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Vegetable Gardening For Dummies Paperback – February 15, 1999

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The ubiquitous For Dummies series, while not known for pretty illustrations or lush photography, does manage to pack the maximum amount of information into an easy-to-read format--something that gardeners with an eye on the financial bottom line love. For vegetable gardeners, the right information is especially important, because if you don't end up with edible food on the table, you've failed. Charlie Nardozzi and the National Gardening Association editors seem comfortingly aware of this fact, but they also want to make vegetable gardening fun and interesting, and to that end there's a lot more here than just the standard tomatoes and zucchini. Bok choy, fingerling potatoes, kabocha squash, daikon radishes--they've included just about every vegetable you might be able to think of, with pithy recommendations of the tastiest and easiest-to-grow varieties.

The book's first three chapters deal with deciding what to plant, where to plant it, and when. Nardozzi then turns the bulk of the book--nine chapters--over to the vegetables themselves: the tomato (the most popular vegetable for the home gardener); the pepper and eggplant; root crops; legumes; vine crops; cole crops, such as broccoli and cabbage; greens; and sweet corn and unusual vegetables. A special chapter goes to nonvegetables like herbs and berries. The book's third section is devoted to gardening techniques, which more experienced gardeners may want to turn to immediately. There's good, solid information here on irrigation, mulching, reading a fertilizer label, companion and secession planting, and much more. As with all For Dummies titles, the resources listed in the appendix are comprehensive and up to date, and the index (without which any reader might be lost) is complete and useful.

About the Author

; Charlie Nardozzi has been around vegetable gardens ever since he was old enough to follow his grandfather around the potato patch. After spending his young years in the shadow of his Italian grandfather's farm in Connecticut, helping to bale hay, feed pigs, pick apples, and weed potatoes, he moved to Vermont to go to school.

He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1981 with a degree in plant and soil science. The next step was to see the world, and Charlie spent nearly three years in the Peace Corps in Thailand, helping farmers grow everything from rice (not that Charlie felt he really could tell them how to grow rice) to garlic, chili peppers, and mangoes. He returned to the United States and received a master's degree in education, again from the University of Vermont. After working as a landscaper, at local nurseries, and at the County Cooperative Extension Service office, he ended up as horticulturist at the National Gardening Association and has been there for the past ten years.

Not only does Charlie write for National Gardening magazine and contribute to many of the ...For Dummies® series gardening books, he has a local call-in gardening question-and-answer radio show, is often seen on TV as the gardening expert on such shows as HGTV's Today at Home, and gives talks to gardening groups across the country. Heck, you'll even see him on the National Gardening Association Web site, answering questions there, too! At home, he tends demonstration gardens with his herbalist wife Barbara, stepson Zander, daughter Elena, and Toby the cat.


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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551291
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 20 years bringing expert gardening information to home gardeners through radio, television, talks, on-line, and the printed page. Charlie delights in making gardening information simple, easy, fun and accessible to everyone. His energy, exuberance, and love of the natural world also make him an exciting public speaker and presenter. He has spoken at national venues such as the Philadelphia Flower Show, Master Gardener conferences, and trade shows.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By kerridv on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the rest of the books in the Dummies series, this book takes a light-hearted approach to a heavy topic such as gardening. By focusing on vegetables the content remains helpful and informative. The book was divided into sensible sections--the basics, what to plant, how to plant, and so forth. I appreciated the instruction on gardening beginnings such as constructing a bean pole and what tools a novice needs. The last half of the book talks about specific vegetables, and has handy information on what grows best where. I believe this makes a good first-time gardener book or a companion to a book with more pictures.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have other gardening books, but none of them are as easy-to-follow or as comprehensive as this one. The text is so much fun, it's easy to read cover-to-cover. Yet, if you need specific information on a certain type of vegetable or technique, the index is very easy to use. The appendix gives the dates and growing seasons for every major (or minor) city in the U.S., as well as additional resources and catalogs to consult. A wonderful resource for a novice or an experienced gardener.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Troy Morgan on February 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for any vegetable gardener. It is easy to follow and you don't have to read it from start to finish. It is laid out so you can go to the sections that interest you the most. I am a first year gardener, and I got many, many compliments on my first ever vegetable garden, thanks mostly to the help of this book. A must have!
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By Jinelle Boyd on March 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's very easy to understand, regardless of whether you are just beginning to get your hands in the dirt, or have a few growing seasons under your belt...I learned many things I was unaware of. Great book - and wonderful reference material to have on hand.
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