Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions Paperback – February 15, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$4.82 $0.50

There is a newer edition of this item:

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Wouldn't it be lovely to have a patch of corn, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and beans just steps from your kitchen door? Would you like to learn how to control your zucchini plant? Ed Smith, an experienced vegetable gardener from Vermont, has put together this amazingly comprehensive and commonsensical manual, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Basically, Ed and his family have been growing a wide variety of vegetables for years and he's figured out what works. This book, filled with step-by-step info and color photos, breaks it all down for you.

Ed's system is based on W-O-R-D: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. With deep, raised beds, vegetable roots have more room to grow and expand. In traditional narrow-row beds, over half the soil is compacted into walkways while a garden with wide, deep, raised beds, plants get to use most of the soil. In Ed's plan, growing space gets about three-quarters of the garden plot and only about a quarter is used for the walkway. Ed teaches you how to create raised beds both in a larger garden or in separate planked beds. One of the most important--and most often overlooked--aspects of successful vegetable gardening is crop rotation. Leaving a crop in the same place for years can deplete nutrients in that area and makes the crop more likely to be attacked by insects. Rotate at least every two years and your vegetables will be healthier and bug-free. There's also a good section on insect and blight control.

Before choosing what to grow, go through the last third of the book, where Ed takes a look at the individual growing, harvesting, and best varieties of a large number of both common and more exotic vegetables and herbs. Whether you are a putterer or a serious gardener, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is an excellent resource to have handy. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

A committed organic gardener, Smith is a proponent of staggered planting in raised, wide and deep beds that provide conductive root systems and produce abundant harvests. He explains his system, from optimum siting and soil preparation (he prefers broad-forking over rototilling or double-digging) to companion planting and compost ("The path to the garden of your dreams leads right through the middle of a compost pile"). For beginners, he takes the mystery out of such subjects as hardening off ("like a little boot camp for vegetables") and deciphering the shorthand used in seed catalogues. An abundance of photographs (most of Smith's own garden) visually bolster the techniques described, while frequent subheads, sidebars and information-packed photo captions make the layout user-friendly. The book concludes with an alphabetically arranged listing of vegetables and herbs in which Smith offers advice on every aspect of cultivation, as well as a selection of the most flavorful varieties. Smith doesn't necessarily break new ground here, but his book is thorough and infused with practical wisdom and a dry Vermont humor that should endear him to readers. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (February 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580172121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580172127
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.8 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward C. Smith is the author of Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers. He tends a garden of over 1,500 square feet filled with raspberries, blueberries, flowers, herbs, and nearly 100 varieties of vegetables, including some heirlooms, in his home state of Vermont.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ed Smith is a serious gardener. His approach to vegetable growing is best suited to half acre gardens in the northern areas of the United States. Smith lives and gardens in Vermont and judging by the contents (great photos as well as text) of his book, THE VEGETABLE GARDENER'S BIBLE, I suggest his gardening effort constitutes year-round full-time employment for him. I am a dedicated urban gardener, but one with a less than one-eighth (<1/8) acre plot of land, much of which is covered by a house and driveway. I cannot begin to use most of the material in Smith's book, however, even for urban gardeners like me, Smith provides much useful information.
My experience has shown that vegetable growing in the city has one advantage over growing vegetables in the hinterland...most of the pests that plague the countryside have not moved to town...yet! When I grew green beans on a half acre plot in the country, I fought a daily war with bean beatles. I've yet to see a bean beatle in my urban back yard. On the other hand, the larvae of the Monarch Butterfly found my parsley last year. Smith's section on pests includes something I have not seen in other gardening books..a picture of Monarch Butterfly larvae or Parsley Caterpillers as Ed calls them, munching away.
Smith is an organic gardener so he advises pest control methods that deter unwanted visitors without damaging the larger envirnoment. He also advises moving the Parsely Caterpillar out of harms' way when you battle other insects.
Read more ›
5 Comments 324 of 330 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a reference manual for vegetable gardeners, particularly those gardening in northern climates. The book is organized into 3 main parts: From Seed to Harvest (covering planning, preparing beds, starting seeds, maintaining the garden, and harvesting), The Health Garden (covering soil, compost, and pests), and Vegetables & Herbs, A-Z (alphabetical guide to individual vegetables). The book is amply illustrated with color photographs and illustrations. End material includes zone maps, a list of suppliers, a list for further reading, and an index.

Smith sums up his approach to gardening in the acronym "WORD", which signifies Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep soil. He's come to this approach after many years of trying many different methods, and found that this method seems to give him the best, most reliable harvest with the least effort. In this book, he explains the parts of the WORD method in detail. For example, he notes that he found rototilling actually to be counterproductive, since it tends to develop a hardpan of packed soil just under the surface. This hardpan limits root growth, which tends to stunt plants. Instead of rototilling, he advocates building deep raised beds, which provide for full root systems and better growth.

The articles in the alphabetical reference section are quite useful. Each includes a brief description of the vegetable, notes on when and where to plant, and notes on harvesting and storing. Instructions are also provided when needed about how to transplant. Each article comes with a quick reference chart that covers sowing (depth, temperature, days to germination, etc.) and growing (temperature, spacing, watering, companions, seed longevity, etc.) Overall, the book is very informative, the text is clear, and the pictures are quite helpful, making the book useful for experienced gardeners as well as beginners.
Comment 105 of 107 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THANK YOU Mr. Smith for writing this book! I couldn't say enough about how helpful it's been to me. Wanting to be careful and do things right, since I'm a beginning gardener, this book tells in simple, everyday language with photos on how to start and keep up a vegetable garden. Here's a list of a few things it covers:

* designing your garden

* insect control

* soil care

* what veges to NOT plant with other veges

* diagrams

* lots of veges and all the info you could want about them

* herb section

* seed companies

* other recommended resources

* and MORE
Comment 136 of 142 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The content of this well written book has been covered in other reviews and I agree it is a solid, introductory text at a decent price. However, I find it a little too "coffee table" for my tastes with big type and lots of pretty photos, rather than a lot of breath or depth. If you haven't been introduced to bed gardening and creating a "living" fertile soil, it would be a nice intro, but easy to outgrow (no pun intended).

Notably lacking is content on more than a couple herbs, most salad and Asian greens, as well as some of the less common crops and pest/disease situations that you might encounter. Also, while a prescriptive "how-to" guide, it doesn't educate as to the "why" of things as well as other texts I have read, which let you transfer the techniques to your own specific situations.

I'd recommend picking up a good seed catalog that is at least partially aimed at commercial growers (e.g. Territorial and/or Johnny's) both for cultural and growing suggestions, as well as knowing what cultivars are available (since most of the books are 10-20 years out of date on that), and considering instead:

Golden Gate Gardening: Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California -- Although written for one geography, both the general information on gardening, as well as the extensive sections on vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers make it a "go to" for me.

Grow Your Own Vegetables -- Great general information on gardening as well as tons of specific information on a very wide range of vegetables.
Read more ›
1 Comment 116 of 127 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: vegetable garden