Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia

( 1 )

Overview

The demand for locally sourced organic foods continues to rise. This resource is a prime reference for the many who are growing or wanting to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits.

The book features superb full-color photographs and illustrations and an easy-to-use A-Z directory. Comprehensive growing, harvesting and preserving tips and a wealth of recipes are a boon to gardeners and cooks alike.

Practical aspects of gardening are ...

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Overview

The demand for locally sourced organic foods continues to rise. This resource is a prime reference for the many who are growing or wanting to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits.

The book features superb full-color photographs and illustrations and an easy-to-use A-Z directory. Comprehensive growing, harvesting and preserving tips and a wealth of recipes are a boon to gardeners and cooks alike.

Practical aspects of gardening are explained in detail, with in-depth sections on creating a garden, pollination, soil fertility and greenhouse growing. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Nutritional values
  • The most useful and most recommended varieties
  • Plant hardiness, propagation and growing guidelines
  • Cropping, harvesting and storing
  • Weed, pest and disease control
  • Ornamental and wildlife value
  • Pruning and training
  • Companion planting
  • Container growing.

A yearly maintenance calendar, glossary, further reading section, seed sources list and detailed index round out this outstanding book.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In 640 well-planned pages, this practical illustrated encyclopedia covers the growing fields of vegetables, herbs, and fruit. With hundreds of A-to-Z entries and 2,000 color photos and other illustrations, Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit presents essential information about plants; planting, growing, propagation, and harvesting; pest, disease and weed control; and much much more. This paperback and NOOK Book reprint earns space on any gardener's bookshelves. Editor's recommendation.

BellaOnline
For the edible landscape, the best title by far is Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit... everything you need to know to grow, harvest, and use garden produce.

— Connie Krochmal

Grainews
An indispensable resource, giving an amazing amount of information that will be of value to any gardener, whether planting a field or a window box.
GreatGardenInfo.com
I believe this volume will become a constant source of reliable information. Highly recommended.
Harrisburg Patriot-New - George Weigel
Amazingly thorough encyclopedic look at edible plants.
Home Cooking
Every gardener -- novice or expert -- will find useful information.
Kitchener-Waterloo Record - David Hobson
A sound investment.
London Free Press - Ken Smith
Offers advice on cultivation techniques, dealing with pests and diseases, suggestions for companion plants, and culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses.
Washington Gardener
This is now my favorite source book for growing, propagating, harvesting, storing, and cooking all things edible. An A to Z-type reference guide, it is easy to use, has beautiful photography, and [has] details all gardeners need like Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and companion plants. These three amazing authors have put together a must-have book for any vegetable grower.

