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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
I love Sunset Magazine and was excited when I found out about this book. I own Sunset's "The Edible Garden" (2005), which is my favorite gardening book. As I suspected, Sunset's "Western Garden Book of Edibles" (2010) is an updated version of the prior book. It has 304 pages, as opposed to the 194 of the earlier book. Recent readers of Sunset Magazine will recognize some of the pictures in the new book.

I think this book is very useful. It is just beautiful to look at as well, which is important to me. I love their comprehensive climate zone information; all 32 zones! The book is also full of inspiration, especially for gardeners with challenges, like apartment dwellers. The majority of the book consists of individual listings of plants in six categories: vegetables, herbs, berries, fruits, nuts, and tropicals. Each individual listing tells you what zone the plant works in, how much sun and water it needs, information about how to eat it, information about different varieties of the plant, and specifics on how to grow it. The specifics on how to grow beets, for example, list sections on the best site, yield, soil, planting, spacing, water, fertilizer, harvest, and challenges (such as bugs).

The section on garden design discusses issues like color, texture, & form, balance & repetition, focal points, relating to architecture, arbors & trellises, paths, raised beds (including building instructions), containers, and space-saving garden plans. The practical guide section is a step-by-step guide to just about everything else a new or moderately experienced gardener would want to know. It is meant to be an overview covering the basics in a few pages for each topic.

Overall, this would be a great book for newbies. This is our family's third season gardening in a community plot and it is the perfect book for us.
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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2010
Sunset's Western Garden Book has such positive reviews, I assumed that their new book focusing on edible plants would be a good purchase. I wish I had flipped through this book in a store before I went ahead and ordered it. I am a novice gardener, about to start my first vegetable garden, and this book does not have enough useful information in it to help get me started. The information would be too general for an expert gardener as well. It is chock full of photographs, and while the photos of garden design provide some inspiration, most of them are mediocre and add nothing to the book. Most of the photographs filling the book are close-ups of ordinary fruits and vegetables and are neither inspirational nor informative. I was also disappointed with the amount of space devoted to fruits, nuts, berries, and tropicals, since I am interested primarily in growing vegetables. This book feels a bit like an issue of Sunset magazine - with lots of photographs and a little specific information - which is fine for a throwaway magazine but it's not something I want to sit on my bookshelf for years.

I highly recommend Pam Peirce's Golden Gate Gardening instead, if you live in the Bay Area or California coast.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2010
The Original Western Garden Book is an impressive product, especially useful for determining plant species, varieties or cultivars that will do well in defined climate zones of the west. I was hoping that this book would do the same, but in greater detail, for the fruit and vegetable gardener. Fruit trees and vines are reasonably well-covered, but the section on the vegetable garden did not list named varieties with areas in which they would be successful. Sadly, I bought the book based on the assumption that it would. I feel the book fails to live up to what it should have been.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2010
Sunset has again produce a great book for Western gardeners. This book covers all the vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and tropical fruits/veggies that anyone in the West wants to grow. Even if you can't grow some of the stuff, it's an interesting read on how papaya, bannas and jicama grow even though I can't grow them in Idaho. Each item gets at least a page with color picture giving you all the info you need to grow sucessfully. Also has design plans and instructions for building raised beds, composters,etc. The layout and print on the page is easy to read and organized well. All round great book to add to a gardeners library.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2010
I am a novice gardener and found this book fantastic! It gives good photos and descriptions for each individual plant as well as planting, care instructions, and harvest instructions. This was exactly what I needed to give me the basics of each plant and what to look for when I buy seeds to get the exact plant I want. I initially checked it out of the library but am now buying my own copy!

I agree with the previous reviews that the garden planning section could be a bit more inspiring!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I absolutely love this book!!!! I am an avid gardener and this was like someone placed a wealth of knowledge before me and said, "Feast." Which is exactly what I have been doing. I have been pouring over this book since it arrived. This is a must have for anyone who wants a beautiful productive garden.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This book is so informative! There are hundreds of species of fruits, vegetables and herbs; with detailed information about planting and growing, harvesting, insect predators and other environmental challenges. For a new gardener, this is the perfect resource! The book was delivered very quickly and in great condition. I would definitely recommend it, this purchase experience was very positive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2010
While this isn't the first time we've gardened, my husband and I built new garden boxes this winter and this book has helped us plan and plant our new garden space. Some of the information isn't as detailed as I might like, but it gives a decent overview of tons of fruits and veggies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
Sunset Western Garden Book of Edibles offers complete instructions for growing over 190 vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts in both ground and containers, offering designs for all kinds of kitchen gardens and growing seasons. Over 300 pages of color photos and advice from Sunset Magazine editors contribute to a powerful collection perfect for cook/gardeners who want to make the most of their home gardens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2010
I love this book! It's organized in a way that makes it easy to find specific information for my edible garden. I can quickly find instruction on choosing, planting and harvesting vegetables, herbs, and fruit, in addition to information on common problems such as pests and diseases. It includes many photos, and has helped me grow a garden that not only produces these wonderful edible plants, but is also beautiful and restful. This is by far the best guide I've found for amateur gardeners interested in eating what they grow!
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