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Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens Paperback – March, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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  • Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens
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  • The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, 2nd Edition
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  • The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fueled by the localvore movement and a tightened economy, more people are motivated to grow their own vegetables, and yet few aspects of gardening are quite as daunting. Sowing seeds! Combating pests! Harvesting zucchini! It can all be a little overwhelming for the inexperienced gardener. With a clean, crisp, foolproof approach, Pleasant takes the fear out of food gardening in a must-have resource that will appeal to both neophytes and experienced gardeners. From simple bag gardens to bountiful food cornucopias, each garden plan is a symphony in simplicity, laid out with precise lists of materials and plants based on detailed landscape plans suitable for small city gardens as well as larger suburban backyards. Along with year-by-year overviews that allow gardeners to anticipate growth and adapt to changes, Pleasant provides essential cultivation and maintenance techniques, and offers surefire recommendations for top-producing vegetables and herbs. --Carol Haggas

About the Author

Barbara Pleasant has been covering organic gardening and self-sufficient living for more than 30 years. A contributing editor to Mother Earth News, Pleasant has garnered multiple awards from the Garden Writers Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association. She has written books on topics ranging from compost to weeds, including Plant to Preserve, Starter Vegetable Gardens, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide (with Deborah L. Martin), The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The Gardener’s Bug Book, The Gardener’s Weed Book, The Gardener’s Guide to Plant Diseases, and Garden Stone. Her columns and articles appear regularly in Mother Earth Living magazine and at GrowVeg.com and on other informational websites. Pleasant lives in Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, and fruits along with a few chickens, who all have names. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; First Edition edition (March 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425292
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Length: 3:28 Mins
A couple of things to note about my video review:

1. I decided to video review to give others a better glimpse inside the book. The one complaint I have about ordering books online is not being able to flip through the book. I hope my video review helps!

2. This is really an excellent book. I will be using it when I plan my garden (this weekend).

3. Sorry the review is so long. I usually aim for under 2 minutes but I spent some extra time flipping through the pages :)

Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
I have many gardening books, and I'm not a brand spanking new vegetable gardener but this book delivered on ALL it's promises. It's an excellent, easy to read, easy to understand, well laid book that gets to the point without the quaint but long winded ramblings that one often finds in gardening books. The charts and illustrations are so helpful. It's the perfect book to learn AND teach from! When I help my neighbors with their gardens this year this book will be my reference and recommendation to buy if one can only have one basic gardening book. Thanks Barbara Pleasant.
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Format: Paperback
After weeks of digging sod in my backyard, I had a chance to read this book. I nearly fell out of my chair reading the first (and easiest) garden plan. Bag gardening consists of laying down bags of topsoil, newspaper, and cardboard to smother the sod. ***I have posted photos above so you can see the technique ***

The first year, you actually grow the crop inside the bags. At the end of the season, you gather up the bags and dig the contents into your now-ready bed. Will I be following the total garden plan? Actually, no. But it's one of the best parts about these garden plans, you can adjust then to meet your needs! The second year it mentions that a squash plant will break up the soil for you, and you let it do the work! So I will be following this advice (in my first year), and I will let the squash do all the work!

The bountiful border has a wonderful plan for inter spacing plots of vegetable gardens within your flower bed. And the front yard food supply gives wonderful ideas for using that often overlooked area in your front yard without having your neighborhood send around a petition. It starts with only 43 square feet ...

Since both my backyard and frontyard borders are too shady, I will be focusing on the first plan, but adapting techniques from the other two as well. The larger garden plans are well out of my expertise at this point.

The second part of the book contains a wealth of knowledge for new gardeners. Some of the sections (like deciding what to grow) may be old hat to experienced gardeners, but for those who are new (like me), it is a good overview. The one thing it mentions is finding vegetables you love that love your yard. If I were to put it in my own words, don't try to grow anything your family won't eat!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a good place to start. I am adding to my garden beds and I was reminded today why Ms. Pleasant develops the gardens in this book in 3 years. It would be so much work to try and put in one of the year 3 gardens in 1 year. It would also be a huge investment. By spreading it out over 3 years, each garden is much more manageable.

This book has some wonderful information in it. I especially like the first garden (the bag garden) because it avoids all the work of building raised beds from the beginning. You make use of the dirt in the bags and develop your garden over a 3 year period. The other plans are fun to look through and give lots of helpful information. Each plan comes with a list of what you need (super helpful) and directions of how to build it. The pictures of how to put in a tomato cage are very helpful! This book is not as overwhelming as The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. I also love the section on storing seeds.

This book is really a place to start from though. What you actually do in your garden may not look exactly like any of these gardens. You can use part of a plan that works with your yard. You may not want to use all of the plants, but substitute a few that you prefer. You could follow one of these plans exactly (everything is explained and listed out very clearly), but gardening is different for everyone. Our yards are different shapes and we prefer different vegetables and flowers. If you do substitute and not follow part of Ms. Pleasant's ideas though look up companion planting and how much sun what your substituting needs. Even though I'm not using one of her plans, the information that Ms. Pleasant weaves in with the plans is great basic information and it has helped me in my gardening this year.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing.
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Format: Paperback
After borrowing this book from the library 3 times in one year, I think it's time to buy. I love the pictures, the suggested varieties for each vegetable, and the plans. What is really helpful for me is learning how to make the most of my growing season (zone 7) by seeing how to rotate through 2-3 crops in one bed. I love it. I am a square foot gardener with 3 years under my belt, and many more to look forward to - especially with this book.
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