— Ursule Sabia Sukinik

Michigan Gardener
This all-encompassing book combines the expertise of three gardeners to offer a prodigious range of information.... easy-to-use alphabetical format, it is illustrated with more than 1,800 color photographs and informative illustrations.
New Living (Montauk
This all-encompassing book combines the expertise of three leading gardeners to offer a prodigious range of information on more than 100 herbs, 70 vegetables and 100 fruits. Arranged in an easy-to-use alphabetical format from Aaron's Rod to Zucchini, the book is copiously illustrated with more than 1,800 color photographs and informative graphics. Readers learn how to select the plants best suited to their plant zone, and what to do to insure a successful crop.
New York Times - Dominique Browning
Satisfying ... There's an abundance of information and tantalizing pictures. Isn't it nice when peas are so neatly tucked into their pods in those very polite rows?
American Gardener - Viveka Neveln
A comprehensive reference book on edible plants... information on hundreds of edible plants accompanied by more than 1,800 color photographs.
American Reference Books Annual - Diane M. Calabrese
Solid gardening tips and tempting recipes... enough to teach even experienced gardeners new tricks... excellent index.
Backhome Magazine
A well-organized overview that examiners each cultivar in depth... visually pleasing... the insight of some very diverse expert gardeners.
Beach Metro Community News - Mary Fran McQuade
Good value for money ... very helpful.
BellaOnline - Connie Krochmal
By far the most comprehensive book on the subject. A must-have for those growing edible crops ... Easy to use.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Suzanne Hively
Not only how to grow, but also how to harvest, preserve and use 70 vegetables... a comprehensive, quick-read encyclopedia.
Country Accents - Tricia Landry Wallace
Whether you utilize it to learn how to use soapwort to treat skin conditions such as eczema or for the recipe for curried parsnip soup, it is valuable to novice and experienced horticulturists alike. Written by a trio of garden experts, this is a must-have resource for any gardener or chef.
Desert News
This comprehensive garden book goes beyond the dirt, offering tips on growing, harvesting, preserving and cooking.
Diversions - Dee Cherrie Ashman
Bright color photos, clean layout, and handy hints make this hefty garden bible a treasure, and it's a great deal.
Edmonton Sun - Patty Jessome
A garden book full of surprises... there's so much to discover... excellent information.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Cathy Frisinger
An excellent source of information on growing and cooking edible plants.
Good Times - Liz Grogan
This reference book is as colourful as it is inspiring and will appeal to anyone who would like to grow edible plans. The authors leave no leaf unturned -- every topic is covered.... Best of all, more than 100 recipes are included to take advantage of your crop once it's time to harvest.... With more than 600 pages and 800 colour photos and illustrations, this book is definitely food for thought.
Newark Star-Ledger - John Van de Water
For a complete reference on growing food crops, you can't go wrong with the new, up-to-the minute "Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit."
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
It's a useful book for the gardener who is short on time and seeks easy-to-follow, no-fail instructions.
Portland Oregonian - Vern Nelson
Information on individual cultivars, as well as some very good recipes.
Science News
Comprehensive... a valuable reference for both gardeners and inquisitive chefs.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Chris Smith
This book is a handsome addition to the gardening library and an excellent value.
Shelf Life
It is about as precise and concise a guide as you would ever wish to find.
The American Herb Association vo. 21:4
What is not included in this definitive and beautifully illustrated sourcebook on edible landscape?
Toronto Star - Sonia Day
This has become my 'bible' because it contains great photographs with bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to read, inspiring and comprehensive.
Washington Gardener - Ursule Sabia Sukinik
This is now my favorite source book for growing, propagating, harvesting, storing, and cooking all things edible. An A to Z-type reference guide, it is easy to use, has beautiful photography, and [has] details all gardeners need like Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and companion plants. These three amazing authors have put together a must-have book for any vegetable grower.
Dominique Browning
There's an abundance of information and tantalizing pictures.
—The New York Times
Portland Oregonian
[Review of hardcover edition:] Information on individual cultivars, as well as some very good recipes.

— Vern Nelson

London Free Press
[Review of hardcover edition:] Offers advice on cultivation techniques, dealing with pests and diseases, suggestions for companion plants, and culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses.

— Ken Smith

Making Scents (Magazine of the International Aroma
[Review of hardcover edition:] Well organized, easy to access information, and concisely written. A good reference book!
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
[Review of hardcover edition:] An excellent source of information on growing and cooking edible plants.

— Cathy Frisinger

Toronto Star
[Review of hardcover edition:] This has become my 'bible' because it contains great photographs with bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to read, inspiring and comprehensive.

— Sonia Day

American Reference Books Annual
[Review of hardcover edition:] Solid gardening tips and tempting recipes... enough to teach even experienced gardeners new tricks... excellent index.

— Diane M. Calabrese

Edmonton Sun
[Review of hardcover edition:] A garden book full of surprises... there's so much to discover... excellent information.

— Patty Jessome

Newark Star-Ledger
[Review of hardcover edition:] For a complete reference on growing food crops, you can't go wrong with the new, up-to-the minute "Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit."

— John Van de Water

Diversions
[Review of hardcover edition:] Bright color photos, clean layout, and handy hints make this hefty garden bible a treasure, and it's a great deal.

