The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions

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Product Description

Wouldn't it be lovely to have a patch of corn, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and beans just steps from your kitchen door? Would you like to learn how to control your zucchini plant? Ed Smith, an experienced vegetable gardener from Vermont, has put together this amazingly comprehensive and commonsensical manual, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Basically, Ed and his family have been growing a wide variety of vegetables for years and he's figured out what works. This book, filled with step-by-step info and color photos, breaks it all down for you.

Ed's system is based on W-O-R-D: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. With deep, raised beds, vegetable roots have more room to grow and expand. In traditional narrow-row beds, over half the soil is compacted into walkways while a garden with wide, deep, raised beds, plants get to use most of the soil. In Ed's plan, growing space gets about three-quarters of the garden plot and only about a quarter is used for the walkway. Ed teaches you how to create raised beds both in a larger garden or in separate planked beds. One of the most important--and most often overlooked--aspects of successful vegetable gardening is crop rotation. Leaving a crop in the same place for years can deplete nutrients in that area and makes the crop more likely to be attacked by insects. Rotate at least every two years and your vegetables will be healthier and bug-free. There's also a good section on insect and blight control.

Before choosing what to grow, go through the last third of the book, where Ed takes a look at the individual growing, harvesting, and best varieties of a large number of both common and more exotic vegetables and herbs. Whether you are a putterer or a serious gardener, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is an excellent resource to have handy. --Dana Van Nest

Discover the last W.O.R.D. in vegetable gardening with Ed Smith's amazing gardening system. By integrating four principles -- Wide beds, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep beds -- Smith reinvents vegetable gardening, making it possible for everyone to have the best, most successful garden ever. By following this complete system you cultivate deep, powerful soil that nourishes plants and discourages pests and disease. The result is fewer weeds, healthier plants, and lots of great-tasting vegetables. Plus, you'll enjoy gardening as you never have before. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible -- the last W.O.R.D. in vegetable gardening.

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent
    This book is very helpful for the amateur gardener and even has tips for different problems with your plants....more info
  • Organic Vegetable Book
    Delivered on time and condition was as description stated. Great information and reference guide!...more info
  • best gardening book EVER
    I have been a gardener for a number of years and there are so many things in this book that have been useful to me. This spring, i have referred back to this book every step of the way. It's mid-May now and so far my garden has flourished like never before, all thanks to my new bible. ...more info
  • excellant starter
    This book is excellant for a beginner gardner and could benifit old timers as well. It is REALLY written in a professional manner - no having to flip back and forth to get at the information. ALL the information pertaining to a subject is presented on the page you are looking at, with only a couple exceptions going over to the next page. Really well thought out. The explainations of the pictures and diagrams are on the same page, the editor did a great job....more info
  • Great Guide To Gardening
    Great guide with ideas that are counter to what we have done for decades, and probably done wrong. To rototill or not rototill??? This guide actually says it might not be a good idea and actually be damaging the eco-health of your garden. Find out why in this book.

    Doc ...more info
  • Thorough gardening overview
    Comprehensive and easy to read, the Vegetable Gardener's Bible is a good overview of basic gardening techniques. I particularly enjoy the chart on companion planting, the US planting zone index , the diagrams of garden plans, the information on how to sharpen garden tools, the root cellar section and the growing tips for individual vegetables, such as how to force artichokes to produce buds in the first year. This is not a glossy, coffee table gardening book with gorgeous photography, but a practical overview packed full of information. I often go to the library for gardening books, but this is one I will buy as it makes a fine reference volume. ...more info
  • Vegetables Gardener's Bible
    Outstanding book. Well detailled, good tips and techniques for amateur gardeners. Covers small size crops. Terrific book....more info
  • For the serious gardener
    This is a well written and well organized book. The writing style makes it easy to read and engaging. The author's perspective is from the point of view of a northern Vermont gardener, but most lessons will apply to most gardeners.

    Ed's methods require a lot of hard work, he's a proponent of deep tilling, so if you're looking for some easy gardening tips, this might not work for you. But if you want to create a large, productive garden bed, Ed's methods are a good place to start.

    What might be interesting to the more widely read gardeners is the contrast to some of the most recent research. Ed proposed to continue tilling the soil, but some research is calling deep tilling into question. Regardless, this book is filled with many good ideas and would be a worthwhile addition to your gardening library....more info
  • Excellent reference guide!
    This book is excellent! I found it at the bookstore while browsing for some travelling material. Needless to say, from the minute I arrived at the airport and began reading, I could hardly contain myself. Instead of going to Florida (I'm from Wisconsin) I wanted to turn the plane around and prepare my vegetable beds for winter.

