Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Reading in Anticipation of Spring Gardening

Is anyone else getting anxious for spring, to get outside and play in the dirt again?  Even though this seems to be the "winter that wasn't" for our area, I have reached the point where I am definitely ready to get out of the house.
Our yard is a disastrous sight!  Sticks and branches of all sizes are strewn everywhere, and leaves that the neighbors didn't clean up from their yards during the fall have come to settle in the edges of my flower beds and collect at the base of the garden fence.  There is driveway gravel tossed into the lawn from the little snow shoveling we have had to do.  The end of a small stack of firewood has tumbled down, probably from the raccoon that likes to climb the nearby pine tree.  Because of the strangely non-winter-like weather we have had, lots of weeds have already grown in the bare veggie gardens.

If you consider dealing with those sorts of things, then I suppose the coming of spring doesn't seem all that appealing does it?  But then of course there are the little snow drops up about 2 inches already, the first flowers in my yard to bring a glimpse of the joy and hope of spring.  And too, the greenhouse has weathered the season exceptionally well; with only minor attention to adjust the door slide and a few panel clips, it will be ready for seed starting trays--lots of them!   In addition to these, I have my bookshelf of winter reading to get me geared up for gardening.

There are so many places to turn for info these days, but I am "old school" enough that I like to have my resources in hands-on format.  Sure, I look up lots of things on the internet, I would be foolish not to take advantage of it, but like to have a books of my own. Books that I can skim, re-read, highlight, write side notes in, crease and wrinkle, and go back to time and again.

One book that I picked up a few years ago is The Vegetable Gardener's BIBLE, by Edward C Smith.
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
It includes so much practical information that can be adapted to any home garden, and includes a plant directory (index of vegetables and herbs) with individual plant needs, crop rotation considerations, choosing the best site, sowing and growing, harvesting and storage of every kind of food plant we would ever want to grow in our back yard.  This is one of the books as I described before--highlighted, page corners folded over, and referred to often!

Next you see the cover for a book we bought last year. I have read bits and pieces of it so far, and have found it very interesting and well written.  As you can tell by the few and far between posts this winter, I have yet to become the Four-Season Harvest-er. The author Eliot Coleman, gives lots of helpful information about extending your home gardening season by the use of cold frames, greenhouses, row covers, varieties of crops and other things that I aspire to do one day...and reviewing the book while wrapped in a blanket on a cold day now is a sure way to start to get that "gardeny" feeling.

Gardening Magic
Strange facts, odd solutions and tips for using household products in the garden can all be found in Joey Green's Gardening Magic.  Things like poison ivy remedies, "recipes" to deter various pests, coffee and tea fertilizers, and easy hand cleaners can be really useful, even if I can't see myself taking some of his other suggestions such as using mouthwash to clean pruning tools or the legs cut off of a pair of pantyhose stuffed with rags tied around my knees for kneeling pads. (That one is kinda different?!?!)  If for no other reason, this book was a fun gift from my hubby because it makes an interesting "coffee table" book or conversation starter!

(Note:As of the time of this post, all of the books pictured can be found at Clicking on the link below each book's picture will direct you there!)

Do any of you have favorite resources for your gardening information? I would love to hear from you and check out your book suggestions too!


  1. You really should write your own book..

  2. not that it matters, much. but you don't need to double spacebar after sentences now.. lol Sorry I just noticed.

  3. it would be an E-book. and yes, that could come down the road furthur. also you could make those books up there Amazon Affiliate links just in case we want to buy them by clicking on the picture, taking us to amazon to see the price. :)

  4. You know I was going to make them link to Amazon, but then I didn't know if I should...I guess I should have. Also, the double spacebar after sentences a hard habit to break. That is how I was taught in keyboarding... then they had to go and change the rules? ugh!