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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
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Top Customer Reviews
My average frost date is April 15. This book lists "Early fall" as 12-14 weeks after the average date of frost. That's in July. One of the hottest parts of my season. Huh? Fall doesn't even start until September. And this is where the book could be dangerous for beginners. It makes fertilizer recommendations based on dates that may be completely inappropriate for your area. If I had followed the instructions here, based on the weekly dates, I would have completely eradicated my harvest.
Clearly it needed to switch from "after frost" to "before frost" midway through the schedule.
The only saving grace is that the sections are marked as "early Summer" "mid Summer" etc, so you could use it as a loose schedule, but not a specific weekly schedule.
Maybe the book deserves slightly more than one star, because there is some good info, but I think any book that could totally destroy a new gardener's experience and lead them down the path of utter failure is undeserving of a high rating.
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?
I bought extras for my dad and friends.
That being said, I am concerned that this one-size-fits-all approach to a gardening schedule is ultimately going to disappoint some people. Looking at a few of the one-star reviews, I see that this is in fact the case. This book simply cannot be a viable companion for all gardeners from Phoenix to Fairbanks, which is the implication. There are just too many different climate variations in this country to be accounted for by such a book.
However, THAT being said, I am actually strongly considering purchasing the book (yes, I always use my local library to preview books before buying!). Seeing that the authors garden in an area of the country (western Mass.) that has a very similar frost-free date to my own, I feel like this will be a great resource for me to have. I would say that this is a five-star book for those with an average last frost date of roughly late April, and all others should proceed with caution!
Do you know anyone in the north who could use a very slightly used copy?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unbelievably useful reference. Lot's of customization options and the workbook aspect will be integral in planning my 2017 garden.Published 1 day ago by JC Brit
I bought this book 4 years ago and I love this book! It's been fabulous having somewhere to document through the season what happens week-to-week. Read morePublished 17 days ago by KarenBob
Not much I can say about this--my wife is the gardener in the family. But she says she loves it and, although she's an experienced vegetable (and flower) gardener, she says she's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jack Dharma
Really love this book. It has a what to do week by week section.Published 1 month ago by Danielle J Schertzing
Very helpful for an old master gardener who forgets a few things as she get older!Published 1 month ago by me
Absolutely waste of money!! There is nothing unique about this book's contents. Most of the information is available on web. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Manish Desai
Best gardening book ever!! You put your frost free date in, figure out dates for your exact area and go from there. It's awesome!! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gina
One of the best gardening books I own! It's an amazing asset to the serious gardener.Published 4 months ago by Chris Florence
This book gives a plan for what to do week by week based on your last frost date. It does not take into account your first frost date. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sarah S.