Completely revised from cover to cover, this is the 35th anniversary release of Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, the bible to organic vegetable gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Now in its seventh edition, the book has been thoroughly updated and includes a new formula for complete organic fertilizer and how to tweak it for a variety of different soil conditions, how-to sections for herbs and ornamental plants, new organization for better usability, updated sources for appropriate seed suppliers, and information about natural pest controls.
- This was not my first time reading a book by Steve Solomon, I have tried quite a few of things that he recommends over the years in my vegetable garden. The best part of this book is the new COF ( complete organic fertilizer) recipe. I had good success with the past recipe in the last edition but this was a way better year for me with the new version! My cucumber plants and zucchini all have done better than ever now that I found out they needed zinc. That is just one example of the improvements I have experienced from my first year of trying to better improve the balance of minerals in my garden. The soil in my newer garden plot barely grew decent weeds when I started growing in it.
I know some people don’t really enjoy his writing style but I do, growing up I never got to enjoy having a grandpa around to learn from. His style is what I imagine could have been if I had ever had a garden savvy grandpa, a little rambling but very useful advice.
Gardening is not all roses, there are bugs, cold wet sunless seasons, and demineralized soil to deal with. The PNW has a unique set of these. Solomon has the experience and understanding necessary to address these issues plus a clear and to the point writing style that is a joy to read.
- One of the best gardening books I’ve read. Good solid advice that focuses on the practical. Borne of experience and backed with science. No cult-like dogma or preaching here, just good adult advice for successful gardening in our unique climate zone. The information on dry gardening alone was worth several multiples of the purchase price.
All that while being an entertaining and easy read.
I’ve used Solomon’s methods for several decades and the closer I stick to his suggestions the closer I come to having a world class garden. I had to buy the new edition of “Growing Vegetables..” because, once again, I’d given away my dog-eared copy to a new gardener!
I just moved to the Oregon Coast Range and need some local advice for the garden. This book has it in spades. Very specific instructions and information, and like any old-timer, the author has plenty of strong opinions and personal anectodes on every subject from the “proper” tools, to seed suppliers. I’m excited to put much of this into practice, and as they say, the proof will be in the pudding. I’ll update the review next fall.
I take my 95 year old client to Good Samaritan for physical therapy and we often walk around in their beautiful vegetable garden admiring everything. I finally asked the gardener how he grew such lovely produce and he recommended this book. I can’t wait for all this snow to go away so I can create this garden for myself!
- I have checked out many Howard Garrett books from the library and had to buy several for myself and for gifts. The photos are beautiful, and he tells you what he thinks of the different species. Howard Garrett writes great books for people wanting to establish beautiful landscapes and gardens. He explains why healthy, organic soil with native plants and bugs works really well if it is done right.
My only complaint with most of his books is that he lists the specimens in alphabetical order. That is what indexes are for. If he would group them with similar specimens, then between the photos and his descriptions, the books would be great for identifying species I find on my property. As it is, I have to get a separate field guide to tell me the names to look up in his books; but, I am willing to do that.
Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening covers much more than just vegetables. It also includes fruits, nuts, and herbs; with lists of recommended varieties for different regions. And it includes preparing the soil, planting dates, troubleshooting, and recipes for homemade pesticides.
If you’re an organic gardener in Austin/Central Texas, this is an incredible asset. So helpful. Though I don’t really agree with the catch-all use of his “garrett juice” mix. It’s good for some things, but I would recommend against using it on aphids and other pests, as he suggests. Vinegar is used as a natural weed killer, I wouldn’t recommend applying a spray containing vinegar on your garden plants.
My husband and I own 14 acres in Central Texas and hope to be living there in early 2014. While he is familiar with farming here in California, he wanted information on gardening in the more humid weather of Texas. He really enjoyed reading this book, and plans in using it as a reference in the future. His only concern was that the book made organic farming seem like a tough thing to pull off. But he thinks that he can apply the information to our small homestead when the time comes.
This book has been really helpful as it details a multitude of crops indicating both botanical and common names, when to plant, sun or shade, uses, common pests and how to handle them organically. The book includes soil ammendments including what not to use. It helps you identify what is wrong with your crop and what to do about it. My garden has been far more successful using this information.