lot of what you already know (use compost! give the tomatoes support! don't let them go thirsty!), but it also does so in a holier-than-thou tone with such statements as, "For me, a drop in production to a mere 100 pounds per plant is a dismal failure." By the way, this book is not about growing the largest tomatoes possible, it's about getting the most yield per plant (in the author's case: a record 342 pounds of tomatoes per plant).

On the plus side, the book does a fine job of promoting organic gardening, and gives clues on how to "read" a tomato plant, prevent stress, and pinch off new growth selectively. If you don't mind the occasional self-promoting comments, then most beginner to novice gardeners, and anybody looking to get more yield from their plants, might enjoy this book.

One other thing: the book contains a large number of typos, and color photos would be helpful... in case there are plans for a second edition.
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