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The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method Hardcover – August 1, 1971


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press; 1 edition (August 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878570004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878570003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

One of the best books on gardening I have read.
Barbara L. Lutnick
It took three gardening seasons for the mulching to become very effective, because each year the weeds are under a little better control.
Susan Siemers
This is a very good book for any gardener to read.
M. Kilpatrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By "ritapeyton" on August 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
With arthritis, degenerative disk disease and spinal stenosis, I may very well be spending my last years in a wheelchair. With Ms. Stout's method of gardening, I will never go hungry. It is possible to plant a few plants (or harvest a few things) every day in the very early morning hours when I can stand to be outside. When my kids come see me, they lay a few bales of hay (or straw) around here and there so I can grab a handful and throw it on anything growing without permission. She was a wise old woman (with a great sense of humor)!!
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Heather Gray on December 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My mom gave me this book ages ago, which is why I have a copy (it's been out of print for a while). I finally decided to read it this winter, and have been enjoying it immensely. It's based on previously published articles, so you won't find all the information on asparagus all on one page. But her writing style is clear and easy, and so engaging and entertaining that you don't mind reading it from cover to cover. Also, there is a handy index in the back, so that you can always just go to the pages that have the useful info on any particular item. I liked the book so much that I decided to order Ruth's No Work Gardening for the Aging, Busy, and Indolent. It just arrived today and I can't wait to start reading it!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By V. Tucker on July 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great Book--I have actually tried this method for the last 8 months--I live in the desert close to Boise ID. It has cut my gardening work greatly--the mulching holds the moisture in the ground = LESS watering! and VERY FEW weeds!!!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Darlene on December 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book, one might think it is too simply put and lacking important information, but it's not. Year-round mulching is just so incredibly simple in itself. We have been mulching in our vegetable garden for about ten years now and the soil has become rich enough that we don't use the tiller anymore, just a slight loosening via a pitch fork works fine. Earthworm population has increased dramatically since we did that. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in gardening.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Susan Siemers on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book twenty years ago. I read it and didn't do it. Now I am on a farm and have a half acre garden. I re-read the book, and after three years of mulching a la Ruth Stout, and putting in the tomato fence that is described in one of the later chapters, I truly have my garden under control.

It didn't happen over night. It took three gardening seasons for the mulching to become very effective, because each year the weeds are under a little better control. Last summer, I wasn't ashamed of my garden, not even in August, when it used to be a complete tangle of weeds. A nice side effect is that all of that mulch turns into wonderful compost, just lying there in the garden. No turning, no nothing, just mulch and let it do its thing.

Buy it and try it - it will change the way you garden forever!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ilex on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I sincerely wish I could have met the old girl. Her gardening advice boils down this: mulch with straw, and heavily, and often. The rest of the book is pure Ruth, and it's worth a read just to have her voice in your head. If you've been curious about no-dig, this one is the original and best. I wish she was still with us today to comment on this crazy, wonderful resurgence of vegetable gardening.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Nielsen on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ruth Stout No Work Garden is the BEST gardening book that I ever read! Because it works! The books of hay take all of the work out of gardening. After laying down the hay and doing some companion gardening I watered the garden once or twice and then watched it grow! In a few weeks I was sitting in the garden all afternoon eating fresh vegies! Never lifted a finger again to water or weed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Foster on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is more or less the entire book. I'm saying this so as to save you the trouble of trying to find a copy should it not be available here. Ms. Stout was no doubt an excellent gardener in a large part because she used common sense when it came to gardening. Anyone who has ever lived in a semi-arid climate such as the Great Plains of this country understands the value of keeping the soil cool and moist during the growing season. If you mulch heavily, the ground will retain moisture and require less irrigation and will also inhibit weed growth. The decaying mulch is left on the surface of the soil and becomes a soil amendment in and of itself. There is really no need to turn the soil. Therefore the simple act of mulching heavily reduces the amount of work required in your garden. I wouldn't call it "no work", but it certainly does reduce the total amount of work required.
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