Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Lunch and my new gardening book
These days at lunchtime, I have a new occupation. It is the only time I have to read my new gardening book, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, by Edward C. Smith. While I munch my salad greens (my normal lunch menu) I read about gardening tools, fertilizer, garden plants and pests.
The reason I bought this book is because this book is specifically about organic gardening. You don't always find one like this. I didn't order the book last year because in Smith's bio I read that his garden was located in the northeast and my garden is in the southeast. We do have some different problems. He is fighting cold weather while I am dreading the hot weather. This book does take that into account. He recommends plants for our different growing regions, which I really appreciate.
He also is making me feel better about one of the biggest problems for organic gardening, what to use for fertilizer. This year, following his recommendations, I have decided to start with adding plenty of manure and then adding other recommended fertilizer for the individual plant. I know I will make sure my tomatoes have plenty of phosphorus and he does give some suggestions there. Last year my tomatoes were better, because my fertilizer was more balanced, but the year before we used way too much nitrogen and had nice plants but a low yield. This year, I hope to have an even higher yield.
I guess my only frustration is in the garden pest area. I keep reading (here and other places) that if the plants are healthy, the bugs won't be as bad, but so far, I don't see that. I have seen some really healthy looking plants devastated by bugs. He does recommend row covers and gives some recommendations for companion planting. I do plan to take some of his recommendations about this but I know it will be us vs. the bugs. I need all the help there I can get because last year, the bugs had more than their fair share of wins, in my opinion.
I think this book is worth it and has some helpful suggestions. It is going to take a few more lunch sessions before I am finished with the book, but so far, I like this book.