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

Overview


Discover Ed Smith's Total Gardening System. It's the Last W-O-R-D in Vegetable Gardening!
WIDE ROWS are easier to tend and provide a bigger yield per square foot. You'll get up to four times more delicious vegetables!
ORGANIC METHODS are better for you, your garden, and the earth. They really work, so you'll have fewer pests and diseases!
RAISED BEDS mean soil that drains ...
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Overview


Discover Ed Smith's Total Gardening System. It's the Last W-O-R-D in Vegetable Gardening!
WIDE ROWS are easier to tend and provide a bigger yield per square foot. You'll get up to four times more delicious vegetables!
ORGANIC METHODS are better for you, your garden, and the earth. They really work, so you'll have fewer pests and diseases!
RAISED BEDS mean soil that drains better and warms up faster in the spring. The result is bigger, healthier, and better vegetables!
DEEP SOIL provides a reservoir of nutrients and moisture that encourages root growth while producing the best harvest ever!
"The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is an impressive accomplishment by a seasoned expert. It is destined to end up dog-eared in the potting shed." —James A. Baggett, Executive Editor, Country Living Gardener
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
One of the most American gardening tomes ever published...the principles Smith advocates are completely sound, as is his practical advice.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A committed organic gardener, Smith is a proponent of staggered planting in raised, wide and deep beds that provide conductive root systems and produce abundant harvests. He explains his system, from optimum siting and soil preparation he prefers broad-forking over rototilling or double-digging to companion planting and compost "The path to the garden of your dreams leads right through the middle of a compost pile". For beginners, he takes the mystery out of such subjects as hardening off "like a little boot camp for vegetables" and deciphering the shorthand used in seed catalogues. An abundance of photographs most of Smith's own garden visually bolster the techniques described, while frequent subheads, sidebars and information-packed photo captions make the layout user-friendly. The book concludes with an alphabetically arranged listing of vegetables and herbs in which Smith offers advice on every aspect of cultivation, as well as a selection of the most flavorful varieties. Smith doesn't necessarily break new ground here, but his book is thorough and infused with practical wisdom and a dry Vermont humor that should endear him to readers. Feb. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Smith, caretaker of a 1500-square-foot garden containing almost 100 varieties of vegetables, clearly explains everything novice and experienced gardeners need to know to grow vegetables and herbs using his system of wide, deep, raised beds. He gives detailed instructions on siting, preparing, and planning a vegetable garden, then goes on to cover choosing plant varieties, starting seed, and growing plants. Smith discusses how to create compost and ecologically friendly methods of dealing with plant diseases and pests. Detailed explanations of companion planting, crop rotation, and succession planting add to his book's value. The final third of the book gives specific cultural information covering all regions of North America, as well as recommended varieties for many vegetables and selected herbs. Recommended for all libraries for its thorough, easy-to-follow instructions and information on companion plants and crop rotation.--Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L. IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Sally D. Ketchum
Vegetable plants can get too much nitrogen. Garden pests can be confused by strong-scented companion planting. Peppers "love to hold hands," i.e. to be planted close together.
Along with both general and specific instructions for gardening and advice from years of experience, these are the kinds of useful facts planted throughout Smith's book. Gardening in Vermont ("where gardening is only slightly easier than in Siberia!") for thirty years, Smith has refined a high-yield system of gardening. After a consideration of planning, especially Smith's method of wide, raised, deep beds, the reader learns how he can get an early start on his garden using cold frames for small plants since "they can become an all-you-can-eat buffet for bugs and diseases."
Content is divided into three parts, "From Seed to Harvest," "The Healthy Garden" and the largest section, "Vegetables & Herbs, A-Z." The first two sections might be considered a study section while the last one is solid reference for a reader who wishes to research the particular vegetables he plans to grow.
Smith covers specifics that are often overlooked in gardening books, subjects such as tools, use of seed catalogs, water friendly gardens and checks for ripeness. The healthy garden section is largely pro-active, emphasizing nurturing vegetable-friendly soil and composting, but also covering pests--"bugs, slugs, & things that go chomp in the night."
Like other garden books of comparable length, it is practical. It is also a clear coverage of comprehensive garden care. While it might expect a little too much for the beginner with a small backyard garden, for example, pH testing the soil, it will not disappoint readers. Smith will please those who want to learn about the many aspects of gardening and also have clear and accessible reference material. His advice, hints, insights, illustrations and charts will benefit any gardener.
Foreword (February)
From the Publisher

"The book by my bed is one of the most American gardening tomes ever published, Edward C. Smith’s The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible.?The New York Times Book Review

"Smith...clearly explains everything novice and experienced gardeners need to know to grow vegetables and herbs using his system of wide, deep, raised beds." ?Library Journal

"An abundance of photographs...visually bolster the techniques described, while frequent subheads, sidebars and information-packed photo captions make the layout user-friendly...[Smith's] book is thorough and infused with practical wisdom and a dry Vermont humor that should endear him to readers." ?Publishers Weekly

"There are 550 color photographs that complement the informative text." ?Booklist

"Smith gives insight into the gardening world through pictures, sidebars and a thick easy-to-use section on nurturing vegetables with names A-Z...with pictures of Smith's garden to illustrate the conversational text." ?Today's Librarian

"[Smith's] advice, hints, illustrations and charts will benefit any gardener." ?ForeWord

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580172134
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.14 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward C. Smith is the best-selling author of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible and The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Sylvia, have lived off the grid in Vermont, in a house they built on land they cleared by hand. Together, the grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in their 2,000 square feet of gardens and containers.

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Read an Excerpt


Some Thoughts about Vegetable Gardening

Once in a long time, a truly fresh gardening personality emerges. Over the past 30 years, I've had the privilege of working wit a few of these--Jim Crockett in the 1960s, Dick Raymond and Bob Thomson in the '707s, Louise Riotte in the '80s, Lewis and Nancy Hill in the '90s.

Ed Smith, vegetable gardener, Cabot, Vermont, is the latest of these amazing personalities. He and his family tend a richly fertile garden of over 1,500 square feet filled with raspberries, blueberries, flowers, herbs, and nearly 100 varieties of vegetables, including some Vermont heirlooms. His garden looks like what I envision as the "vegetable garden of Eden."

I never would have learned of, nor met, Ed but for his brother Charly, a Storey staff editor and horticultural expert in his own right. When we were looking for someone who was doing new and exciting things in the vegetable garden, he suggested that we meet his brother Ed.

When we learned that Ed lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (where gardening is only slightly easier than in Siberia!), we were skeptical. That is, until we saw his vegetable gardens. They are beautiful, the result of a high-yield system of gardening that Ed has been refining for over three decades. "If I can do it here in northern Vermont, it can be done just about anywhere," said Ed.

The proof was before our eyes, and as we talked, we realized how logical and easy his approach was. To underscore a point, he took us to the richest compost pile I've ever seen. With mock seriousness he instructed, "The path to a high-yield garden leads straight through the middle of a compost pile." Clearly, Ed's no stick-in-the-mud when it comes to gardening.

Wherever we walked, Ed had gardening wisdom to share. At the corn patch he said, "Corn has the highest sugar content early in the morning. So pick it then, before it's warmed by the sun, and refrigerate it in the husk until dinnertime. You'll get the best-tasting corn with the morning harvest." It's true.

When we saw him dusting his seed potatoes with sulfur, he explained that sulfur is a fungicide, but that wasn't the reason he did it. "Treat seed potatoes with sulfur, and Colorado potato beetles will be much less of a problem." I followed his advice, and my new red potatoes were the best I've ever had.

In the pages that follow, you'll see the results of his gardening system with your own eyes. We've come to refer to this system as the "W-O-R-D," to remind us of the wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deeply dug soil that underlie everything that Ed does. You'll discover these, along with the trellises that allow beans to grow to the sky, knowledgeable companion planting, and basic crop rotation, all leading to remarkable harvests--a vegetable gardening paradise.

We spent the past year with Ed in Vermont, photographing his gardens from the first day of soil preparation to the last days of putting the garden to bed. These year-round photos will be very helpful to you in planning and planting your own vegetable garden, as will the numerous charts, tables, and garden plans.

We think that this is the most comprehensive and exciting new system of gardening that has come along in a very long time. Through the dozens of illustrated gardening lessons, and hundreds of tips, insights, and suggestions that Ed shares, you'll quickly become a more skilled gardener. This book will help you do it, and have the best vegetable garden ever. That's why we call it "the bible."

