Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent (Horticulture Garden Classic) Paperback – January 1, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, January 1, 1998
$9.00 $4.95
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$14.97
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gardening that requires only planting and picking seems almost sacrilegious, but with Ruth Stout's garden methods, weeds and bugs are no more than fading memories. In a neighborly, conversational tone that makes this how-to book on gardening a lot of fun, Stout gives advice on growing various vegetables and flowers, finding the best catalogues and nurseries, avoiding chemicals on plants, and--best of all--year-round mulching, which is Stout's pièce de résistance that keeps the unwanted elements out of your greened acres. If you've ever wanted your own asparagus bed, but thought it was too exotic a plant to grow on your own, Gardening Without Work is a great place to dig in.

From the Back Cover

With this delightful book, you can garden with hardly any labor except planting and picking. The Stout System of mulch gardening will allow you to throw away your weeding tools, pesticides, and fertilizers, and will conserve and replenish the soil to make plants thrive. (6 X 9, 226 pages, illustrations)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Horticulture Garden Classic
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558216545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558216549
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,819,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've seen some of the Ruth Stout videos on YouTube and I ADORE her (R.I.P. Ruth). The writing style is very much like her videos would suggest, you can hear her voice in every word.

However, on the practical side, the primary thing you will learn from the book is PUT STRAW OR HAY MULCH ON EVERYTHING IN YOUR GARDEN AND YOU WILL HAVE VERY LITTLE WORK TO DO WHILE ENRICHING YOUR SOIL. There, I just saved you some money.

It's still rather sweet, I'm just not sure that beyond the primary tip I just revealed, you'll gain much else here that you can't gain from any other source on gardening. Ruth still rocks though!
3 Comments 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to garden, without killing myself, and I got that, and much more from this book. Indeed, the book is not new, however, I know you will find the information in it, as wonderful as I did, and if you want to save your back, knees, sweat, and tears, then purchase the book. It turned out to be so much more than I ever expected. Not just in the reading, but in the doing. For the first time in a long time, I know that I will be able to garden for many years to come, and for those who are young, it will not wear you down like old gardening does. Trust me, I know both, and THIS METHOD IS OUTSTANDING! I intend to grow all of my produce myself, and this is the ONLY way I will be able to do that for so many in my family. I may be old, (64) but I can do it with Ruth's method. She gardened until she was 90 yrs. old! How's that for proof of her method! She was before her time, follow it, you won't be let down.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ruth is pretty much a one-note song (mulch, Mulch, MULCH) but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in using tons of hay to mulch my gardens. This isn't literature and Ruth is, at times, a bit too folksy but given that my method of gardening isn't much different, I would probably write a lot like her. It turns out I've been a Ruth devotee for a while without even knowing it.
If you are not using mulch in your garden/landscape and are tired of weeding and looking at hard, baked dirt, you owe it to yourself to give Ruth a shot. Though written in 1960, the book is still relevant and useful (except the parts about parsnips and turnips :-).
1 Comment 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite books on gardening. Humorous and folksy. Her methods work extremely well. Save yourself lots of sweat in the garden. Read this book.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE Ruth Stout. I only wish she were still alive so I could tell her so. This woman is the patron saint of folks like me who are physically limited. I have arthritis in most all of my connective tissue and I really thought I would have to give up vegetable gardening as I got older. Her methods have taken so much of the strain and aches out of gardening that I am sure I will be able to enjoy it for many more years. She has wonderful, experience-based tips and methods that you most likely wouldn't think of if you have been raised in the traditional mindset of growing your own food. The only thing I find to be a drawback is that come harvest time, you will probably want to invite a few friends over! LOL LOL. The bounty is plentiful and there is work to do on that end. When you get such satisfaction from planting something and watching it grow, how can that be a drawback? Her dry sense of humor makes the reading a delight as well. I would, and have, recommended her books to anyone that has ever engaged me in a conversation about gardening. I hope you will give her a try. It is worth triple the price!!!
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I read this book long ago and have had 3 gardens on horrific soil using this method. No weeds, no watering, great soil in 3 years or less. What's not to like? It works! the only problem is slugs, but my trusty salt cellar by the light of evening does them in. And the evil meanie in me is richly satisfied to see them shrivel. Planting and harvesting potatoes? Put them on top of the ground under the hay and then scoop them out later, you'll only need to dig a very few. Need to blanch your celery? Shove the hay close to them. I'm a Master Gardener and tho the advice and language and humor may seem old hat, the method is tried and true.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only time we actually had a successful gardening experience with plentiful harvest and hardly any weeds was when we took the advice in this book. It may be a tad bit misleading as to the amount of work involved—there is some, of course—but the back-breaking chore of dealing with weeds is so much less! I would say that after the first season using Ms. Stout's methods, the gardening would just keep getting better and better. This is a reprint of the original and well worth getting your hands on!
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ruth Stout is one of my favorite authors. It saddens me to know she is deceased. Her writings are very practical, and read more like a slightly rambling talk with a friend over a cup of warm tea than a bound volume!. Delightful!

Ruth Stout is one of the modern pioneers substituting extensive mulching for back breaking spade and pitchfork work. I don't believe she developed her gardening techniques through scientific research, but rather by doing what she thought made sense, and then astutely observing the results.

She developed her gardening practices by extensive and continuous mulching.

Whether you want to understand her techniques or you want a delightful curl-up-in-thr-armchir read for a cold wintery (or rainy summer) night, I think you will find Ms Stout's books easy to read and a constructive delight, as well.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews