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The 12-Month Gardener: Simple Strategies for Extending Your Growing Season Hardcover – December, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For vegetable gardeners who dread winter and grocery store produce aisles, Jeff Ashton has an answer, and it's this: don't allow the cold to come. Cover your plants like you would a child in a crib. The 12 Month Gardener is a book about defying the tyranny of seasons by building contraptions that control the plant's environment. It's a clearly written, detailed guide to constructing row covers, tunnels, and greenhouses.

A personal and anecdotal introduction is followed by teacherly, informative chapters on topics such as "Materials, Tools, and Construction Hints," "Vegetables for Cold Weather Gardens," and "The Ultimate Greenhouse." Specific building processes are explained in clear prose, although some knowledge of carpentry is required to fully understand the directions.

This is a book very much for gardeners who've become addicted to the taste of a fresh-picked tomato's sugars or the delicate texture of raw homegrown spinach. Beyond that, it also shows you how to be imaginative and proactive about the environment of your garden. With a bit of work, you don't have to say farewell to the growing season if you aren't ready to. --Emily White

From Booklist

Who says you can't fool Mother Nature? When it comes to extending gardening seasons, Ashton not only believes it's possible but he has discovered how. Guided by the philosophy that gardening doesn't have to end when winter begins, Ashton reveals surefire strategies for gardening beyond the warm-weather months involving the construction of weatherproofing devices he calls garden "contraptions": floaters, tunnels, stoop houses, cloches, and cold frames. Many can be built in less than a day, and Ashton provides plans to fit any type of garden, plant material, time schedule, and budget. Using these season extenders, eager gardeners no longer need to rely on store-bought vegetables for sustenance once killing frosts begin. Ashton's enthusiastic yet straightforward approach demystifies climate manipulation techniques, and his clear, easy-to-follow construction instructions will have even the most unhandy handyman or handywoman sawing wood and hammering nails. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books (December 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157990193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579901936
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like gardening - and winters make you sad - I think you will love this book. This is the perfect book for anyone who is a bit intimidated by season extension or has had difficulty with prior attempts and has been disheartened. I have had the book for three weeks out of the library and I have to buy it. It's just that good!

The author goes into great detail on how to make an attempt at extending your growing season without this attempt costing you much money or time. The experience he shares through this book ensures success! He tells what ideas are impractical, and why, and gives plentiful advise on how to get the materials you need for the process for free or on the cheep. My favorite is this hint: volunteer to help change the covering on a commercial greenhouse. Nurseries take the plastic off a year before what is recommended and you can take a lot of quality surplus home for free if you just ask!

And guess what? I took this book out from the library just before winter hit and I am proud to say that with the advice contained there in, I now, in January on a 15 degree day, have three red romaine lettuces, escarole and coriander growing happily - with no heat needed - with materials I already had around. It cost me nothing.

I will definitely be building additional winter gardening contraptions once the ground thaws again, with this book as my guide. Happy gardening!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, and will refer to it often.
Mr. Ashton has provided the reader with clear photos and excellent instructions for a large variety of season extenders. He also explains WHY he prefers certain materials over others.
Reading this book, written by someone more experienced will be a big help to those of us just starting out.
I can't wait to get started!
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Format: Paperback
This book has a wealth of wonderful ideas for the serious gardener who wants to extend her/his season. Although I do not intend to go to the lengths that the author does, I have gleened numerous ideas, many of which I have already put to use in the short time I have owned the book. If you are serious about extending your season, this is the book to buy!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author left his ego at the door when this book was written.

His approach gives you examples of his experience with different methods and lets you choose which you like.

Very easy to follow and shows you thrifty ways of accomplishing your goal.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book for a beginner with enough information to start. I'm an avid gardener for more then 30 years and i thought the book was just that a beginner book.
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