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Aug 16, 2010 06:20 PM

Your favorite vegetable gardening reference books

I am looking to purchase a few gardening books. My aunt and uncle are looking for one (I would like to find and gift) that is old school, traditional Italian vegetable gardening techniques/info.

I am also looking for one with "home", no chemical, remedies.

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  1. I was just reading a book by Barbara Peasant called "Starter Vegetable Gardens". Seems like a pretty good book, but really I'm too much of a noob to know if the book is any good.

    1. I like the books by husband-and-wife Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch:
      Hamilton Books usually has a couple of their books for $10 or so.
      I also have several of the ethnic vegetable gardening books from:

      1. One of my most favorite vegetable gardening books is "The Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond. Unfortunately, it's no longer in print, however you can most likely find copies on used book sites like Alibris, Amazon, etc. Old school "wide row" gardening & definitely worth a search.

        1. It's a little corny in places, but Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening" is a very simple, very productive way to garden. It's based on raised beds (no tilling!), and puts plants much closer together than traditional row gardening.

          This year was my first attempt at a full-on veggie garden since I was a kid...and it's been an overwhelming success. I'm planning my fall garden now, and can't wait for next spring to add another bed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunshine842

            We're big fans of Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardening" but not the updated edition. It's a little too precious and reads like Mel's shaking his moneymaker as do his subsequent books. If you can find a first print it's a keeper.

            Also second OCG's rec of Jeavons' book.

            In addition:
            Nancy Bubel's "Seed Starter's Handbook"
            Rodale's "Chemical Free Yard and Garden
            Michael Phillip's "The Apple Grower"
            Lee Reich's "Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden" and "The Pruning Handbook"
            Eliot Coleman's "Winter Harvest Handbook"

          2. This isn't a classic garden reference book, but it has me planning next year's seed order and rethinking how I do everything: "The Seasons on Henry's Farm." This is a spectacular book, everyone I've leant it to has bought her own copy. Highly, highly, highly recommended!