Garden Reading

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Gardening Book Acquisition
I've been working my way through the Joe Gardener podcast to amp up my understanding of organic gardening, tips & tricks. A large portion of the series is interviews with gardeners. AS I've found particular interviewees engaging, I've been picking up their books used, via Goodwill stores on eBay.

Here are the books I've consumed so far:

  1. Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich: YES. The basics: (1) Place brown paper down on your garden area to kill existing weeds/plants. (2) Pile a few inches of compost on top. (3) Set-up drip irrigation to only water the plants, not the weeds. (4) Plant right in the compost. (5) Mulch. I've been hearing all this advice in bits and pieces in other books and all over the podcast, but it's nice to see them and other tips all in one place. Hands down, this is the book I should've read before I started all this garden nonsense.
  2. The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour: The interview with Niki Jabbour was absolutely charming. She grows vegetables year round outside of Halifax, Canada and happens to be in the same zone as me in New England. The photographs in the book are so lovely, and the approaches for growing year round (all gathered in one spot!) are super key. When I plan to extend my growing season into winter, this is the book I want to reference.
  3. The Garden Primer by Barbara Damosch: This was the first book that arrived, and so, my first encounter with the encyclopedia-like approach of listing every common plant and how to plant/grow/care for them. The other books also have this, but none are nearly as complete (nor as long!) as The Garden Primer. There's black & white illustrations instead of catchy photos, but the level of detail is unbeatable. I also appreciated (from the podcast) the author advising against the details double-digging method from the book. No one does that anymore!
  4. Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier: What a lovely book! Three of the books in this list are from Storey publishing, and they just have the most lovely graphic design and photographs. As for the content of this book, tomatoes aren't going to go over well in my Zone 5, but from the interview with Craig LeHoullier (who became a tomato expert by breeding new kinds on his driveway) and other interviews, I became interested in the Sungold Cherry Tomato. And from Craig's interview, the purple Cherokee, too. He grows tomatoes in containers, which seems like it might let the warmer faster which might help extend my season. Possibly considering grow bags that help plants air prune so they don't get root bound like in plastic containers...
  5. Homegrown Honey Bees by Alethea Morrison: I found this book not through the Joe Gardener podcast but through the blog, Mistress Beek (an urban beekeeper in Chicago). Her review, "This is the book I wish existed when I started beekeeping in 2008. " sounded like a must-have from an expert. Like the other Storey Publishing books, this one is beautiful and also chock full of useful information as we prepare to possibly raise bees next year. It's sop good I purchased another used copy for a friend who just got their first hive.

Gardening Book Acquisition

I also acquired a third book by Marisa McClellan, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars to go with the other 2 I have by her, Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint. Most of the canning recipes I follow come from this author. They've been great for trying out a bunch of small batch recipes to figure out what I like. Next up, figuring out how to large batch things like peaches, cocktail cherries, and jams...
My Favorite Canning Books

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