— Dee Cherrie Ashman

American Gardener
[Review of hardcover edition:] A comprehensive reference book on edible plants... information on hundreds of edible plants accompanied by more than 1,800 color photographs.

— Viveka Neveln

Kitchener-Waterloo Record
[Review of hardcover edition:] Exceptional.

— David Hobson

Bee Culture
[Review of hardcover edition:] By far the most comprehensive book on the subject. A must-have for those growing edible crops ... Easy to use.
[Review of hardcover edition:] For the edible landscape, the best title by far is Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit... everything you need to know to grow, harvest, and use garden produce.

— Connie Krochmal

Harrisburg Patriot-New
[Review of hardcover edition:] Amazingly thorough encyclopedic look at edible plants.

— George Weigel

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
[Review of hardcover edition:] This book is a handsome addition to the gardening library and an excellent value.

— Chris Smith

Country Accents
[Review of hardcover edition:] Whether you utilize it to learn how to use soapwort to treat skin conditions such as eczema or for the recipe for curried parsnip soup, it is valuable to novice and experienced horticulturists alike. Written by a trio of garden experts, this is a must-have resource for any gardener or chef.

— Tricia Landry Wallace

Beach Metro Community News
[Review of hardcover edition:] Good value for money ... very helpful.

— Mary Fran McQuade

Cleveland Plain Dealer
[Review of hardcover edition:] Not only how to grow, but also how to harvest, preserve and use 70 vegetables... a comprehensive, quick-read encyclopedia.

— Suzanne Hively

Good Times
[Review of hardcover edition:] This reference book is as colourful as it is inspiring and will appeal to anyone who would like to grow edible plans. The authors leave no leaf unturned -- every topic is covered.... Best of all, more than 100 recipes are included to take advantage of your crop once it's time to harvest.... With more than 600 pages and 800 colour photos and illustrations, this book is definitely food for thought.

— Liz Grogan

New York Times
[Review of hardcover edition:] Satisfying ... There's an abundance of information and tantalizing pictures. Isn't it nice when peas are so neatly tucked into their pods in those very polite rows?

— Dominique Browning

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071265
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 385,373
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Biggs lectures at the Royal Horticultural Society. His other books include Matthew Biggs' Complete Book of Vegetables.

Jekka McVicar has won several top awards from the Royal Horticultural Society. Her other books include The Complete Book of Herbs.

Bob Flowerdew is an author and a lecturer for the Royal Horticultural Society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Vegetables

70+ entries

Herbs

100+ entries

Fruit

Orchard Fruits
15 entries
Soft, Bush, and Cane Fruits
17 entries
Tender Fruits
28 entries
Shrub and Flower Garden Fruits
14 entries
Nuts
12 entries

Practical Gardening

22 entries

The Yearly Calendar

Glossary
Further Reading
Seed Sources
Index
Acknowledgements

Read More Show Less

Preface

Introduction

A flourishing, productive garden, containing vegetables, herbs, and fruit plants, is a testament to diligent, imaginative gardening and a promise of a delicious harvest to come. The range of color, texture, scent, and flavor offered by these plants is unrivaled, and there is space in any garden -- even in a window box -- for a selection of edible and useful plants.

Vegetables, herbs, and fruit have always been essential to humanity. They are the basis of the food chain -- even for meat-eaters -- and are a vital component in creating tempting, palatable meals, as well as providing unique flavoring and aromas. All are health-giving, providing essential vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet, and many herbs have the added dimension of being used medicinally.

Vegetables and herbs can be widely defined. Vegetables are those plants where a part, such as the leaf, stem, or root, can be used for food. Herbs, similarly, are those plants that are used for food, medicine, scent, or flavor. Fruits tend to be the sweet, juicy parts of the plants, containing the seed. There is considerable overlap between the three types of plant -- one further distinction is that fruits are generally sweet, or used in sweet dishes, while vegetables are savory, although this is by no means clear-cut.

