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Customer Review

368 of 370 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tired of weeding, fertilizing, watering constantly?, December 14, 2004
This review is from: How to Grow More Vegetables: And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine (Paperback)
I spent a few hours reading this book and was rewarded with 7-foot high tomato plants with big flavorful fruit, beautiful herbs (a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary were just the thing for a New Year's coq au vin I still remember fondly), beans, peas, lettuce, flowers and more, all from four 4x20 garden beds. All (organic) fertilizing is done before planting, and I only have to weed *twice* a year. If this sounds like the kind of gardening you'd like to do, then this book will show you how. (The automatic watering I came up with myself - buried soaker hoses made from recycled tires a couple of inches deep in the beds and hooked them up to a hose on a timer.)

Contrary to a couple of comments, I didn't find the book at all difficult to understand - quite the opposite. Here, try one great idea on for size:

The roots and leaves of each plant fill a circle. (The book tells you the size of that circle for just about every common garden plant, plus more than a few uncommon ones.) Space your plants so that all the circles are just touching. (You can picture what this looks like by using coins.) That way, each plant has enough room to grow and thrive, while at the same time all their roots and leaves form a "living mulch" that crowds out weeds.

This really works - as I said, I only have to weed twice a season. And how difficult was that to understand? This book is full of great, clearly explained ideas like that, with all the information you need to put them into practice yourself. And someone gave it two stars because it uses *line drawings*? Please.

The reviewer who called it a gardening Bible had it exactly right. If you're thinking of buying a gardening book, do yourself and your garden a great big favor - make it this one.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 11, 2008 10:11:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2008 10:13:09 AM PST
Della says:
I am a big supporter of all organic gardening methods and so applaud anyone who gardens with these principles, however, some home made devises that should be better left alone. I am speaking about using tires as any kind of garden implement or part of a system. Tires leach toxic chemicals into the soil over time, and will do so over a very long period of time. Any plants, especially edibles of any kind, will be adversely affected by these toxins, therefore these chemicals would definatly find their way into the body of anyone who eats from gardens that have tires buried in them for any purpose. Please reconsider using tires in your garden, especially if any of the plants are used as food.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 4:43:00 PM PST
Do you have anything published to back this statement?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2010 12:24:01 PM PST
Vladivosta says:
Hi there, since original poster never answered, here is what I was able to find out:
Toxic Chemicals Used to Produce Tires:
Rubber tires are typically classified by some states as "hazardous waste." Other states refer to them as "special waste." Many different toxic additives and chemicals are used to produce rubber tires. Among these toxins are cadmium, chromium, aluminum, copper, sulfur and zinc. Bits of the rubber mulch contain small pieces of steel and nylon. Other harmful chemicals found in tires are benzene, phthalates, butylated hydroxyanisole, 3-phenyl and latex.
Rubber tires can be manufactured with as much as 2 percent zinc content, which can be absorbed into your plants when the rubber starts to break down. Most plants cannot grow in such soil conditions. Toxins from the breakdown of the tires kill not only the plants, but also beneficial insects. (
But if you want to see not only statements, but more of research, you can read more on following websites: 1) - Cadmium, zinc, carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). 2) Wikipedia - see the bottom of the page under "Environmental concerns" 3) An Assessment of Environmental Toxicity and Potential Contamination from Artificial Turf using Shredded or Crumb Rubber:
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