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The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season Spiral-bound – January 8, 2011


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The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season + The Vegetable Gardener's Bible + Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Spi Org edition (January 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603426949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603426947
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Using the first and last frost as guideposts, father and daughter Kujawski guide would-be gardeners through the growing season and beyond, with plenty of tips and tricks to ensure a great harvest. Beginning with basics like site selection and soil preparation, the Kujawskis walk readers through the basics of seeding and planting, transplanting sensitive plants along with canny tips like using cover crops like clover or grasses as well as vinegar and clove oil to keep weeds at a minimum. Though the authors do offer suggestions on making the most of the harvest by freezing and canning, the book will be most useful during the growing season itself. Once readers have set the wheels for a small garden in motion, the book's weekly worksheets, with timely advice on which plants can be planted or harvested as well as maintenance tips for specific crops, are likely to be the most useful. Gardeners will appreciate the book's soft cover, though its pages are likely to get dirty from frequent consultations in the back yard, which is probably the intent. (Dec.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Kujawskis’ handbook supplies “breadth and brevity rather than depth of information” as it provides a week-by-week, yearlong gardening calendar suitable for all gardening zones and useful for all home growers, especially newcomers to the pursuit. The father-daughter authors note that getting started is “often a matter of overcoming inertia,” and begin by discussing the properties of soil and its testing, techniques for space saving, and location, location, location. Enhanced by many useful line drawings, this how-to covers the finding and using of last-frost dates for readers’ customized weekly planners, which accurately schedule indoor sowing (20-15 weeks before last frost); fertilizing; (trans)planting; pest control; harvesting; and more. Making each week’s to-do list clear and manageable are charts placed alongside easily read boxed information, such as “Garden Smart in Hot Weather” and “Weed Management 101,” that complement lined blank pages with ample room for personal notation. Instructions for “putting food by” for winter consumption, resource listings for growing tips, recipes, seeds, and suggested further readings complete this year-round gardener’s companion. --Whitney Scott

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Customer Reviews

It is very informative & easy to follow.
Crystal
I will definitely be keeping this book as a reference for many many years to come.
J. Conlon
This book is great for a beginner gardener.
Rachel Neeley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Impska on July 1, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound
I liked this book, I really did. I read through it and thought it sounded like a neat idea and that its checklists would help me keep on top of my garden chores week by week. So I happily filled in my frost date and dates thereafter on the weekly schedules in the book, then flipped to the page for the current date to check on my garden progress. That's when I realized that the dates had no bearing on reality at all.

My average frost date is April 15. This book lists "Early fall" as 12-14 weeks after the average date of frost. That's in July. One of the hottest parts of my season. Huh? Fall doesn't even start until September. And this is where the book could be dangerous for beginners. It makes fertilizer recommendations based on dates that may be completely inappropriate for your area. If I had followed the instructions here, based on the weekly dates, I would have completely eradicated my harvest.

Clearly it needed to switch from "after frost" to "before frost" midway through the schedule.

The only saving grace is that the sections are marked as "early Summer" "mid Summer" etc, so you could use it as a loose schedule, but not a specific weekly schedule.

Maybe the book deserves slightly more than one star, because there is some good info, but I think any book that could totally destroy a new gardener's experience and lead them down the path of utter failure is undeserving of a high rating.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Starling on April 1, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Great information, especially for newbie gardeners. But the system of weekly tasks set according to where the week is versus your local average last frost date doesn't work the later you go into the season.

For instance, in my area, Maryland, the 18th Week After Average Last Frost is listed as a Late Fall week, and one of the things it has me do is "Empty and Clean window boxes, patio boxes, and other containers." Well my 18th week would be August 20th! That's Mid to Late Summer here! I'd be pulling out productive plants from my containers if I did what they wanted!

However, the book seems great for earlier dates. I think what I'll have to do is adjust the later weekly chores according to my area's needs regardless of how long it actually is after my last average frost date. For instance, for the above 18th week chore, I may do that in Late September or October. Once I determine the correct date, I'll write THAT on the top of the "18th week" page.

I think my having to adjust some of the task dates is worth it however, because the info, tasks, discussions, and instructions really are excellent. I'm happy I got this book. Now if the authors could only figure out how to fix this problem it would be a masterpiece. Perhaps by somehow incorporating the readers Average FIRST frost date as well, to help determine later season tasks?
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By JOAN M DAVIS on January 23, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
A very affordable book for gardeners. I like the week by week format. I always start too late trying to grow seedlings missing out on some early crops. I made a bookmark with my area's frost dates and weekly dates corresponding to the book. I feel organized for the first time since I started veggie gardening. The book has reminders for maintenance such as when to start looking for certain insects and diseases like blight. It has timely information in each section!

I bought extras for my dad and friends.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kim Mullen on December 30, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
At last a book which will help me remember what to plant when. Every year I forget something until it's too late to plant it. This handy guide will help keep me on track. It will be especially useful for planting for fall crops. Lots of helpful information stuck in here and there for beginners and experienced gardeners. The format allows anyone to use this book in any zone and I like the space for entering my own notes for the next 4 years. I'm sure I will be referring to it often.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dadbloggit on July 22, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound
I love the idea of this book, namely that you can plug in your date of average last frost and work from there to create a detailed map of your gardening season. I really like that it's both a great source of information and a workbook that's intended for you to write in and personalize. The illustrations are detailed and very cool, and I find the writing style to be personal, easy to read, and augmented with just the right amount of humor.

That being said, I am concerned that this one-size-fits-all approach to a gardening schedule is ultimately going to disappoint some people. Looking at a few of the one-star reviews, I see that this is in fact the case. This book simply cannot be a viable companion for all gardeners from Phoenix to Fairbanks, which is the implication. There are just too many different climate variations in this country to be accounted for by such a book.

However, THAT being said, I am actually strongly considering purchasing the book (yes, I always use my local library to preview books before buying!). Seeing that the authors garden in an area of the country (western Mass.) that has a very similar frost-free date to my own, I feel like this will be a great resource for me to have. I would say that this is a five-star book for those with an average last frost date of roughly late April, and all others should proceed with caution!
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