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The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb: 400 Thrifty Tips for Saving Money, Time, and Resources as You Garden Paperback – September 30, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rhonda Massingham Hart is a master gardener and the author of Vertical Vegetables & Fruit, The Dirt-Cheap Green Thumb, Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden, and Squirrel Proofing Your Home & Garden. She has written articles for a variety of magazines, including Flower & Garden, Woman’s Day, and Fine Gardening. She writes extensively on organic gardening techniques and lives in Washington State.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 2 edition (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603424415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603424417
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I picked up The Dirt Cheap Green Thumb: 400 Thrifty Tips for Saving Money, Time, and Resources As You Garden, I expected a book with instructions for a DIY composter and home made soap spray for killing aphids. And while Rhonda Massingham Hart's book does dish out these tips, her book is really much more about good, old fashioned gardening techniques.

You know, the kind where you grow things from seed, learn to divide plants, garden with plants that will thrive in your location, and so on.

There are tips for maximizing what God has naturally given your garden, understanding your gardening zone, learning how much sun various parts of your garden receive, selecting pollution-resistant plants, understanding your soil and making it work for you, and all those other details that make gardens so much more successful. (And more successful means you'll waste less money on plants that won't work in your garden and amendments and fertilizers that aren't needed.)

Other topics include knowing how much water your plants need, using rain barrels, and minimizing water loss. Hart also helps gardeners decide what tools they really do - and don't - need, collecting and storing seeds, how to start plants from cuttings from friend's gardens, and how to know whether that plant that's on sale is really worth paying for. She explains how to start seeds successfully, how much and what kind of fertilizer your garden needs, how to compost, and how to cheaply and effectively fight pests. You'll also find tips for building inexpensive benches and birdbaths, cloches, trellises, cold frames, root cellars, and more. There are even canning and freezing tips.

Intermediate to advanced gardeners probably won't learn much from this book, but it's a superb addition to any beginner's book shelf. The information is organized in brief sections, making it easy to digest and refer to as needed, and solid gardening advice is offered throughout.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great for sticking in your purse and taking with you where ever you go. Read a few pages when you are waiting for a doctor's appointment or waiting to pick up your child from school. The formatting is wonderful and makes it so easy to glean information. It's concise and straightforward. The first section is all about the absolutes (which I'm trying to follow as much as I can, but am doing imperfectly). You can see the table of contents in the preview which is very helpful. What I realized this week as I met with a friend of mine who has been gardening for years is that this book is full of the tips that you glean over years of gardening about how to garden wisely. If you don't have someone to teach you how to garden and mentor you, this is a great book to read. I am enjoying it and I'd consider myself a novice gardener (I only have a few years under my belt).

I also like that this book has lots of handy charts. Chart on things like full sun or partial sun flowers, shrubs, and trees; drought and col-hardiness plants; foods suitable for dehydrating; etc... These charts aren't in any of the other gardening books I have.

Since it is small, it's easy to store and find room for on your bookshelf. From the preview, it would seem like it's a bigger book than it is. But, it packs a lot of great info in its compact size. They don't sacrifice font size either. With small books, I often struggle with the font size, but I haven't with this one.

I'd recommend this book if you're going on a trip and want something easy to read or you're looking for a gift for someone who gardens or you're just starting out gardening!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some good advice, but not a lot of things that long-time gardeners don't already know. I'd say that it is a very good book for the beginner.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... a fun, easy to read, creative and informative book on gardening. I recommend it to anyone who's just beginning to garden and wants a quick reference for practical tips on the what's and how's.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sort of a fun little book but not too many ideas that I haven't seen elsewhere. Probably best suited to a beginning gardener. I would recommend checking it out of the library to owning or buying used at a low price.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very basic ideas for readers who are new to gardening. Experienced gardeners may find this book a repeat of information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough good things about this book. I ordered it for my Kindle Fire, but when I read it, I knew that I would be referring to it all the time so I ordered a paperback of this for my very own. I keep it in my purse so that I can refer to it whenever a question comes up. It is so informative and everything is catagorized as to annuals, perinnials, groundcovers, mulch, etc. There are listings of different plants for sun or shade, and also various "earth friendly" pestisides that you can make from items already in your closets. It also tells us how to tell if our soil is lacking any nutrients and what to use to correct the ph balance. This people friendly book will replace many that are already on your bookshelf and it is reader friendly. I am sure that you will want a paperback of this book for your very own.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the actual BOOK... Not a kindle version. I wanted it hard copy, in my hands, when I am in the garden. It is GREAT! FULL of great ideas, easy to research, and fun to read. I really enjoy it. I now have gardens in both my back yard and my front yard. This book has helped. I got it used, paid (I think) $0.01 plus postage ($3.99), and you know? I really am glad that I got it. I have a LOT of gardening books... But this one is, by far, the BEST I ever had. I love it! Great ideas, and easy to read.
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