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Cubed Foot Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Raised, Intensive Beds .. Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1585743124
ISBN-10: 1585743127
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Raised beds are widely acknowledged as the way to grown the greatest yields of vegetables per alloted space. Christopher O. Bird offers a guide on how to get going with this most efficient and asthetically pleasing form of growing.

About the Author

Bird gardened in places as diverse as Alaska and south Texas during his twenty years in the Air Force. After retiring in 1993, he became a master gardener and editor of San Antonio Gardener.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; .. edition (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585743127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585743124
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is nothing new in this 'method'. If you have read Square Foot Gardening you have read everything worth reading in this book.

The only thing 'unique' is that the method uses 2x12 lumber. That's it.

That makes the book worthless, but what puts it into negative value territory is the bad information and rudely stated personal biases.

The author clearly despises organic methods as he briefly discusses how ineffective organic methods are every few pages.

He frequently makes odd sounding claims and prefaces them with something like 'While I have no scientific evidence to support this...' and then apparently thinks his claims will be accepted based upon his having written a book.

His stated preference is for 2x12 lumber in bed construction, which is fine, but then he spends time explaining why arsenic treated wood is the best choice. He comes over like those who wish to stay away from unnecessary exposure to strongly toxic substances in their veggy garden are sissies. His statement was that he is the kind of guy who still 'eats his beef medium rare'. Neat?

He refers to anyone who disagrees with his apparent love affair with toxins as an 'organic purist' (these are BAD people).

He suggested, but didn't harp on, adopting the practice of spraying everything with a broad spectrum insecticide (needed or not) *every 2 weeks* and then went on to tell how extensively he has researched and the chemicals are perfectly safe to eat.

I honestly don't think I have ever read a gardening book this bad.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book and I would have given it a 5 if the author had stressed the benefits of organic gardening, rather than recommending standard chemical fertilizers.
The author shows you how to get started with gardening and clearly demonstrates how to build raised beds using wood 2x12's (and others sizes). He also offers great coverage of each of the major vegetables that he recommends that you grow. This part contains some particularly good material.
There are many practical and original techniques in this book. Although this is not necessarily a beginner's book, I would recommend this book to a beginner. The only problem I had was his reliance on chemical fertilizers.
Many beginners might find it easier at first to use standard chemical fertilizers, as recommended by the author. However, today many gardeners are finding their way to organics to avoid the industrial wastes sometimes found in the standard chemical fertilizers.
I get the feeling that the author writes with your best interests at heart. He appears to be a successful gardener with much practical experience. His writing is very clear and at times quite humorous. There are plenty of pictures and diagrams to keep the book interesting.
I use raised bed gardening, but use concrete blocks and take an organic approach. Although the materials are different, the methodology is very similar. I highly recommend this book to any one getting started, or anyone who wants to build raised bed gardens using wood (looks better than concrete blocks, but deteriortes more quickly).
John Dunbar
Sugar Land, TX
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Format: Paperback
I relocated to South Carolina in July of 2003. Our new yard contained the remnants of a vegetable garden -- skeletons of bush beans and peppers protruding from red clay as hard as concrete. I purchased Mr. Bird's book about a year ago and read it during my Christmas vacation. Having no prior experience growing vegetables,I followed the instuctions exactly. The two-tier indoor plant stand was my first effort. The materials including grow bulbs and some sturdy seed trays from Harris cost under $100. I started my spring-crop seeds a bit late, the end of February, as we are usually frost-free by April 1. About the same time, I started building the 4'x4'x12" frames, a total of six. I thought about building larger frames but was glad I didn't as my wife and I could just lift and carry one comfortably. Then we had a ton of sand and two of topsoil dumped next to the boxes. I blended it with peat moss and composted manure and filled up the boxes. This was the hardest part of the project, but the resulting soil was wonderful. My spinach, lettuce, chinese cabbage and bok choi all did well until it got hot, then bugs started to eat them up despite my best efforts to use ecologically-friendly deterents. The nine heads of broccoli I grew in one frame were particularly nice. They al ripened at the same time so I gave several away to friends. As promised, radishes are especially easy to grow. I didn't get around to building pea/bean trellises but will definitely do so next season. My bush beans gave several good harvests before it got really hot. Once the tomatoes started coming, they didn't quit until frost. Mr. Bird recommends Celebrity for the heat. I had even better luck with Juliette. It has an oval shape, is somewhat larger than a cherry tomato, and produces in abundance.Read more ›
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