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The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

4.2 5
by Barbara Pleasant, Deborah L. Martin

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Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin turn the compost bin upside down with their liberating system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and the plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment. The authors' bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging,


Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin turn the compost bin upside down with their liberating system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and the plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment. The authors' bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging, weeding, mulching, and even less planting. And here's one of the best parts — no more backbreaking slogs from compost bin to garden. The authors even identify the plants that benefit most from compost and how the elements of a composted garden work together.

A natural Six-Way Compost Gardening System provides the ruling principles for successfully improving every garden with healthy compost. Readers will learn how to:

1. Choose labor-saving sites that keep gardens and compost piles as close to one another as possible.

2. Work with the compostable riches produced at home. Every yard and kitchen produces plenty of material — easily identified with at-a-glance charts — for a great start.

3. Help composting critters do their work by balancing ingredients, adding high-nitrogen meals when needed, and keeping the compost moist.

4. Reuse recycling bin items, such as large plastic buckets and cardboard boxes, as composting equipment.

5. Keep diversity in the mix. The magic is in the variety of the components and how they work together to create "gardener’s gold."

6. Customize composting to suit specific garden needs, always concentrating first on soil care.

Adhering to these guidelines, Pleasant and Martin bring readers on a thorough, informative tour of materials and innovative techniques, leading the way to an efficient and rewarding home gardening system. Their methods are sure to help gardeners turn average vegetable plots into rich incubators of healthy produce, bursting with fresh flavor, and flower beds into rich tapestries of bountiful blooms all season long.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

With today's concerns over waste, energy costs, and recycling, composting is experiencing a renaissance. Pleasant (Garden Stone: Creative Landscaping with Plants and Stone) and former garden book editor Martin here provide both a reference guide and an introduction to composting. The first section will be helpful to nearly all composting neophytes, though more experienced composters, too, should read it for the excellent prose and colorful illustrations. It includes a number of interesting facts, definitions, and even recipes (e.g., for Miracle Leaf Mold). The second section, on compost gardening techniques, examines easy methods of composting with piles, bins, and cans as well as more elaborate approaches involving pits and trenches. It also discusses the use of earthworms in composting. Finally, the third section treats in detail the kinds of plants that will do well in a composter's garden. Pleasant and Martin conclude with a helpful glossary and a resource list for tools, containers, and worms. Essential reading for any gardener interested in composting, this should find its way into many public libraries with active gardening communities and academic and special libraries with an interest in horticulture and gardening.
—Edward J. Valauskas

Product Details

Storey Books
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 10.94(h) x 0.75(d)

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Meet the Author

A long-time compost enthusiast, Deb Martin enjoys trying new and different ways to transform organic materials into rich, soil-building goodness for the garden. From the busy binful of worms in her basement to the pallet-framed yard waste heap out back, she always has something rotten going on! A garden writer and editor for many years, Deb has contributed to numerous books and magazines, including Organic Life, Pennsylvania Gardener, and GROW: The Magazine of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and is co-author of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide.

Barbara Pleasant has been covering organic gardening and self-sufficient living for more than 30 years. A contributing editor to Mother Earth News, Pleasant has garnered multiple awards from the Garden Writers Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association. She has written books on topics ranging from compost to weeds, including Plant to Preserve, Starter Vegetable Gardens, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide (with Deborah L. Martin), The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The Gardener’s Bug Book, The Gardener’s Weed Book, The Gardener’s Guide to Plant Diseases, and Garden Stone. Her columns and articles appear regularly in Mother Earth Living magazine and at GrowVeg.com and on other informational websites. Pleasant lives in Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, and fruits along with a few chickens, who all have names. 

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Complete Compost Gardening Guide 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
JoyousOneJO More than 1 year ago
This book is very comprehensive and should give anyone whatever info is necessary to begin composting. There is a great deal of detail about what should be composted, what shouldn't be composted, how to set up a site, etc. The authors are clearly in favor of doing things that reduce our carbon footprint on the earth, but they are not preach-y. They give great ideas for different settings--whether you have an apartment or a home with a yard and they also give info about how to test the compost to see if it is "cured". I also felt that the text was interesting and the pictures really make you think "I think I could do this." I have started composting this spring based on suggestions from this book, so we'll see how it goes.
Anne-B More than 1 year ago
I have started reading a book called The Complete Compost Gardening guide by Barbara Pleasant and Deboarh L. Martin. This book will open your eyes about what composting is, how to do it, and how much you can compost. The book starts off with the basics of composting--why, what, and how to do it. The next chapter is about what you'll need. This chapter is about the other tools you need (not just the bin). Then the book's authors cover what you can compost (and what you shouldn't). The rest of the book covers in more detail how and where to compost. I had no idea there were so many ways to compost! I have puzzled a bit realizing the quantity of grass clippings we get as well as leaves in the fall. As I've picked up and set down this book multiple times in the last month, I've come to realize that I can expand my composting attempts and methods each year. There's so much one can do that it's wise to take it on bit by bit rather than all at once. So, don't worry about reading this book all in one sitting or even before you've begun. Read the parts you need now and save the rest for later. Just read the first part. Start with a simple premade bin. Starting small with composting is a good place to start. The beginning part of this book will give you the whats and how. If you end up enjoying composting, the second part of the book will give you lots of ideas of how you can compost creatively and how you can use the results of your efforts in your gardening. I'm starting small. I haven't mastered my little compost heap yet. But, I hope to. I know that that there's ideas in this book that will keep me busy for many years to come! Please note that I received a complimentary copy of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide from Storey Books for review.
MrGreenJeans More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be the most indept book on composting I have read so far. The different techiques, materials and piles to create was written up well. The authors style of writting was easy to follow and keep your interest from page to page. They share their experiences and research in a way that peaks my interest to try their methods of different compost piles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago