Gardening when it counts?

While reading Steve Solomon's When It Counts gardening, I often felt that Winnie-the-Pooh must have done it. The amount of information contained in the book turned horticulture into a formal scientific process in which optimal results often seemed unattainable. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional energy-efficient gardening methods for producing food Popular methods of intensive vegetable gardening are largely inappropriate for the new circumstances we find ourselves in. Overcrowded raised beds require large amounts of water, fertility and organic matter, and require large amounts of time and human effort.

Before the 1970s, domestic food cultivation in North America used more land with less labor, with more space between plants, with less or no irrigation, and all with sharp hand tools. However, these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Steve Solomon is a well-known West Coast gardener and author of five previous books, including Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, which has appeared in five editions. A related problem that many backyard gardeners have with conservatory and wintering establishment is finding enough space for summer and winter crops.

Popular methods of intensive vegetable gardening are largely inappropriate for this new circumstance. Commercial seed germination and quality standards are covered and, for those who turn down garden center offers, how to start your own seed. Orchard lands can cut their food costs in half by using a cropping system that requires only an odd bucket of domestic wastewater, maybe two hundred dollars worth of hand tools. If I had to cultivate intensively in the garden, I would have to be very careful in my management to ensure that I continue to get healthy products.

The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while discrediting much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by conventional and organic farming movements. Oh, and I wanted to say that I wouldn't have any garden in my climate if I didn't water and the hoe isn't as bad as I thought. Despite the fact that the author of Gardening When it Counts, who is the founder of Territorial Seed Company, seems to have a chip on his shoulder and made numerous attempts to use reverse psychology to coerce his readers into implementing his methods, I somehow persevered in reading this book and, ultimately, I think my garden may end better because of it. This handy step-by-step guide and personalized web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the products they grow.

Designed for inexperienced readers and applicable to most areas of the English-speaking world, except the tropics and hot deserts, Gardening When It Counts is inspiring a growing number of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. First, you need to know why a raised bed gardener from the Maritime Northwest named SteveSolomon worried about his dependence on irrigation. It includes all the practical details needed to make, prepare and care for a garden, compost, choose varieties and seeds, and grow just about everything.

Phil Turner
Phil Turner

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