    I've been gardening for several years, and have had good success. I've entered many of my vegetables in the County Fair over the last 7 years and have always walked away with at least 2 blue ribbons. I've had some great harvests over the years and canned many quarts of salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. My point is that even those that have some experience, and have been successful in the past, can definately benefit from this book.

    The book is taking my gardening to the next level. Most people begin gardening like I did, till the soil and stick the plants in. You purchase seeds from Kmart or Gurnsey and hope for the best. About 1 1/2 yrs ago, we moved to the country and have been trying to become somewhat self-sufficient. I have the land to garden and I needed to know more than most of the generic flower/vege gardening books give.

    The book offers excellent reference on the most popular types of vegetables from starting the seeds to harvesting. It leaves nothing to the imagination. There's several pages dedicated strickly to tomatoes, the varieties and how to grow them. My favorite part of the vegetable rference is that Mr. Smith offers his favorite most productive varieties of each vegetables with pros/cons of each. The information is very well organized and easy to quickly find once your on the the vegetable of your choice.

    The book is quite detailed concerning row covers, seed starting, composting, green manures and caring for your beds. It really takes you from the casual gardener to the serious vegetable gardener. Theres a real difference between the gardener that plants 5 tomatoe plants and the gardener that plants 40 plants. The more you grow, the more you really need to know, not only for good crops, but to save yourself precious time and money, as even starting seeds can be expensive by the time you buy the seeds, soil and containers to grow them in. The idea of raised beds, with or without support boards, and permenant walkways is great. Who wants to spend all Spring tilling up your path from last year or weeding in the walkways? It's a little more work "now" but I can see it will be much LESS work in the future. And when you have a large garden like I do, with at least 4 hours of weeding, etc. per week, every little bit helps.

    I bought this book looking for ways to make my time in the garden better spent, learn more about the varieties of vegetables, which varieties to try, composting, seeding starting in detail, and of course my curiosity for raised beds - this book answered all my questions.

    Buy this book, you will not be disappointed!!!

    ...more info
  • excellent
    this book will be especially useful for the beginner. i've gardened for a long time, but rarely taken advice. but after reading this one, i will. ...more info
  • The Vegetable Gardeners Bible
    Excellent! We have several gardening books and this is the best one so far!...more info
  • Best Garden Book Ever
    This is a very knowledgeable book. Having gardened for many years, I learned a lot from this book. So much that I even bought one for my neighbor and he loves it too....more info
  • A lot of info in one book
    I will begin my first garden next spring and I wanted to know everything right away. I'm thrilled with this book because it includes sections on soil, companion planting, garden design and more. Very good for me since it's the only gardening book I own....more info
  • must-have gardening book
    This is a must-have book if you garden; it is easy to find information, very well organized, and the explanations and directions are clear. The second half of the book has detailed information on most vegetables including what plants are best to plant before and next to this plant as well as common problems, depth of soil etc ... This book is wonderful because it is helpful if you already have a garden or if you are starting a new one. I appreciate that he talks about beneficial insects and organic gardening techniques. I would recommend this book to everyone.
    Other great books to use with this book:
    Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)Crocketts Victory Garden...more info
  • The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
    Excellent book - I checked it out at a local bookstore so I knew it was what I wanted. Next year will be our first year with a garden so we're excited to read this book over the winter to prepare. GREAT book for new gardeners....more info
  • MUST HAVE gardners reference
    Excellent book to read through and then keep as reference.
    There are MANY nice color pictures (especially at the end there is a vegetable reference guide for planting/care/info).
    This book gives you step-by-step instructions to designing and cultivating a high-yield WORD garden.
    If you are clueless about gardening, get this book.
    If you think you know everything, then get this book (even if you have memorized the companion planting reference matrix).
    From small planter box gardens to acre sized garden plots..
    If you want to learn how to grow vegetables, then this is the book!...more info
  • Just Plain Wow!
    Hoping to make the most of my new garden, I picked up this book and hoped some of the techniques would work. WOW doesn't even begin to describe how great this was. The techniques outlined in this book will take a relatively small garden and produce veggies like you've never imagined! I can hardly wait for next year when I'll have more time to build beds and plant even more! I really believe it'll be possible to feed my family with just the vegetables we can grow ourselves.

    If you wnat to get the most out of your garden space, you need this book!...more info
  • I feel like an expert gardener!
    I LOVE this book! It's enjoyable to read and incredibly useful. A great book to begin reading before you plant because it gives you guidance on laying out your garden.

    The only people I think it wouldn't be helpful for are those who live in apartments and are container gardening. They should read You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening instead, another awesome book!

    If you want to have a hugely successful vegetable garden using organic methods, this book is for you!...more info
  • Great book, but I hope to see corrections and clarifications in a future edition!
    Highly useful book, and a future edition that contained a few corrections and clarifications would be just about perfect.

    The author mentions companion planting without discussing mechanisms, which makes typos hard to decipher. The "Artichoke" page states that tarragon is a good companion to artichokes, but the "Tarragon" page states that artichokes are a BAD companion to tarragon. Which is it?

    The author also instructs novice tomato growers to remove all "nonflowering stems that grow between the main stem and the leaf crotches." What does this mean?! All stems will flower eventually...
    (Of course pruning is controversial anyway... some gardeners claim that the complexity of tomato flavor depends upon lush foliage.)

    The "Parsnip" section also has some vague instructions in the opening paragraph: "I deposit some seeds and labor in the warm months, and my investment matures the following spring." Does that mean that parsnips should be planted late summer/ early fall? What exactly is done in the warm months? The rest of the text does not explain this....more info
  • I had to buy two of these
    My nephew was starting a garden like me I gave him my copy and got a new one. This is a great book and it has helped me to be a gardner....more info
  • Vegetable Gardener...
    I wish I would had bought this book long time ago. So much it is written out there but this book gives you a clear explanation and it is so well written....more info
  • Awesome...
    I'm a city girl with no gardening experience whatsoever-- this book was a good guide and now my family is enjoying the fresh veggies I planted just months ago. I think this is an amazing tool for the beginning gardener....more info
    Mr. Smith has produced an invaluable resource that will become a standard---I've had this book for a couple of years, but this year was the first I've had opportunity to put his words to practice. He's dead-on in his excellent advise, so this year's modest garden will definitely grow next year. I'm wearing out my copy from use---a book well-loved indeed! If your planning a vegetable garden and need help---look no further. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!...more info
  • Great book for beginners & those who want to improve/expand their gardens
    This book was listed by someone who began a hobby farm as the best book she bought on the garden in general and for self sustaining I took a risk and I found it to be great! I live in an area with a short growing season (Pacific NW) and found many great ideas that are very applicable to me. This guy makes a lot of sense and makes it very easy, in fact you can decide how "deep" you want to take his ideas. So if you want to employ some of his methods, you can do that with ease, or if you want to go all out, and have a huge garden like he does. Anyway, I thought this was great for me, a beginner home gardener. This book got me very excited about a whole bunch of new things I never thought about, including things you do in the fall/winter & early spring that contribute to the health of your garden. Anyway, I highly recommend this book and thought it was worth it for sure....more info
  • Will Never Become Dogeared
    The content of this well written book has been covered in other reviews and I agree it is a solid, introductory text at a decent price. However, I find it a little too "coffee table" for my tastes with big type and lots of pretty photos, rather than a lot of breath or depth. If you haven't been introduced to bed gardening and creating a "living" fertile soil, it would be a nice intro, but easy to outgrow (no pun intended).

    Notably lacking is content on more than a couple herbs, most salad and Asian greens, as well as some of the less common crops and pest/disease situations that you might encounter. Also, while a prescriptive "how-to" guide, it doesn't educate as to the "why" of things as well as other texts I have read, which let you transfer the techniques to your own specific situations.

    I'd recommend picking up a good seed catalog that is at least partially aimed at commercial growers (e.g. Territorial and/or Johnny's) both for cultural and growing suggestions, as well as knowing what cultivars are available (since most of the books are 10-20 years out of date on that), and considering instead:

    Golden Gate Gardening: Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California -- Although written for one geography, both the general information on gardening, as well as the extensive sections on vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers make it a "go to" for me.

    Grow Your Own Vegetables -- Great general information on gardening as well as tons of specific information on a very wide range of vegetables. A well-respected British author, so you have to get used to some difference in language, like "marrow" and "beetroot". Also be aware that "organic" is different in the UK, so some US practices, like insecticidal soaps, aren't covered.

    Oriental Vegetables: The Complete Guide for the Gardening Cook -- If you are interested in "salad greens" or "baby greens" then this covers well a lot of the "fancy" leaves you'll find in mixes or at the market. (I don't recommend Larkcom's "Organic Salad Garden" as it is not much more than an extract from "Grow Your Own Vegetables" on high-end paper with lots of glossy pictures.)

