For vegetable gardeners who dread winter and grocery store produce aisles, Jeff Ashton has an answer, and it's this: don't allow the cold to come. Cover your plants like you would a child in a crib. The 12 Month Gardener
is a book about defying the tyranny of seasons by building contraptions that control the plant's environment. It's a clearly written, detailed guide to constructing row covers, tunnels, and greenhouses.
A personal and anecdotal introduction is followed by teacherly, informative chapters on topics such as "Materials, Tools, and Construction Hints," "Vegetables for Cold Weather Gardens," and "The Ultimate Greenhouse." Specific building processes are explained in clear prose, although some knowledge of carpentry is required to fully understand the directions.
This is a book very much for gardeners who've become addicted to the taste of a fresh-picked tomato's sugars or the delicate texture of raw homegrown spinach. Beyond that, it also shows you how to be imaginative and proactive about the environment of your garden. With a bit of work, you don't have to say farewell to the growing season if you aren't ready to. --Emily White
Who says you can't fool Mother Nature? When it comes to extending gardening seasons, Ashton not only believes it's possible but he has discovered how. Guided by the philosophy that gardening doesn't have to end when winter begins, Ashton reveals surefire strategies for gardening beyond the warm-weather months involving the construction of weatherproofing devices he calls garden "contraptions": floaters, tunnels, stoop houses, cloches, and cold frames. Many can be built in less than a day, and Ashton provides plans to fit any type of garden, plant material, time schedule, and budget. Using these season extenders, eager gardeners no longer need to rely on store-bought vegetables for sustenance once killing frosts begin. Ashton's enthusiastic yet straightforward approach demystifies climate manipulation techniques, and his clear, easy-to-follow construction instructions will have even the most unhandy handyman or handywoman sawing wood and hammering nails. Alice JoyceCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved