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Good Weed Bad Weed: Who's Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance (All You Need to Know About the Weeds in Your Yard) Spiral-bound – February 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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  • Good Weed Bad Weed: Who's Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance (All You Need to Know About the Weeds in Your Yard)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Who Are You Calling A Weed? . . .
 
 
Are you worried about all the weeds in your yard? Well, set your mind at ease. Weed scientist Nancy Gift will show you surprising ways that weeds can enrich your life.  It might be time to let your yard go a little bit “native.”
 
Good Weed Bad Weed is the quick and easy, authoritative weed ID book, featuring 44 of North America’s most common uninvited guests – the good, the bad, and the not-so-bad – along with some tasty weed recipes (purslane salad, anyone?).
 
 
 
 
“Finally…the ultimate guide to weeds: from the bad to the good, and even great. I love this book! A must for every homeowner and gardener.”
 
–      Doug Oster, author of Tomatoes Garlic Basil; co-author of Grow Organic,
 
 
 
“Nancy has a way of making us rethink our attitudes about weeds. In fact, I began to feel proud of my acres of nitrogen-fixing clover and a bit remiss that I did not harvest my purslane for dinner.”
–      Jeneen Wiche, garden writer, radio host
 

About the Author

Nancy Gift is an assistant professor of environmental studies and acting director of The Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Previously, she wrote a book of garden essays, A Weed by Any Other Name: The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants We Don't Plant (Beacon Press, May 2009).

Praise for A Weed by Any Other Name:

NY Times Book Review, Dominique Browning: “I can thank Gift, a highly trained weed scientist, for the day I gave up on my lawn and planted clover."

The Ethicurean, Holly Hickman: "Gift knows her stuff.”

The Midwest Book Review: “...a read that anybody who wants a new philosophy of lawn care will love.”

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 104 pages
  • Publisher: St. Lynn's Press; Spi edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981961568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981961569
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I'm not much of a plant guy, and I pretty much thought all weeds should be placed on the most wanted list and killed on sight. In my view of the world, the only good weed was a dead one. The simple way (and the wrong way) is to look at this book as a field guide to weeds. It is just not that simple. It is a narrative. It tells the story of weeds, both from the perspective of science and a person who just wants to tell the story of weeds. The subtle humor and personal aspects make this book a read, yes a read. The photos go way beyond the field guide standard. They are art photos that should be enlarged and hanging in my house. Nobody reads field guides cover-to-cover-------except for this one. Being in the NE, I'm actually looking forward to spring to see what the heck weeds have been growing in my yard. Now I know which one to kill on sight and which one to spare for another day. Who knew?
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"Good Weed Bad Weed" is an accessible beginner's guide to weed identification. And to the delight of the busy gardener, it offers a unique perspective on weeds, pointing out that not all of them are as bad as we think, and that it will be fine to leave most of them right where they are.

As a weed ID guide, this book is appropriate for the gardener who is just starting out, and seems to be written with the environmentally conscientious homeowner in mind. Featuring photos of 44 weeds common to the urban or suburban garden or yard, "Good Weed Bad Weed" helps the casual observer decide which weeds to pull upon sight and which not to stress over (and even encourage). And one of my favorite parts of the book, because it is so quirky, is that it turns into an oddball recipe book near the end, giving recipes for dishes like Purslane & Potato Salad, and Weedy Foxtail Tabouli (which made the free copy I received even more delicious).

For the novice outdoorsman, the real gem of the book is the accompanying photographs it offers as it walks the reader through notoriously "bad" weeds, such as poison ivy and ragweed, the "not-so-bad" weeds, such as morning glory, and the "good" weeds, such as edible and omega-3 rich purslane. The book is spiral bound, which makes it easy to flip through and to keep on a page when you are comparing weeds in your backyard to the pictures in the book. For the reader who has never been able to put names to the weeds in her backyard, this is a tremendous aid.

Keep in mind that this book is not a field guide for professionals. In other words, you will not find botanical sketches of each weed in its seedling and then mature stages, or featuring a close-up of its leaves, flowers or fruit.
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I moved to KY several years ago and always wondered if plants I see in the garden was planted by the person living here before. Some were pretty some were not. I kept pestering my wife and neighbors but they kept ignoring me. This book has it all.. Now when I go to the garden to weed, I just take this handy and sturdy book to help me weed..
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The marketing concept of this book, "Good Weed, Bad Weed", is attractive, as is the book's layout. It's fun and catchy. It's very good for a novice gardener who knows little about weeds. But like "Good Bug, Bad Bug", it is very light on knowledge for the slightly more seasoned gardener. Weeds that I am encountering are not listed; others that I've found to be real pests are listed as "good weeds" or "not-so-bad weeds". If you really want to identify and learn about weeds, find a more solid, comprehensive book. Or, if you get this book, make sure you have other serious and substantial resources to supplement it.
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As someone who has always believed that the only good weed is a dead weed I approached this book with suspicion and doubt. After reading it, I still have a few doubts, but I will admit that Ms. Gift makes an honest, sincere, and somewhat persuasive argument. Even if, after reading it, you are not ready to turn your lawn into a showplace for "good" weeds, you will at least have a better idea of what you are dealing with and how best to deal with it. And in the end all one should expect from a book is that it gives you good information and allows you to make up your own mind and this book certainly does that.
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Once upon a time if I didn't plant it, I'd pull it. After reading this book i've come to see the value in what was growing in my garden. With the highly detailed pictures I'm able to determine if two similarly looking plants are going to over run my plants or just enhance what is already there. With the unexpected addition of recipes for my newly appreciated plant friends I can get more out of my garden than I bargained for.
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I like it as it specifically helps me chose what weeds I might just control and let stay in the garden. As some one said "a weed is just a plant with a bad marketing program". Some are quite pretty--just not in large numbers that drown out the rest of the garden. Some are very invasive and if not eradicated will soon dominate the garden. With the use of this book, I've isolated a few "weeds" and kept them down to three plants and let them bloom with good effect. Next year I'll probably hit the area with a good pre emergent. Like its companion, Good Bug/Bad Bug, it is a nice addition to the garden library of the common gardener.
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