Vegetable Gardening – Two Books Reviewed

Today I review two vegetable gardening books, either of which you might like. I delayed writing about these until now – now that it is finally below triple digits – and time to plant the winter vegetable garden here in the Southwest.  More about how to do that in my post Vegetables for Fall.

Container Vegetable Gardening (Fox Chapel Publishing)

It says on the back cover “No Garden? No Problem!” I’ll add – “True that!”

This very helpful book from Liz Dobbs and Anne Halpin will help you create a vegetable garden when you don’t have 1) a spot in your yard to grow a dedicated vegetable garden 2) the inclination to have a large, care-needy vegetable garden, or 3) a jackhammer to break through the caliche so you can create a vegetable garden.  Note – title is an Amazon link and if you buy the book I get a few pennies.

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Spouse loves radish and I grow some every year in containers on the patio. Photo courtesy of All American Selections (1936 winner).
Crops in Pots

I have long been an advocate of growing vegetables in containers with perfect potting soil, and these ladies agree with me. Recently I wrote about growing greens in containers on the patio (on SWGardening – here). These authors take container gardening several steps further! They offer us great ideas like handsome hanging baskets, or containers of enchanting edible flowers. I like the creativity of the “Fire Pit” garden, which is not in a fire pit but fills the container with fiery colors! Bright orange or yellow peppers planted in the center and surrounded by orange or red edible flowers.

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Flame red edible flowers – nasturtium! Photo courtesy of All America Selections – 2019 winner.
Five Stars  

I adore the fact that this book offers directions tell you when to plant by temperature NOT month or season! Yippee. This makes the book useful in the the Land of El Sol. At $19.99 it will not break the bank either.

Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening (Cool Springs Press)

Offering rare varieties, unusual options and plant lore, this lovely looking book by Matt Mattus is a hardcover, and that makes it different from most of the vegetable books on my shelf. The photographs help make the book pop and the lists of varieties can be helpful to the gardener in a temperate climate.  Note – title is an Amazon link and if you buy the book I get a few pennies.

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Kinja has mastered the art of taking a nap. I’m the one working on vegetable gardening.
Four Stars

I appreciate the use of scientific names for the plants, thus I was able to know that that the spinach Matt discussed was European spinach. I do wish he would have mentioned the 10 other genus and species grown as spinach. Down check because the directions focus on planting by season – NOT useful in our area. At $30.00 it might not be something you want, but it might make someone Back East a truly pleasing Holiday Gift.

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Great photos make this almost a coffee table book.

Banner photo:  Patio Pride Pea inter planted with the edible flower Dianthus or Sweet William.  Photo courtesy of All-America Selections (2017 winner).  More about AAS here.

Soule-Jacqueline-writerIf you live in Southeastern Arizona, please come to one of my free lectures that I mention on my Facebook page. After each event I will be signing copies of my books, including Southwest Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, written for Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico (Cool Springs Press). This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there I will get a few pennies.

© Article copyright Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. You can use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit, plus you must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.

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