For centuries throughout the world, productive gardens have been the focal point of family and community survival. Our earliest diet as hunter-gatherers must have included a wide range of seeds, fruits, nuts, roots, leaves, and any moving thing we could catch. Gradually, over millennia, we learned which plants could be eaten and how to prepare them -- as with the discovery that eddoes were edible only after washing several times and cooking to remove the injurious calcium oxalate crystals. Fruit trees and bushes sprang up at the camp sites of nomadic people and were waiting for them when they returned, growing prolifically on their fertile waste heaps. Vegetables and herbs were collected from the surrounding countryside, and gradually were domesticated. Cultivated wheat and barley have been found dating from 8000 to 7000 B.C., and peas from 6500 B.C., while rice was recorded as a staple in China by 2800 B.C.

With domestication came early selection of plants for beneficial characteristics such as yield, disease resistance, and ease of germination. These were the first cultivated varieties, or "cultivars." This selection has continued extensively and by the eighteenth century in Europe, seed selection had become a fine art in the hands of skilled gardeners. Gregor Mendel's work with peas in 1855 -- 1864 in his monastery garden at Brno in Moravia yielded one of the most significant discoveries, leading to the development of hybrids and scientific selection. Most development has centered on the major food crops. Minor crops,
such as sea kale, have changed very little, apart from the selection of a few cultivars. Others, like many fruits, are similar to their wild relatives, but have fleshier, sweeter edible parts. Herbs have in general had less intensive work done on selection; many of the most popular and useful herbs are the same as or closely related to plants found in the wild.

Food plants have spread around the world in waves, from the Roman Empire, which took fruits such as peaches, plums, grapes, and figs from the Mediterranean and North Africa to northern Europe, to the exportation of plants such as potatoes and maize from the New World in the fifteenth century. In between, monasteries guarded fruits, vegetables, and herbs for their own use and for their medicinal value. During the famine and winter dearth of the Middle Ages and beyond, the commonplace scurvy and vitamin deficiencies would have seemed to many people almost miraculously cured by monks' potions containing little more than preserved fruits, vegetables, or herbs full of nutrients and vitamin C. In 1597John Gerard wrote his Herball, detailing numerous plants and their uses, and giving practical advice on how to use them. Productive gardening developed on several levels. The rich became plant collectors and used the latest technology to overwinter exotic plants in hothouses and stove houses. Doctors followed on in the traditions of the monasteries and had physic gardens of medicinal herbs. Villagers had cottage gardens filled with fruit trees and bushes, underplanted with vegetables and herbs.

In the twentieth century, the expense of labor and decrease in the amount of land available meant that productive gardening declined. Home food production revived during World War II, but the availability of ready-made foods afterward again hit edible gardening at home. The later years of the century saw a reaction against the blandness and cost of mass-produced food. There was also an increasing awareness of the infinite variety of herbs, and their use in herbalism, cosmetics, and cooking all over the world.

The wider realization that we had polluted our environment and destroyed much of the ecology of our farms, countryside, and gardens was to bring about a real revolution. A mass revulsion against chemical-based methods was mirrored in the rise of organic production and the slowly improving availability of better foods. Vegetarianism also increased as many people turned away from meat, in part because of factory farming. These trends mean that there is an increased demand for fruits and vegetables, often organically produced or with a fuller flavor, and grocery stores now offer a huge range all year round.

But there is also a move by people toward growing their own. The health benefits, ecology, and economy of gardening appeal to a greener generation. An increased awareness of alternative medicine, including herbalism and aromatherapy, have revived interest in a range of herbs. With food processors, juicers, and freezers, it is easier than ever to store and preserve what we harvest. In addition, the genetic richness represented by the huge range of food plants has been recognized and organizations such as the Henry Doubleday Research Association in the U.K., Seed Savers in the U.S., and Seed Savers International are working to safeguard and make available the old and rare varieties.

The availability of different gardening techniques also offers great opportunities at home. Dwarfing fruit rootstocks, varieties that store well or resist disease, glass or plastic cover, and controlled heating in greenhouses give us the opportunity to grow a huge variety of crops, even in a small garden. The earlier and later seasons, combined with gardening under cover, also mean that we can be planting and harvesting for a larger proportion of the year.

This book is intended to guide the reader in choosing which vegetables, herbs, and fruit to grow, and then in producing a crop successfully. The vegetable and herb sections are arranged alphabetically by the botanical Latin name. The fruit section is grouped into five chapters covering different types of fruit plants -- Orchard Fruits; Soft, Bush, and Cane Fruits; Tender Fruits; Shrub and Flower Garden Fruits; and Nuts -- according to how they are usually grown in temperate gardens.

Under each plant, after a brief introduction covering origins and history, the most useful and recommended varieties are given, followed by details of cultivation, including propagation, growing under glass and in containers, a maintenance calendar, pruning and training (if needed), dealing with pests and diseases, companion planting, and harvesting and storing. Information and ideas are given for using the plant, including recipes and medicinal and cosmetic uses. If any part of the plant is toxic or harmful in any way, a detailed warning is given. If the plant is of particular ornamental or wildlife value in the garden, this is indicated. Hardy, half-hardy, and tender plants are covered, with detailed growing guidelines for the best results in a temperate climate. The fruit and vegetable sections cover some of the more exotic tropical and subtropical crops that can, with va

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

A flourishing, productive garden, containing vegetables, herbs, and fruit plants, is a testament to diligent, imaginative gardening and a promise of a delicious harvest to come. The range of color, texture, scent, and flavor offered by these plants is unrivaled, and there is space in any garden -- even in a window box -- for a selection of edible and useful plants.

Vegetables, herbs, and fruit have always been essential to humanity. They are the basis of the food chain -- even for meat-eaters -- and are a vital component in creating tempting, palatable meals, as well as providing unique flavoring and aromas. All are health-giving, providing essential vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet, and many herbs have the added dimension of being used medicinally.

Vegetables and herbs can be widely defined. Vegetables are those plants where a part, such as the leaf, stem, or root, can be used for food. Herbs, similarly, are those plants that are used for food, medicine, scent, or flavor. Fruits tend to be the sweet, juicy parts of the plants, containing the seed. There is considerable overlap between the three types of plant -- one further distinction is that fruits are generally sweet, or used in sweet dishes, while vegetables are savory, although this is by no means clear-cut.

For centuries throughout the world, productive gardens have been the focal point of family and community survival. Our earliest diet as hunter-gatherers must have included a wide range of seeds, fruits, nuts, roots, leaves, and any moving thing we could catch. Gradually, over millennia, we learned which plants could be eaten and how to prepare them -- as with the discoverythat eddoes were edible only after washing several times and cooking to remove the injurious calcium oxalate crystals. Fruit trees and bushes sprang up at the camp sites of nomadic people and were waiting for them when they returned, growing prolifically on their fertile waste heaps. Vegetables and herbs were collected from the surrounding countryside, and gradually were domesticated. Cultivated wheat and barley have been found dating from 8000 to 7000 B.C., and peas from 6500 B.C., while rice was recorded as a staple in China by 2800 B.C.

With domestication came early selection of plants for beneficial characteristics such as yield, disease resistance, and ease of germination. These were the first cultivated varieties, or "cultivars." This selection has continued extensively and by the eighteenth century in Europe, seed selection had become a fine art in the hands of skilled gardeners. Gregor Mendel's work with peas in 1855 -- 1864 in his monastery garden at Brno in Moravia yielded one of the most significant discoveries, leading to the development of hybrids and scientific selection. Most development has centered on the major food crops. Minor crops, such as sea kale, have changed very little, apart from the selection of a few cultivars. Others, like many fruits, are similar to their wild relatives, but have fleshier, sweeter edible parts. Herbs have in general had less intensive work done on selection; many of the most popular and useful herbs are the same as or closely related to plants found in the wild.