    How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits: (And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) (How to Grow More Vegetables: (And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains,) -- Covers "intensive" bed gardening and has a lot of good reference information on crop timing and yields. Sometimes a little "earthy" or "preachy" in style and content, and perhaps not as well researched and supported as the above (or The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener (A Gardener's Supply Book), for another "second" book) but worth adding to a collection (as I prefer the previous as broader, more balanced texts). Revised and reprinted regularly, so make sure this links to the most recent.

    ...more info
  • Novice Gardener's review
    I've just retired from Corporate America and decided to take up gardening. This book has been the best purchase I've made in years. It's well organized, easy to find and follow the instructions. As a novice gardener, I've appreciated the thorough coverage of all topics. I know I will have and use this book for many years. Thank you for a wonderful gardening tool. VTD...more info
  • Practical and helpful
    I borrowed this book from our library a couple times this winter as I was making plans for this summer's garden. Then Spring hit and I needed it again, so I purchased it as I know it is a book that I will refer to again and again. And I have used it extensively already. It lays out all you need to know to garden using raised beds including bed preparation, soil amending, composting, watering, using trellis to have things grow up. The last part of the book gives specific information for individual vegetables and herbs, including when and how to plant, care for and harvest. It has been an invaluable resource and my garden is coming along nicely already....more info
  • Easy to understand
    I live in the northeast, so I was looking for something for my area. Excellent book. Down to earth, easy, good ideas for the average gardener. We moved our garden and I am going to try his ways. I always had a garden, but did the "old" single row ways. He shares lots of little hints that will help anyone. Good pictures. Not bogged down with extreme details. Highly recommend the book. It was just what I was looking for. I based my decision on the reviews this book got, and they are right....more info
  • Great Resource Book
    I added this book to my resource library and glad I did. Lots of useful information presented in a clear and concise manner. The pictures are clear and presented in a manner that allows you to understand....more info
  • Thorough, informative book!!! Easy read!
    I grew up on a farm with my mother having a vegetable garden, so growing plants is not a totally foriegn concept to me, but non-the-less, it's been a while since I've "hoed a row." I read the reviews of several books, including this one, and felt confident I was getting a good "go to" book with most everything I would need to start my garden - I was so pleased to be right! I live in the MN, Zone 4, which happens to be the same Zone the author lives in. So though the specific exampels I can apply to my garden, the information is so thorough and sound, I believe the principles can be applied to any Zone! The non-traditional ideas he presents in the book make so much sense! If you want the traditional straight skinny rows your grandmother or neighbor has, this book is not for you, but if you are interested in producing more with less space this book is a must have. I am a good third into it, and I felt every page so far has plenty of good advice without being too wordy, or technical. A very easy read, I can't wait to finish it and start planning my garden!! A thanks to the author for putting his knowledge and love of gardening on paper!...more info
  • lots of information and I'm looking forward to "digging" into the book
    I am a beginner/novice/newbie to the growing food world so I want to get myself empowered with as much info as possible.

    So this is just one of an arsenal of info I'm getting.

    But the book is well written, came in good condition and was very prompt on delivery...more info
  • Absolutely incredible information!
    What an incredible person. Ed wrote an invaluable book. There is so much information and it is so detailed. He makes gardening easy. Read this book and it leaves the guess work out of managing your garden!...more info
  • The ultimate reference guide
    Among a whole bookshelf of gardening books, this one is by far the best reference for vegetable gardening that I have found. Some of the examples and procedures are a little more in depth than I care to go myself, but the amount of information and details are amazing. He really knows his stuff. I keep going back to it over and over and over as a guide. I originally found this book in my local library branch and now I love having my own copy....more info
  • All in one reference
    This was a Christmas present and I spent most of the next few days reading and daydreaming. Now that Spring is around the corner, I'm planning and getting ready to plant.
    This book has everything!
    Now I understand why things didn't work previously - I hadn't used the right fertilizer, planted in the right sun/shade mix, or, most often, I'd planted veggies that didn't get along well right next to each other. But I approach this growing season with more optimism because this book has given me the knowledge I didn't have before. ...more info
  • Very informative!
    Awesome book in a well written style! Lots of great information on starting, composting, what plants are benificial to others, what bugs/disease to watch for... Wonderful for a beginner but probably informative for a pro too....more info