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Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden Paperback – February 9, 2010
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--Martha Stewart, Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
About the Author
Coauthor Larry Sheehan has a long list of writing credits that includes newspapers, magazines, television documentaries, and dozens of books including the best-selling Living with Dogs and The Sporting Life.
Top Customer Reviews
If that's not enough, Sal also sets out, in easy to follow, step-by-step detail the calendar of work for the gardening year, based on average date of last frost in Spring and first frost date in Winter. He provides detailed steps on how to start transplants from seed and how to fight the most common causes of transplant failure.
There is also a fascinating discussion of how to tell the gender of your squash plant flowers (fried squash flowers, anyone?).
I truly cannot recommend this book too highly for the beginning to early intemediate gardener who's trying to make sense of when to do which tasks in the garden.
The suggested schedules would not be very useful for somebody in a different climate. There are a few crazy typos in there, like recommendation for two 100-foot trenches for asparagus for a family of four. I am pretty sure he meant two 10-foot trenches. On balance the advice is very worthwhile and I would recommend it for a beginners bookshelf.
Based on the title of the book, I expected to find several garden plans built for smaller spaces. Instead, the main garden plan in the book is 3000 sq ft (50' x 60') which is FAR from being small in my region. A few smaller plans are included but they don't have the same detailed planting summary that is devoted to the larger plan. (How many vegetables can I grow in the smaller plans?)
The sowing and transplanting dates are based on the authors' hardiness zone and there is no zone chart for anyone outside the NY-Connecticut area. Everyone can easily find this information online but it seems like a strange omission in a gardening book.
There's a handy dollar and crop yield chart for the 3000 sq ft garden but I would have preferred a concise summary table of all vegetables that includes sowing dates (# of weeks from last/first frost), planting depth, yield per plant, etc. that could be adapted to a garden of any size.
The section on insect and disease control is too simplistic for any gardener. Instead, the authors could have described the common pest or disease problems that can affect vegetables included in the book's garden plans.
There could also have been more than a passing mention on how to store the fruits of your labour. I'm sure families won't have any trouble eating most crops as they are harvested, but how does one manage 100 heads of fennel or 540lbs of eggplant? (Yes, the "small-plot" 3000 sq ft garden plan in this book includes these yields!)
The book's large type size, wide margins, and sparse layout are easy on the eyes but not visually interesting.
There is no photography (except for a small photo of one of the author's children) and very few line illustrations in the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great ideas, helpful hints. Loved this book so much I bought it for my daughter.Published 3 months ago by JillianK
Checked this book out at the library and just had to buy my own copy :)Published 7 months ago by Amy
This was a great company to buy a used book from. The book itself has been very informative and helpful in getting my raised garden bed ready to plant.Published on February 24, 2014 by robert bowman
Wow, how many garden books do you know that you can you read cover to cover! I bought one for every member of my garden club and we have not stopped talking about it since! Read morePublished on February 15, 2012 by Kris
I've been gardening for a number of years, but I have found so much great info in this handy book. I love the tone... It's like having a conversation with Sal. Read morePublished on February 14, 2012 by Mom2ckt
This book was very informative for new gardeners. A great read - the authors gave great tips with hints of humor... not dry at all. Read morePublished on April 3, 2011 by Gretchen gray