Monday, February 15, 2010

Some Helpful Gardening and Do-It-Yourself Books

Spring is just around the corner and I recently ordered seeds for this year’s garden. When I started growing vegetables in 2004, I had never planted a seed before. I learned through trial and error, plus I received a lot of advice (some useful, some not) from fellow gardeners.

Now, as more people discover the merits of backyard gardens, more books are appearing to help us successfully grow our tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces and string beans. Eliminating the guesswork can prevent a lot of frustration and help produce an abundance of food.

A publishing company that specializes in all things do-it-yourself, including gardening, is Storey Publishing. Storey has been in business since 1983 and titles range from “The Dog Behavior Answer Book” to “The Organic Lawn Care Manual.”

Since I have neither a dog nor a lawn, I stick to “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” and “The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food,” both of which provide essential information for home gardeners. If you are planting a garden for the first time this year (start small!), either book will serve you well.

I just encountered another Storey title—“The Backyard Homestead”—and I was completely mesmerized by what one can produce on a quarter of an acre. Granted, I may not keep honey bees or grow nuts anytime soon, but it’s a pretty cool read if you are interested in limited self-sufficiency or thinking of completely going off the grid.

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