Grow Your Own Vegetables by Carol Klein is a good and comprehensive vegetable gardening book. How good is it? I've been carrying it around with me all winter, reading passages while riding the CTA, that I forgot to write about it.
I received a few vegetables gardening books to review this year and I think Grow Your Own Vegetables is probably the thickest of them all at 218 pages. As I've come to expect with vegetable gardening books published this year; the first 1/3 of the book is filled with easy to understand information. You're guided through understanding the space you want to garden in, building a garden, dealing with problems like pests and diseases and planning what to grow.
The rest of the book deals with growing 40 different crops in your garden. Your Garlic, leeks, onions and shallots. The cabbage family, beans and peas, root and stem vegetables, your greens and heat-loving vegetables and more.
Pages on individual vegetables detail where you can grow them, sowing and planting, info on when to harvest along with cooking and storing tips and how to deal with potential pests. There are also selected varieties highlighted. For example, if you have a great experience growing kale this year and you decide you want to expand on your success next year-- you're given four varieties and their attributes to try next time. Possibly my favorite part of the book is pictured to the left. At the top of each page there's a picture of the seeds for that particular vegetable. Why is this important? If you didn't start the vegetable plants from seed but want to save seeds from your crop, how do you identify the seeds? Simple. You turn to that particular vegetable and look at the picture. The seed saver in my really appreciates the picture because new vegetable gardeners will be able to identify and save their own seed too. I'm impressed by the little touches in vegetable gardening books like this that demystify gardening.
If you're looking to grow some of your own vegetables I highly recommend Grow Your Own Vegetables. It retails for $19.99 and is distributed in the US and Canada by Octopus Books USA.
Chicagoans who want to grow their own vegetables but didn't start plants early from seed check out the last vegetable and plant sale of spring 2010 at the Garfield Park Conservatory on May 29, 2010. It isn't too late to start a vegetable garden. Other vegetable gardening books I like are; Grow Great Grub, Grow Your Own Drugs and Grow Your Own Eat Your Own.