And please, if ever you have a suggestion of question, don't hesitate to call (802-823-5810).

M. John Storey

Pownal, Vermont

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Table of Contents


Foreword
Some Thoughts about Vegetable Gardening
Part 1
From Seed to Harvest: Higher Yields with Less Work
Chapter 1: A New Way to Garden: Wide, Deep, Raised Beds
Chapter 2: Planning Your Garden, Growing Your Plan
Chapter 3: Jump-Starting Your Garden
Chapter 4: Growing a Self-Sufficient Garden
Chapter 5: Enjoying the Harvest & Tucking the Garden In
Part 2
The Healthy Garden: Above and Below Ground
Chapter 6: Nurturing Vegetable-Friendly Soil
Chapter 7: Rot & Recycle: Making & Using Compost
Chapter 8: Banishing Bugs, Slugs & Things That Go Chomp in the Night
Part 3
Vegetables & Herbs, A-Z: Great Taste and More Variety
Appendixes
Index
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not the first time I bought this book.

    This is actually the third time I've bought this. My copy is so well used, I had to share with fellow gardeners. By the way, they love it and have bought this as a gift for people they know. A local greenhouse owner bought this book as gifts for her employees after I showed it to her. Not only does Ed Smith explain things for any gardener from the novice to expert(which you may become after reading and applying information), the pictures are informative and gorgeous. If you are looking for a chemical-free, organic way to garden, this is your book. My neighbors keep asking what I am doing to get such beautiful plants and plentiful harvests. This book covers planning and plotting, soil improvement/requirements(per plants), seeds, companion planting, natural pest control, plant diseases/control, prevention, crop rotation, increased harvests, storage, putting your beds to sleep for the winter and more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2009

    If you only buy one vegetable gardening book, this should be it!

    I bought this book five years ago when I knew nothing about vegetable gardening and after pouring over this book I now consider myself something of an authority. Mr. Smith makes you feel like a member of his family as he clearly explains his system for vegetable gardening. There are lots of colorful pictures complete with explanations. The author also includes plenty of helpful diagrams and illustrations. The book is very well organized and intuitive in it's order. Although Ed lives out East and I live in Indiana, I have been able to use his system very effectively. If you know a vegetable gardener, new or old, consider giving them this book as a gift. They will thank you for it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2006

    W-O-R-D system works for new gardener

    The W-O-R-D system laid out by the author makes gardening fun and easy. I was nervous about having my own garden but it turned out very well. The vegetables were yummy and the time spent taking care of the garden was very enjoyable. Having this book as a resource took the guess work out of gardening. I also highly recommend taking the Vegetable Gardening course offered by Barnes & Noble University. It was a great experience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    Best organic vegetable gardening book ever!

    This is the best veggie gardening book i've ever found. I started gardening this summer for the first time in my life in upstate New York. This book has everything I need and I mean everything. I have not come across anything so far in gardening that this book doesn't cover. My crops are the envy of all my friends and neighbors. Absolutely fantastic!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    This book provided real nutrition for my mind as well as my garden!

    I have not had a vegetable garden for over 30 years, but an unexpected change at our recently purchased home allowed me to have one. I did what I remembered with so-so results. The reason behind the garden was the same as everyone's though, reducing food bills and although I had adequate for us, I didn't have enough to do the canning and freezing I wanted to do.

    Mr. smith's book has given me new ideas ti improve on the one's I already had. Times have changed and techniques have as well. The photos of this man's garden are truly inspiring.

    I highly reccommend this book to any garden, whether you are a beginner, an old timer or just starting again like me.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    Extremely Helpful

    As somewhat of a first time gardener (we've only done herbs and flowers), this book was very helpful. It was easy to follow and gave us all the answers to questions we had and continue to have as our crop grows. We keep it right next to the back door--on the way out to our fantastic vegatable garden!

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    Excellent reference book!

    This is a great book to learn about veggie gardening. I especially like the detailed descriptions of each vegetable and how to grow it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

    Great Book.

    My wife and I really enjoyed reading and using this book. Very useful.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 10, 2009

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