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The Vegetable Gardener's Bible Paperback – December 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 2 Original edition (December 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160342475X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603424752
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward C. Smith is the best-selling author of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible and The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Sylvia, have lived off the grid in Vermont, in a house they built on land they cleared by hand. Together, the grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in their 2,000 square feet of gardens and containers.


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

Full of lots of useful information and very easy to understand.
Vickie
I can't wait to get my garden going and I'm sure it will be a successful one this year!
Atlantanna
I purchased this book for my husband because he loves to garden.
coloredpencils

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Daisy on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
UPDATE: I just had to come back a year later to reaffirm just how much I depend on this book. Seriously, it's all that and then some! My poor paperback is so beat up on the outside. But the inside is holding up very well, so is the actual binding. I've tried so many times to put it away, but it ends up coming right back out shortly after. Anytime I get to thinking about growing something or if I want to improve things in the garden, check the PH, nutrients, etc. back to the book I go. I really do highly recommend it to anyone who isn't yet a "master" gardener. Who knows, they might even learn something from it! I think the reason it is so popular, other than the data being dependable, is the layout is so common sense. The whole back of the book has pages dedicated to each vegetable and you just go in alphabetical order to access that page. So my point is, if you are floundering around Amazon trying to pinpoint which gardening book to start with, this is it!

ORIGINAL REVIEW: I started gardening for the first time last year and have used this book to the point that the edges are curled and it looks like it's 10 years old! It tells a little about everything. Whenever I need to know how deep to plant, spacing or what nutrients plants need, it's all right there on one page! I believe it is more focused on northern gardens, but I live in the deep south and it still came in quite handy! I never actually put this book away. If I do, it comes right back out within a few days. It is a great introduction to gardening organically and tells enough to get you started on everything. If you need more information you would need to research further, but this book provides enough to get you going for sure. I give it 5 stars for the layout, pictures, information and ease of use! Happy gardening!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By HuskerFan VINE VOICE on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I own a number of books on vegetable gardening, as I have been gardening [and collecting topical books] for over 35 years in 7 different sites. I've observed that in many garden how-to books, the authors get very carried away with themselves, touting "my way" as the only way. To me, that's kind of off-putting, due to each garden is so different from all others, even in a neighboring yard.

I don't get a lot of the "my way" attitude from this book. It's chock full of useful information, but the author is careful to say there is more than one way to do many of the chores and tasks related to the vegetable garden, as well as options for varieties of plants and seeds. One thing you won't find is a bunch of recipes or cooking ideas, which is fine with me. I don't cook in the garden, and I have plenty of recipes in my RECIPE books - don't need them in the gardening books.

The text is in an easy conversational style, which I appreciated. The book offers sections on preparation, composting, fertilizer, pest control. The back part of the book is vegetable specific, with tips on how to grow various veggies along with the names of proven varieties and comparisons of those. Lastly, there is a section on herb gardening, which is an art in and of itself. This book will serve as a wonderful basic reference for anyone starting out with their first (or second or 20th) vegetable garden. After all, when it comes to gardening, in a sense don't we start all over again every year?!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D. Larsen on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I saw this book advertised as being essential for vegetable gardeners "anywhere in the country." That may be true if you're first starting out. I did learn some stuff from this book.

However, I live in North Carolina, and much of it didn't apply to me. I found information on heating the ground and extending the season, etc. much too heavily weighted against living with heat and humidity and providing good air circulation, etc. Also, he leaves out many mulches, gardening practices and pests from the South.

The author talks about many good garden practices, but you can find that information in many places. I agree with another reviewer who suggested some of the in-depth seed catalogs, like Johnny's. (Johnny's has been invaluable to me, and they're based in Maine ....)

Also, the heft of this book didn't seem worth it for the graphics, cute headers, info boxes, etc. Some liken it to a coffee table book, but I'm reminded more of a middle school textbook.

I'm glad so many have reviewed this book so highly, and I hope that has translated into many happy gardeners! If you are a Northern gardener, I can see how it could be your "bible."

I'd recommend the Sqaure Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew for someone just starting out- or anyone, really, the Southern Living books if you're south of Mason-Dixon, extensive seed catalogs, or even the Ortho series (or something similar you can find at a garden center) before I'd recommend this expensive, weighty tome that is pretty to look at but short of hard, useful info in my opinion. Wish I had known this guy was writing from a Vermont gardening perspective before I bought this book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Vilexxica on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Long story short, this is a must-have for northern-ish gardeners. Anyone more southern can likely benefit from the methods described (companion planting, wide rows, etc.), but the book is missing a lot of vegetables that simply don't survive in a zone like his, plus the tips are often based around having to worry about a short growing season/impending doom by frost.

That said, I love this book. My family used it for the years they had their vegetable garden, and my mother just gave me her much-beloved & marked-up copy to start my own garden this year (zone 5b, so quite helpful). I remember marveling at the difference between her garden the first year she tried (nothing went right) and the following year after she found the Vegetable Gardener's Bible (we never before had so many tomatoes and zucchini to eat in our lives). It's full of the little tips and tricks you'd expect to be handed down to you from generation to generation if you had a strong family history of keeping garden (I don't, sadly), and I'd recommend it to just about anyone.
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