Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food

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Before it was a book, The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food was organic gardener Tanya L. K. Denckla's highly prized personal database, the distillation of years of careful research and hands-on, real-life, dirt-under-the-fingernails experience in growing her own vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts. Now available to all, this easy-to-read sourcebook offers much to gardeners of all skill levels, answering questions quickly and authoritatively so more time can be spent enjoying the garden. Six ...

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Before it was a book, The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food was organic gardener Tanya L. K. Denckla's highly prized personal database, the distillation of years of careful research and hands-on, real-life, dirt-under-the-fingernails experience in growing her own vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts. Now available to all, this easy-to-read sourcebook offers much to gardeners of all skill levels, answering questions quickly and authoritatively so more time can be spent enjoying the garden. Six comprehensive chapters cover vegetables, fruits and nuts, herbs, organic remedies, and allies and companions. Within each chapter plants are arranged alphabetically, making needed information eminently accessible. Individual plant entries provide specific information on planting; temperature; soil and water needs; measurements; seed-starting dates; pests, diseases, allies, companions, and incompatibles, as applicable; when to harvest; how to store produce; and overviews of selected varieties. Fully half of the book is dedicated to organic remedies that can prevent or combat plant diseases and garden pests. Hundreds of common diseases and pests are discussed, as well as which plants are likely to be affected, how to recognize the problem, and tried-and-true natural remedies. The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food demystifies how to work collaboratively with the complex natural systems of the environment, making gardening a little easier and definitely more fun.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…a practical guide to growing fruits and vegetables the organic way.” – Seattle Post- Intelligencer

”Denckla’s guide to growing organic food covers 765 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts. There are instructions on temperature, soil and water needs, planting depth and space between plants, propagation, harvesting, first and last seed-starting dates, storage requirements, and support structures when needed. With each entry is a list of selected available varieties. Denckla also tells gardeners how to control 201 pests and diseases organically.”


"A great gift for any vegetable gardener who prefers Earth-friendly methods."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Library Journal
Packed with useful and comprehensive information, these first two titles in Storey's new "Potting Bench" reference series will be a boon to gardeners who enjoy starting plants from seed. First self-published in 1991 as Gardening at a Glance and then reissued in 1994 as The Organic Gardener's Home Reference, Denckla's updated work covers organically growing 765 varieties of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs. She opens with general information on organic gardening and then provides exhaustive horticultural details in entries arranged by common name. These entries include scientific name, culture, siting, size, first and last seed-starting dates, insects/pests, storage, and suggested varieties. Fruit and nut entries offer bearing age and pruning recommendations. The next section offers remedies for organically controlling 201 pests and diseases. Each pest/disease entry includes a description, plants affected, geographic occurrence, signs, and organic remedies. However, the gardener must first determine which pest/disease is causing the trouble; unfortunately, there are no photographs to aid in identification. The thoroughly revised appendixes include a short section on the new National Organic Standards adopted in 2000. Powell, the proprietor of a landscaping firm that specializes in small gardens, addresses how to grow 542 annuals, perennials, grasses, bulbs, and climbers from seed and ferns from spores. After introductory material on how to start and care for seedlings, Powell comes to the heart of her book: A-to-Z entries arranged by genus. Each entry features genus description, plant type, hardiness zones, and sowing and germination requirements, as well as detailed information on transplanting, culture, propagation, and suggested combinations with other plants. The third section offers small color photographs of selected plants. The fourth section is a species chart briefly citing size, hardiness, and cultural information. Appendixes include seed sources, native plant societies, and a common names index. Concise, easy to use, and nicely laid out, these two titles are recommended for horticulture and public libraries. Buy extra copies for circulation.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580173704
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 522,438
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Tanya Denckla Cobb is a writer, a professional environmental mediator at the Institute for Environmental Negotiation, and a teacher of food system planning at the University of Virginia. She is passionate about bringing people together to find common ground and create solutions for mutual gain. She co-founded a community forestry nonprofit organization, served as Executive Director of the Virginia Urban Forest Council, and facilitated the birth of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute and the Virginia Food System Council. At home, she enjoys the restorative energy of gardening and cooking from her garden. She lives in Virginia and is the author of Reclaiming Our Food, The Gardener’s A to Z Guide to Growing Organic Food, and Organic Gardener’s Home Reference.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface vii
Chapter 1 For starters 1
Chapter 2 Vegetables 23
Chapter 3 Fruits & nuts 151
Chapter 4 Herbs 243
Chapter 5 Organic remedies for macro- and microdestructive agents 295
Selected Beneficial Insects 297
First Line of Defense: Plan Ahead 298
Second Line of Defense: Prevention Strategies 301
Third Line of Defense: Identify the Problem 305
Identifying and Treating Common Problems 307
Overview of Symptoms and Remedies 312
Glossary of Organic Remedies 315
Controlling Diseases 327
Controlling Insects and Animals 348
Chapter 6 Allies & companions 419
Afterword 439
Bibliography 443
A. The National Standards 454
B. Suggested Reading 455
C. Seed Companies and Nurseries 460
D. Equipment and Pest Control Suppliers 466
E. Other Useful Resources 469
F. USDA Hardiness Zone Map 470
Index 471
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Excellent source of information.

    This book is chock full of useful information, including individual listings in several categories such as vegetables, fruits and nuts, and herbs. Each listing contains detailed information including starting seeds, soil and water needs, pests and diseases, allies and companions, plus characteristics of individual varieties. There is also a section on organic remedies, which includes descriptions of diseases and pests, plants affected, signs of infestation, and suggested methods of control ... all organic, of course. My favorite section deals with companion planting. This section lists plant allies, which plants will benefit, which pests will be controlled, and other benefits such as improving growth and flavor, repelling insects, attracting beneficial insects, adding nutrients, and improving soils. As an avid gardener, I am totally satisfied with this book. It is well organized, easy to use and understand, and is a great source of information. I would definitely recommend it to other gardeners.

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