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White Trash Gardening Paperback – February, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Move over, Martha Stewart! Bubba's in the garden with the sweet potatoes and the tire beds. Rufus T. Firefly gives away all his family secrets in this humorous gardening guide. He tells you why old carpeting makes great mulch, how to fight the bugs with cigarette butts, and how to grow a pickle-in-a-bottle. There are some actual great gardening tips peeking out of the redneck humor. (For example, eggplants and peppers need sulfur to grow well, so stick half-a-dozen unburnt matches head-down in the soil next to your plants.) Save me some of them tractor-tire tomatoes, you hear?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Pub; First Edition edition (February 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878339078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878339075
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,059,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Half gardening how-to, half humor, "White Trash Gardening" is guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows along with lots of other plants. It's not for your great-Aunty Matilda, who gets the vapors when things get a little off color -- but everyone else, gardener or not, should love it. I first read the book about three years ago when I was working full time at a newspaper. It was so hilarious that I went around the newsroom quoting from its pages -- and had everyone cracking up. Benton is as funny as Dave Berry, only with a down-home Southern-fried sense of humor.And a green thumb. The book is actually supposed to be "written" by Benton's alter-ego, one "Rufus Thiabeaux Firefly," who is from Arkansas and supposedly a distant cousin of everyone in the state, including a certain president. Rufus, like his (in)famous kinsman occupying the White House, is not the sort Martha Stewart would like at her garden parties. To put it mildly. He's more like the American version of Hyacinth's brother-in-law Onslow in the PBS series "Keeping Up Appearances" -- as common as mud, in other words. Rufus tells you what kind of vines are good for covering up your rusty trailer, and which kind make good ground cover. Not wanting to spend lots of dough on his landscaping, he doesn't advocate grassy lawns. Ground cover, therefore, cuts out the mowing, watering and most work. For "high falutin' people," ivy makes a good ground cover; Firefly's own ground cover, however, is a '64 Chevy Impala on cinder blocks. You don't need a rototiller to prepare your garden. According to Rufus, just tell the neighborhood kids your garden plot is an Indian burial ground and they can have all the arrowheads they dig up.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I obtained "White Trash Gardening" as a giveaway many years ago and thought it was a joke book, similar to Jeff Foxworthy stuff that was popular at the time. I'm not into that, so, not realizing it as actually about real gardening methods, I just had it stowed away on a dusty bottom shelf pending some sort of regifting opportunity toward a Foxworthy fan. When, a few years later, I started veggie gardening, I came across it again, gave it a 2nd look, and realized it's actually a truly great gardening book. It offers tons of practical advice for "cheap and lazy" gardening - more seriously (and wisely) meaning: low cost investment and input in terms of both money and labor.

But, this thankfully doesn't mean slapping chemicals all over everything... I was so pleasantly surprised at how organic and natural the advice is... perhaps drawing from such folk wisdom and gardening practice handed down for generations predating the chemical revolution. I can't say it's 100% organic, but it's enough so that my permaculture-loving heart was thrilled to discover it, especially as a gardening newbie. The advice is simple (even while brilliant and effective), and highly accessible.

I don't know who Rufus T. Firefly really is, but I think he is a gardening guru, despite Foxworthy-style humor, which isn't usually to my taste. I like this book so much for its gardening wisdom that it doesn't really affect what I get out of it. I also understand he is or was from near where I now live on the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas, so I love that particular relevance for my growing zone. As the world heats up, many may appreciate advice from a gardener working with a drought/heat prone area.

Wish I could find the guy and keep picking his brain about down-to-earth gardening! :) So glad that Mike Benton did and then shared it with the rest of us. Highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book when it came out in 1996. As a collector of gardening books from Victorian Gardening and David Austin Roses to Wild Flower Identification, Organic Gardening and Permaculture, I assure you that these gardening tips are fabulous!
White Trash Gardening is in my Top 10 collection and is certainly no joke, although you're bound to be gifted with laughter time and time again...I absolutely love it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After finding the book in a library, I just had to buy a copy of my own. It has a lot of good tips for easy gardening. And it is a fun read too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this might be a fun purchase -- one to partner with a tongue-in-cheek book I purchased years ago, WHITE TRASH COOKING by Ernest Matthew Mickler, 1986 -- but it wasn't.... No comparison. This book is crude, and for the most part mean-spirited. Sorry I spent the money.
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