- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books; 41902nd edition (May 19, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875968473
- ISBN-13: 978-0875968476
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden Paperback – May 19, 2000
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“Great Garden Companions is a book as fresh as the first spring carrot, as new as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Sally Cunningham's gentle appreciation for the intricacies of nature coupled with plenty of practical, hands-on gardening experience makes her book both useful and soul-satisfying. Her garden plans are doable and earth-friendly, and her guide to backyard beneficial insects is invaluable. This book deserves a place in the library and hearts of concerned gardeners everywhere.” ―Sharon Lovejoy, author and illustrator of Sunflower Houses and Hollyhock Days and a contributing editor to Country Living Gardener magazine
“Great Garden Companions lives up to its name-- it's great! This very approachable how-to book brings organic gardening to a whole new level-- viewing the garden as part of nature. I wish I'd had a book like this when I started gardening.” ―Rosalind Creasy, author of The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping and Herbs: A Country Garden Cookbook
From the Publisher
"Sally Cunningham's gentle appreciation for the intricacies of nature coupled with plenty of practical, hands-on gardening experience makes her book both useful and soul-satisfying. Her garden plans are do-able and earth-friendly, and her guide to backyard beneficial insects is invaluable. This book deserves a place in the libraries and hearts of concerned gardeners everywhere." -Sharon Lovejoy, contributing editor of Country Gardener Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
The author groups plants into neighborhoods - the tomato, the potato, the cabbage, the squash, the roots and greens, and the perennial crop neighborhoods. Within these neighborhoods, she lists Family members (for instance, the tomato neighborhood includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and greens), Friends (in this case, basil, cleome, cosmos, parsley, Queen-Anne's lace and any tall Aster family flower), recommended mulch/groundcover, rotation schedule and notes. There are solid sections on bug identification (pests and beneficials) and detailed crop information, including trouble shooting suggestions.
I did run into a few problems when trying to implement her suggestions in my own garden. First, her diagrams had no place specifically for melons or cucumbers. Not a big deal, I'd put them with the other vine crops, but they take up a lot of room and I grow a lot of them, so this has a big impact on my personal crop rotation schedule. When I was try to grow certain flowers for companion plants, I had difficulty finding dwarf varieties, and in some cases my companions outgrew my main crop and had to be trimmed back. I tried planting my corn and squash together (part of the Three Sisters planting), but the squash got ahead of the corn and overcrowded it. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had included beans. The instructions could be clearer as far as timing the crops. I also didn't like grouping my greens and roots, as I like to load up the greens area with plenty of manure, some of which is not as composted as it could be. When the beds filled up with plants, at times it was difficult to access what needed to be harvested because there was so much growing around it.
The book is written in a friendly, conversational style, with attractive photo spreads of the author's garden that make you want to get and out and work in the dirt. I like the attention to organic methods and soil building, and the insect information (identification, attracting beneficials, warding off pests) is some of the best I've seen.
Still- deffinitely a great buy for the novice and seasoned green thumber.