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The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season Spiral-bound – January 8, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Using the first and last frost as guideposts, father and daughter Kujawski guide would-be gardeners through the growing season and beyond, with plenty of tips and tricks to ensure a great harvest. Beginning with basics like site selection and soil preparation, the Kujawskis walk readers through the basics of seeding and planting, transplanting sensitive plants along with canny tips like using cover crops like clover or grasses as well as vinegar and clove oil to keep weeds at a minimum. Though the authors do offer suggestions on making the most of the harvest by freezing and canning, the book will be most useful during the growing season itself. Once readers have set the wheels for a small garden in motion, the book's weekly worksheets, with timely advice on which plants can be planted or harvested as well as maintenance tips for specific crops, are likely to be the most useful. Gardeners will appreciate the book's soft cover, though its pages are likely to get dirty from frequent consultations in the back yard, which is probably the intent. (Dec.)
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The Kujawskis’ handbook supplies “breadth and brevity rather than depth of information” as it provides a week-by-week, yearlong gardening calendar suitable for all gardening zones and useful for all home growers, especially newcomers to the pursuit. The father-daughter authors note that getting started is “often a matter of overcoming inertia,” and begin by discussing the properties of soil and its testing, techniques for space saving, and location, location, location. Enhanced by many useful line drawings, this how-to covers the finding and using of last-frost dates for readers’ customized weekly planners, which accurately schedule indoor sowing (20-15 weeks before last frost); fertilizing; (trans)planting; pest control; harvesting; and more. Making each week’s to-do list clear and manageable are charts placed alongside easily read boxed information, such as “Garden Smart in Hot Weather” and “Weed Management 101,” that complement lined blank pages with ample room for personal notation. Instructions for “putting food by” for winter consumption, resource listings for growing tips, recipes, seeds, and suggested further readings complete this year-round gardener’s companion. --Whitney Scott
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Top Customer Reviews
Been highlighting and making notes of what will be very important to me in my garden. It's useful now as I am late on starting some seedlings indoors, so will be doing that this weekend! Really puts what needs to be done and when in perspective, very helpful and lots of great tips to make gardening easier and fun!
I have been saving articles from magazines on gardening for years and now cut out some things from them and pasted them into this wonderful book on pages that apply for the subject discussed. Fun to add your own notes and tips and have a keepsake type of garden journal and notebook that will be used, written in and can be passed down to your kids later in life.
Worth every penny, thanks to the authors for taking the time to make this book, a lot of thought was put into it and I just love it! Also, have to add that it's great the authors geared the book towards organic type of gardening too.
For instance, in my area, Maryland, the 18th Week After Average Last Frost is listed as a Late Fall week, and one of the things it has me do is "Empty and Clean window boxes, patio boxes, and other containers." Well my 18th week would be August 20th! That's Mid to Late Summer here! I'd be pulling out productive plants from my containers if I did what they wanted!
However, the book seems great for earlier dates. I think what I'll have to do is adjust the later weekly chores according to my area's needs regardless of how long it actually is after my last average frost date. For instance, for the above 18th week chore, I may do that in Late September or October. Once I determine the correct date, I'll write THAT on the top of the "18th week" page.
I think my having to adjust some of the task dates is worth it however, because the info, tasks, discussions, and instructions really are excellent. I'm happy I got this book. Now if the authors could only figure out how to fix this problem it would be a masterpiece. Perhaps by somehow incorporating the readers Average FIRST frost date as well, to help determine later season tasks?
It is very well built, sturdy cover and binding, because it doubles as a notebook for recording things you will want to do differently next year based on whatever happened. To that end, I could say it could use some more pages for such info, and I would like to see some more info on some things, but those are minor points really.
Overall, a great book for someone with moderate to little experience with growing crops.