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Gardening Books

I’ve read a lot while planning my garden. Online articles, forums, magazines and of course as many books as I could find.  So this week I thought I’d share some of my favorite books in case you want to start your own garden project with a book.

  • The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan.  This book is not the most useful right now.  I’m not out to start my own homestead.  I only have 1/2 an acre and I won’t be raising any livestock.  But it was a lot of fun to read, and dream.  Since I do hope that one day I’ll have a larger place where I can raise some animals with my garden.  And an orchard.  I’d really really LOVE to have an orchard.  This book focuses on how to grow/raise enough to feed a family on a small piece of land.  Technically they claim I could do it all on what I have here.  But my land is rather steeply sloped which makes gardening hard, I won’t cut down all the trees I  have now to plant fruit bearing ones and the county wont let me raise livestock.  So…. It’s a bit unrealistic, but I like the idea of making everything I needed on 1/2 an acre next to my house on my 10 acre property.  Someday.
  • What’s Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? by David Deardorff & Kathryn Wadsworth.  I have a feeling that this book is going to be used a lot this summer.  It is a list of all the different problems you might notice on your veggies (along with photos) and then it tells you what disease or pest it is and how to get rid of it.  I am pretty sure I will be out in my garden with the book all the time in summer wondering if I have Cutworms, Alternaria blight or Powdery mildew after my Zucchini.  If you have a vegetable garden and need some help identifying pests I’d strongly suggest this book.
  • The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler.  This book is in the picture because I just finished reading it and it was with the others.  Not the most useful book.  I think maybe if you were a beginner living in a California suburb it might be for you.  I love the idea of incorporating edible plants in your landscape.  However It is hard to do that in a climate where most food producing plants are annuals.  There also isn’t any info on how to landscape a front yard that is a steep slope with a ditch at the bottom.  If only I lived in Cali and could fill my front yard with citrus trees.
  • The Year Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour.  This book probably taught me the most.  For example I never realized that vegetables need a certain amount of sunlight to grow.  I always assumed that it was largely based on temperature.  But apparently they also need about 10 hours (or more) of daylight.  So a lot of the vegetables that are harvested in winter grow in the fall, they just don’t die when it frosts and therefore can be picked later in the year.  I’m not describing this process as well as she does, so if you want to try growing plants year round, or if you live in the north where you need a few extra months to really get veggies to grow you should check this book out.  She lives up in Maine so she obviously knows quite a bit about growing in the cold.  I can’t wait to try some of the things I read in this book and get veggies earlier (and later) than everyone else in my area.

I found these books all over, I think one came from my local nursery, one from Lowes, one from Tractor Supply Store and one from Amazon.  I included the links to Amazon above in case you want to check them out.  If you have any favorite gardening books I’d love to hear about them!

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