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Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden Paperback – February 9, 2010


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Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden + Herb Gardening from the Ground Up: Everything You Need to Know about Growing Your Favorite Herbs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Revised edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580080375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080378
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of life’s great pleasures is a delicious meal prepared with fresh, organic produce from your own garden. Whether you have a real garden or just a window box, I can think of no better guide to creating a sustainable herb and vegetable garden than Sal Gilberti. For more than 30 years, I have turned to Sal for healthy, productive plants and, with this useful and informative book, he can help you, too, cultivate your garden.”
--Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

About the Author

Sal Gilbertie is the third-generation proprietor of Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport, Connecticut. Established in 1922 by Sal’s grandfather, Gilbertie’s is the largest herb grower in the United States today, shipping hundreds of varieties to more than 800 garden centers, plant nurseries, and farms.
 
Coauthor Larry Sheehan has a long list of writing credits that includes newspapers, magazines, television documentaries, and dozens of books including the best-selling Living with Dogs and The Sporting Life.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
I read the whole thing in one sitting!
TraceyM
This book was very informative for new gardeners.
Gretchen gray
Lots of good tips that are easy to follow.
Dianne Mcbride

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Eric Towell on December 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The most impressive thing about this book, initially, is the array of garden plans for different garden sizes. Sal presents plans for a 750, 1500 and 3000 square foot gardens, drawn to scale with succession plantings dates for mid-summer and fall crops. Additonally, there are plans for a 400 square foot salad or soup garden, a late or winter garden and plans for a 5-stage supply garden.

If that's not enough, Sal also sets out, in easy to follow, step-by-step detail the calendar of work for the gardening year, based on average date of last frost in Spring and first frost date in Winter. He provides detailed steps on how to start transplants from seed and how to fight the most common causes of transplant failure.

There is also a fascinating discussion of how to tell the gender of your squash plant flowers (fried squash flowers, anyone?).

I truly cannot recommend this book too highly for the beginning to early intemediate gardener who's trying to make sense of when to do which tasks in the garden.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Brophy on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
It is a pretty good book for basics. It explains sun, soil, feeding, planning, watering well from the standpoint of a gardener in Connecticut. The tone is a little harsh sometimes. He makes me feel guilty my garden does not get enough sun to get over 100 tomatoes off each plant, but hey, I can't knock down my neighbors' fence and trees and my wife won't let me cut down the big sycamore.

The suggested schedules would not be very useful for somebody in a different climate. There are a few crazy typos in there, like recommendation for two 100-foot trenches for asparagus for a family of four. I am pretty sure he meant two 10-foot trenches. On balance the advice is very worthwhile and I would recommend it for a beginners bookshelf.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By L. Mainville on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
While I found the book informative and a good read, there are better references out there for the first time or seasoned gardener.

Based on the title of the book, I expected to find several garden plans built for smaller spaces. Instead, the main garden plan in the book is 3000 sq ft (50' x 60') which is FAR from being small in my region. A few smaller plans are included but they don't have the same detailed planting summary that is devoted to the larger plan. (How many vegetables can I grow in the smaller plans?)

The sowing and transplanting dates are based on the authors' hardiness zone and there is no zone chart for anyone outside the NY-Connecticut area. Everyone can easily find this information online but it seems like a strange omission in a gardening book.

There's a handy dollar and crop yield chart for the 3000 sq ft garden but I would have preferred a concise summary table of all vegetables that includes sowing dates (# of weeks from last/first frost), planting depth, yield per plant, etc. that could be adapted to a garden of any size.

The section on insect and disease control is too simplistic for any gardener. Instead, the authors could have described the common pest or disease problems that can affect vegetables included in the book's garden plans.

There could also have been more than a passing mention on how to store the fruits of your labour. I'm sure families won't have any trouble eating most crops as they are harvested, but how does one manage 100 heads of fennel or 540lbs of eggplant? (Yes, the "small-plot" 3000 sq ft garden plan in this book includes these yields!)

Book layout/format:
The book's large type size, wide margins, and sparse layout are easy on the eyes but not visually interesting.
There is no photography (except for a small photo of one of the author's children) and very few line illustrations in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth K. Shook on July 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Small-Plot, High Yield Gardening is THE book to buy for first-time or beginning gardeners, or experienced gardeners frustrated by bad results. Forget about the lush photographs of vegetables and gardens in other books, and even worse, the "gardening" books that give you recipes for all the crops they don't teach you how to grow, and buy this book instead. Gilbertie and Sheehan explain the work and wonders of gardening, all in a step-by-step, manageable, no-nonsense way that is both instructive and inspiring, without all the fluff or unhelpful nonsense of other books. They clearly explain how to make a garden in the space that you have and how not to overdo it in the first few years. I don't want to say that this book changed my life, but in fact it did. I went from not being a gardener, to being one -- all because of what I learned through this book. Worth every penny!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kiyoko Teed on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've been gardening for a number of years, but I have found so much great info in this handy book. I love the tone... It's like having a conversation with Sal. Straightforward, encouraging, and good humored. I refer to this book so often. I love it and recommend it for any level gardener. The garden drawings in the back are so useful, too, because one mistake most beginner gardeners make is not allowing enough room for their plants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, how many garden books do you know that you can you read cover to cover! I bought one for every member of my garden club and we have not stopped talking about it since! Great book! First class and full of great details.....
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