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McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers Paperback – February 1, 2002


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McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers + The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers + Simple Steps to Success: Fruit and Vegetables in Pots
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition / First Printing edition (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761116230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761116233
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McGee (Basic Herb Cookery) and veteran gardening writer Stuckey (Gardening from the Ground Up) share their expertise and experience in the art of container gardening. Armed with this manual, frustrated apartment dwellers can indulge their passion for growing edible things. If there is an available balcony, porch, front or back steps, according to the authors, growing produce in containers can be easy and rewarding. With some limitations, it is even possible to grow foods in a window box or on an indoor windowsill. This compendium of practical advice includes detailed information on the types of containers to use, equipment needed, the right soil, when to plant which seeds and how best to deal with problems such as too much or too little sunlight. They also explain more sophisticated techniques like succession planting, whereby ongoing seasonal planting takes place in the same container. This can yield a harvest of peas in early summer, tomatoes in late summer to early fall and kale that will grow into winter. Included are mouth-watering recipes for harvested container crops. Written for the beginner as well as for those with a background in gardening, McGee and Stuckey's directions are comprehensive, clearly written and frequently inspiring. Illus.

From the Back Cover

Clear and easy directions: Vegetables for every season: 21 varieties of beans, including favas and haricots verts; peppers from sweet orange Valencias to fiery Thai Dragons (a scorcher at 60,000 Scoville units); dwarf eggplants; fingerling potatoes; 17 terrific tomatoes; lettuces; and Asian greens like bok choy, mizuna, and Chinese kale. Herbs, including basils green and purple, exotic lemongrass, soothing chamomile, saffron crocus, and the essential culinary herbs such as parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and the many thymes. Fruits: Meyer lemons, strawberries, gooseberries, figs, and even apples, peaches, and grapes. And edible flowers, like tart begonias, pepper nasturtiums, clove-spicy dianthus, and sweet daylilies, to add enchantment to meals.

Complete with all the basics of choosing the right containers, determining soil types, applying fertilizers, and knowing when to start from seed and when to start from seedling.

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Customer Reviews

It's fun to read, super informative, and straight-forward/easy to follow.
ALC137
The lack of photos didn't bother me, since I know what I eat looks like--and that one of the points of the book--grow what you can/will eat.
Royal
Anyone interested in starting a container garden this is the book for you.
D. Weatherly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

277 of 279 people found the following review helpful By Mariakm on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Finally, here's a book on container gardening that focuses on vegetables (and also herbs, fruits and edible flowers). I was tired of looking through tons and tons of books on container gardening that were full of stuff about houseplants and flowers but had zilch when it came to the edible stuff. Was vegetable gardening out of bounds for apartment dwellers like me? I thought so till I came across this book. This book is a godsend for people who want kitchen gardens of their own but who can only garden with containers.
The book has no photos, only illustrations (but then again, who needs another coffee table kind of book with pretty pictures and little content) but it has lots of good advice and instructions. It starts off with the basics (container types, soil, fertilizing, pests etc.), then it moves on to a hefty section each on vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers. Each section has a number of entries with detailed instructions on the particular veggie/herb/fruit/flower in question. These include stuff like planting, fertilizing, soil depth, plant size, light requirements and so on. Interspersed throughout the book are interesting projects, for example, creating a garden for children or a kitchen garden with an asian/italian/greek theme. All in all, this book is extremely useful and a real treasure.
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159 of 159 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I started growing a vegetable garden in containers on my balcony, I looked to several books for guidance. Bountiful Container was the most helpful.
Boutniful Container addresses garden basics such as equipment and fertilizer, but the bulk of the book is specific information on a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruit, and edible flowers. Each plant is addressed for several pages, with information such as when to plant, sun and water requirements, general care, and varieties suitable for containers.
One unique feature of this book is that they actually address container depth for every plant listed. I was amazed at how few container gardening books spent any significant time on container selection. For instance, I learned that salad burnet, a small plant, requires a deeper container than many larger plants in order to allow its taproot to develop (lo and behold, I was able to grow it for a change!). It disusses the advantages and disadvantages of several container materials, and addresses issues such as reducing the weight of oversized containers.
One frustration I had with other container gardening books, was that they assumed you had at least a small yard in which to plant and much of their information was useless for people who were limited to containers. Not a problem with this book.
Bountiful Container is beautifully written, and the information is well organized and easy to reference. I highly recommend it.
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134 of 136 people found the following review helpful By KG on April 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Bountiful Container is simply a delight -- with it on my bookshelf, I now have the courage to move beyond my tiny pots of basil and jalapenos to the exciting world of zucchini and sugar-snap peas. The detailed discussion of specific plants is invaluable (now I know why my tomato plant did so poorly last year); general commentary on soil additives and the differences between plot and container gardening are informative without being overwhelming. Moreover, the text is interspersed with design projects that are as appealing to the eye as they will be to the stomach. This book is ideal for the casual container gardener who is more concerned with produce than Latin plant names.
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79 of 79 people found the following review helpful By G. Alexander on October 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! I spent hours last Feb at various bookstores, going thru gardening books, trying to find one about container gardening that didnt spend all of its pages showing pretty containers and discussing the ornamentals you could plant in them. I want to grow food and spend my money on the plants, not the pots. With the help of this book I grew a tomato and pepper this past spring and now I have beets, radishes, spinach, peas, beans, carrots and lettuce in for the fall and everything is looking lovely in their cheapo terra colored plastic pots from Home Depot and growing like crazy! They take a neutral view on organic/conventional and provide instructions for both methods, there aren't lots of pictures but sooo much information. It's not a pour miracle gro on everything and it will be healthy book at all, they give you real tips specific to each plant, (ie: peppers like sulfur so put a book of cardboard matches in the pot) and everything is very easy to find and very dummy proof, no agriculture degree needed. I once killed an aloe vera plant and now I'm growing rosemary!
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Royal on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of the book(300 pages worth) is spent covering each type of plant, spending 2-6 pages on each. I liked all the specifics on sowing/transplants, care and harvesting. As a beginner I felt much better equipped with the information I found here than in other sources. Instead of generic "plant 4-6 weeks after last frost", they discuss day and night temperatures, something I can measure by putting my digital thermometer outside. And the fact that it focuses on growing just edibles and only in containers is very valuable.

Recipes and suggested groupings are scattered throughout. The lack of photos didn't bother me, since I know what I eat looks like--and that one of the points of the book--grow what you can/will eat. Diagrams and good simple explanations make things very clear.

They don't mention broccoli or cauliflower--perhaps they just consider it not good for containers although other mustards are in the book. But i doubt any one book to be all encompassing and complete. I also have Square Foot Gardening which gave me another set of timing and spacing information for edibles.

(update) Five years later I still use it as a reference when having problems with a variety or starting the season. I find this is still a bible for the plants it covers, even though I've moved onto planting in the ground. One of the greatest finds in the book is their recommendation of liquid seaweed fertilizer. This has become the magic fix & helper on plants. I've rescued sick plants and consistently have healthy gardens and potted plants. I use it at seeding and on seedlings, full grown, flowered and fruited plants without concern. It is a foliar as well as in-ground fertilizer. It simply helps plants to be healthier. And that lets them fight off disease and produce well.
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