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on November 7, 2013
I was hesitant about this book at first. However, after it seemed to start slowly, I was impressed with his discussion of soil preparation, including his container soil mix recipe. I was also pleased with his templates for making self-watering containers. Being as I'm not real handy, his designs are simple enough that I feel confident I can do it. I had the Kindle version, which had a typo in the soil mix recipe: It should simply say 1 Tablespoon of Azomite for micronutrients. However, after examining assays from both Azomite and Maxicrop, I decided to substitute equal amounts of Maxicrop, which also contains plant growth hormones and vitamins that Azomite doesn't have. Azomite is ancient lake bed deposits found primarily in Utah, while Maxicrop is kelp harvested off the 12,000 mile coast of Norway. Kelp is a renewable resource, which I prefer. However, if that's not a concern, I've used Azomite before to good effect. Both supplements are rated for organic gardening.

I also had a question about how to amend the soil mix, so I wrote the publisher. Mr. Smith replied through them that if you're using a peat-lite mix already amended with N-P-K supplements, he recommends adding no more fertilizers. This is important, because plants can die from over-fertilizing as well as from malnutrition. In fact, the symptoms may appear similar! Since I mix my own peat-lite soil, I now know how to proceed as I experiment with growing Cole crops in pots this winter. I will mix peat/vermiculite/perlite, amend according to the Cornell recipe, add an equal part compost, then plant. For those interested, here's my organic peat-lite recipe: 8 pints peat, 5 pints vermiculite, 3 pints perlite, 40cc blood meal, 40cc bone meal, 40cc greensand, 35cc dolomite limestone, 6cc Maxicrop powder.

The reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is because the publisher didn't reformat the book for Kindle. As a result, it's hard associating many photo illustrations with the relevant text. You may have to page up and down while reading to figure out what picture goes with what text.

I highly recommend this book for gardeners looking to expand their knowledge into container growing, or for people with limited space looking to grow some of their own herbs and vegetables. Even experienced gardeners can learn plenty from The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible.
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on June 5, 2015
great information, very thorough from every type of pot to use, ways to make and get soil, different ways of watering, and what plants work best. it doesn't matter what type of garden you are looking to do, this book covers it. then he even goes into the specifics on each type of plant and how best to grow it. you can't go wrong with this one.
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on March 6, 2017
I found this book informative. I garden in containers and have had very good results. This book helped clear up a number of questions I had about container dirt. I look forward to putting my new knowledge into practice.
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on May 22, 2016
I have not read it from cover to cover, but have marked the information that is useful right now for my garden. Very nice book, lot of nice pictures too.I have gardened for many years but now that I am in a small place, this is a big help for my garden which I have on my screened in porch.
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on May 3, 2016
I have found this book to be extremely helpful with planning my container garden. I'm always looking for ideas and ways to grow more in my challenging back yard. This book has shown me ways to use spots in my yard where I can't actually put a garden bed, but that I could use to put containers to grow plants in more sun lite areas.

Definitely a good book for those who rent, or don't own their home and have a patio or driveway area or balcony they can use.
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on March 23, 2011
I have been gardening seriously for the past couple of years and really got interested in containers last year. I have been asking myself a lot of questions about container gardening, mainly about the nature of the soil to use for pots and I have always wondered if I could reuse potting soil. I have made my share of mistakes (buying lousy pptting soil, for one, or not fertilizing enough) but I have really been craving a seasoned gardener's advice. I already owned the The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (10th Anniversary Edition) from the same author and McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers. Both were great but the former was really focused on raised beds (which is fine) and the latter lacked pictures and specific guidance. I appreciated that the authors of the Bountiful Container leave it to me to decide whether I want to grow organic or not but sometimes you just need somebody to tell you what works!

I liked the Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible the moment I put my hands on the book. It is abundantly illustrated (a huge help for a novice gardener like me!!), from pictures of containers with mature plants, to pictures of good quality soil (so you know what to look for) and how to make your own potting mix (loved the advice to mix it all in a rain barrow!). The author encourages you to add a slow-acting fertilizer to the potting mix so you do not have to fertilize too much, if at all, during the growing season (I used Dr Earth fertilizer if you are interested in organic gardening without bone meal, by the way). There are also instructions to make self-watering containers and advice on which veggies like them best. That is the first part of the book.

The second part of the book focuses on the various varieties of vegetables that you can grow in containers and the varieties that the author thinks grow better in containers are marked "Ed's Picks." Those include lettuces, various greens, or eggplants (especially if you live in the Northern states). The book has beautiful photos of every herb and vegetable with the minimum information you need to grow them successfully. A few varieties of each veggie are recommended. I find that McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers provided more in-depth information on each edible and I liked that the book covered fruit trees ans flowers while Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible focused (obviously) on veggies. The Bountiful Container also was more "poetic" in its descriptions and gave more advice specific to each edible variety, in my opinion. At the end, I would recommend both books. Use the Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible to get started and see pictures, then refer to McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers for more in-depth information on each variety.
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on February 2, 2017
Best container book out there ... lots of pictures ... this guy can grow anything!! Very necessary to have them all around in case you want or need a quick nibble.
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on July 15, 2017
I have his other garden book .. and this one is just as great.. so much information.. Very well laid out.. I will spend the winter re-reading it.. I have been gardening for years and we have now went to containers.. so this is great..
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on March 5, 2017
Such a great book! Has a Wealth of information along with lots of photos. A must have for any gardener
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on October 18, 2015
The book is great... it me... I keep thinking I'll get ambitious and start gardening... I'm a procrastinator, and just haven't used the vast amount of knowledge in this book. Buy it if you have the time and inclination to do this. Well written.
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