Mutt and Jeff, Bert and Ernie, Click and Clack, and now, for the would-be kitchen gardener, Tom and Marty! If dumbed-down straight guy/funny man humor tickles your fancy, you are sure to love Tom and Marty's The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener
There are 10 or so basic principles for 20-minute vegetable gardening. They range from "grow high impact crops such as hot peppers or asparagus" to "choose crops according to local conditions," and from "nurture soil" to "learn how to water."
There are chapters on bean sprouts, salad greens, cabbage-family plants, root crops, herbs, and tomatoes. Each chapter begins along lines like these: "Having finished the installation of his garden bed, Marty was hot to start planting. He was dreaming, he said, of the most extraordinary salads. That made Tom anxious. Marty always makes Tom anxious, but in this case, Tom had reason." Punch line: it was too late in spring to plant salad greens, according to Tom. This leads to brief discussions of how to plan a planting calendar, how to select seedlings at a nursery, how to care for seed, and several good salad crops. The chapter discussion is followed by "20-Minute Projects," such as planting lettuces in a decorative way, and, in the case of chapter 4, "The Salad Course," planting salad fixings in window boxes.
A novice gardener would have to slog through the entire book to have any sense of what to do. There is nothing unique or particularly noteworthy in the text; nothing that isn't available elsewhere in a more straightforward, more easily accessible package. But then, with The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener, the package is the whole shtick. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
A humorous book about vegetable gardening would seem to be an oxymoron, but the zany wit in this book will appeal to both doers and dreamers in the gardening world. Continuing the friendly rivalry and practical philosophy of The 20-Minute Gardener, Christopher and Asher (dubbed the "Click and Clack" of gardening) embark on a path of easy vegetable production. They intersperse a wealth of practical advice with a friendly narrative peppered with comments about neighbors, family and each other's foibles. A 10-point advice guide sets the tone of the book: for example, the authors wisely put forth that any vegetable grown by a 20-minute-a-day gardener is only valuable if it offers a significant improvement over the store-bought alternative, and they point out that they don't weed: "only the hyperactive and the truly stupid try to outwit nature." Suggestions for high-impact vegetables and how to plant and cultivate them are followed by tips for soil maintenance, harvesting and even favorite recipes for both common and unusual vegetables. Sources for heirloom plants and seeds complete this book that reads as easily as a novel but offers as much information as any valuable reference book.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.