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The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers Paperback – March 2, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Put your garden containers to work this summer. On the deck, in the garden, or even on a sunny balcony, you can grow luscious tomatoes, gorgeous artichokes, juicy strawberries, and so much more. Ed Smith has chosen, planted, tested, and tasted dozens of vegetables in all kinds of containers, and he shows you how simple and rewarding it is to grow a backyard garden even without a backyard.
"Big, delicious yields from small, unlikely spaces. This is just the book the world is hungering for and it couldn't come at a better time." - Roger Doiron, Founder, Kitchen Gardeners International and Leader of the White House Kitchen Garden Campaign
"Garden writer Edward Smith shares his expert knowledge on the subject in this excellent manual for both novice and experienced gardeners." - The National Gardener
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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.
Now that I have many 5 gal. nursery size containers with drains added larger saucer pans for catching water. Wish I had bought many larger inexpensive pots for 10 gal and larger. May use some more 7 gal bags and get some 15" square bags for some areas.
Now for the Pictures and descriptions: You may never get them as good as Mr. Smith and wife have done. Beautiful, beautiful is all I can say. Now need time and energy to start the project. Compost supply source in Phoenix area needs to be found.