Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook

Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook
By Ron Kujawski and Jennifer Kujawski
(Storey Publishing, 2010)

T hrow some seeds into a pot or garden plot, water regularly and harvest…. the vegetable garden of many an urban gardener’s dreams. And in general, you will get something. But with a bit of careful planning and well-timed interventions along the way, you can reap so much more. This is where the “Week-by Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook” by By Ron Kujawski and Jennifer Kujawski (Storey Publishing, 2010) comes in. Full of illustrated instructions and loaded with tips, it tells the busy gardener when to do which tasks and which things to look out for as it follow the growing season. As the authors note, many people do not know that the growing season is actually determined by average low temperatures, so they organized the book around the average date of the last frost (which is listed as April 7 for Boston). The timeline printed at the beginning of each short chapter is an excellent visual reminder of how much more time your plants still have.
The book also offers lots of guidance for keeping plants healthy and productive. Who knew, for example, that spreading herbs such as thyme or oregano should be divided every two years? Other chapters discuss pests and pest control, with a strong emphasis on manual and natural methods. Each chapter closes with a checklist of jobs and areas that need attention. Finally, preprinted pages encourage the gardener to keep a diary for future invaluable reference.
In short, detailed instructions, clear and informative illustrations, and lots of background information alongside space to record your own observations make the Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook a unique and indispensable manual for your garden. If plants could, this is the book they would recommend!