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The Organic Manual: Natural Gardening for the 21st Century Paperback – January, 2001

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1930819160 ISBN-10: 1930819161 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Howard Garrett, one of the nation's foremost authorities on natural gardening, is the author of several other gardening books. On WBAP 820, Garrett hosts a Dallas/FT. Worth radio talk show about gardening called "The Natural Way," which is the name of the weekly newspaper column he writes for the Dallas Morning News.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Tapestry Pr (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930819161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930819160
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By F Haggard on February 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on organic gardening by many authors, and this book is by far the best. Howard Garrett, also known as the Dirt Doctor, hosts over five hours per week of an organic gardening show on talk radio in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area. He has done more to stimulate the popularity of organic gardening in this area than all other sources combined. While many of Howard's books are targeted to his home state of Texas, this book is not. This book should be applicable to gardeners nationwide because none of the advice is tailored to any specific geographical area.
The Organic Manual is an outstanding comprehensive resource for organic gardeners, both inexperienced and experienced. In the book Howard explains that organic gardeners should strive to improve the health of their soil and increase biodiversity through proper soil management practices, which do not involve the use of chemical fertilizers or chemical pesticides. The book covers it all, including sections on soil nutrients, mulches, pest control, plant diseases, fertilizers and soil amendments, as well as a lot of how-to information on subjects such as converting to organics, getting soil tests done, planting techniques, fertilizing, and pest control.
The section on soil nutrients goes far beyond the familiar N-P-K and discusses the importance of carbon, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and other mineral nutrients. There is also a chart that compares the use of various organic mulches, from shredded tree chips to straw to pine bark and many others. There is a discussion of the various beneficial insects, from the familiar ladybug, to green lacewings, wasps, and even fireflies, among others. There is also a discussion of harmful insects, as well as a chart that recommends organic remedies for various pests.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By IK on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has nearly everything to need to get a garden or landscape planted and alive.

Garrett is clearly biased toward organic gardening, and takes a few shots at traditional fertilizer and pesticide regiments. After finishing the book and doing some of my own research though I totally agree with him, but he can come across a little strong in his writing.

The content of the book is amazing. It tells you how to prepare and maintain soil, trees, and many plants. He also has recipes for homemade organic fertilizers and pest controls. In the middle there are descriptions and pictures of many common garden bugs, most useful to the garden. In the back he has definitions of all the gardening terms he uses and a conversion chart for common units. At one part of the book he even maps out a schedule for an entire year of gardening, detailing every aspect of the process.

My favorite part of the book is the table of soil components, accompanied by a list of what they contain, how to get them, and what they add to the soil. It goes way beyond traditional K-P-N. There are tons of things plans need that they can not manufacture themselves and you need all the bugs and critters and fungi to help. Knowing these things has helped me broaden my thinking when gardening, and helps me see the bigger picture of the entire ecosystem contained in my garden. All the parts in the system need to be functioning and healthy for the system to produce at its full potential.

The only regret I have is that I do not live in TX. He has a lot of supplementary material on TX specific plants, bugs, and what not.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book because it was easy to understand. I like how Howard Garrett writes, the only down side is that the calendar that he has in the book that tells you what to do each month in the garden is only geared for the north Texas area. I live in Kansas so I can figure it out. Great section on how to compost and great sections about insects and diseases. I would recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best presentations on organic gardening! It is especially helpful as I adventure into raising five pecan trees. "Dirt Doctor" Garrett builds a most compelling rationale for each of us to be responsible conservators of our world. This book is a treasure!
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