Food plants have spread around the world in waves, from the Roman Empire, which took fruits such as peaches, plums, grapes, and figs from the Mediterranean and North Africa to northern Europe, to the exportation of plants such as potatoes and maize from the New World in the fifteenth century. In between, monasteries guarded fruits, vegetables, and herbs for their own use and for their medicinal value. During the famine and winter dearth of the Middle Ages and beyond, the commonplace scurvy and vitamin deficiencies would have seemed to many people almost miraculously cured by monks' potions containing little more than preserved fruits, vegetables, or herbs full of nutrients and vitamin C. In 1597John Gerard wrote his Herball, detailing numerous plants and their uses, and giving practical advice on how to use them. Productive gardening developed on several levels. The rich became plant collectors and used the latest technology to overwinter exotic plants in hothouses and stove houses. Doctors followed on in the traditions of the monasteries and had physic gardens of medicinal herbs. Villagers had cottage gardens filled with fruit trees and bushes, underplanted with vegetables and herbs.

In the twentieth century, the expense of labor and decrease in the amount of land available meant that productive gardening declined. Home food production revived during World War II, but the availability of ready-made foods afterward again hit edible gardening at home. The later years of the century saw a reaction against the blandness and cost of mass-produced food. There was also an increasing awareness of the infinite variety of herbs, and their use in herbalism, cosmetics, and cooking all over the world.

The wider realization that we had polluted our environment and destroyed much of the ecology of our farms, countryside, and gardens was to bring about a real revolution. A mass revulsion against chemical-based methods was mirrored in the rise of organic production and the slowly improving availability of better foods. Vegetarianism also increased as many people turned away from meat, in part because of factory farming. These trends mean that there is an increased demand for fruits and vegetables, often organically produced or with a fuller flavor, and grocery stores now offer a huge range all year round.

But there is also a move by people toward growing their own. The health benefits, ecology, and economy of gardening appeal to a greener generation. An increased awareness of alternative medicine, including herbalism and aromatherapy, have revived interest in a range of herbs. With food processors, juicers, and freezers, it is easier than ever to store and preserve what we harvest. In addition, the genetic richness represented by the huge range of food plants has been recognized and organizations such as the Henry Doubleday Research Association in the U.K., Seed Savers in the U.S., and Seed Savers International are working to safeguard and make available the old and rare varieties.

The availability of different gardening techniques also offers great opportunities at home. Dwarfing fruit rootstocks, varieties that store well or resist disease, glass or plastic cover, and controlled heating in greenhouses give us the opportunity to grow a huge variety of crops, even in a small garden. The earlier and later seasons, combined with gardening under cover, also mean that we can be planting and harvesting for a larger proportion of the year.

This book is intended to guide the reader in choosing which vegetables, herbs, and fruit to grow, and then in producing a crop successfully. The vegetable and herb sections are arranged alphabetically by the botanical Latin name. The fruit section is grouped into five chapters covering different types of fruit plants -- Orchard Fruits; Soft, Bush, and Cane Fruits; Tender Fruits; Shrub and Flower Garden Fruits; and Nuts -- according to how they are usually grown in temperate gardens.

Under each plant, after a brief introduction covering origins and history, the most useful and recommended varieties are given, followed by details of cultivation, including propagation, growing under glass and in containers, a maintenance calendar, pruning and training (if needed), dealing with pests and diseases, companion planting, and harvesting and storing. Information and ideas are given for using the plant, including recipes and medicinal and cosmetic uses. If any part of the plant is toxic or harmful in any way, a detailed warning is given. If the plant is of particular ornamental or wildlife value in the garden, this is indicated. Hardy, half-hardy, and tender plants are covered, with detailed growing guidelines for the best results in a temperate climate. The fruit and vegetable sections cover some of the more exotic tropical and subtropical crops that can, with vat success, be grown under cover.

The end of the book covers the practical aspects of making a productive garden, including planning your plot and preparing the soil, creating an ornamental edible garden, crop rotation, pollination, propagation, protected cropping and growing in containers, maintenance, companion planting, and pests, diseases, and weeds. A yearly calendar details the tasks in the productive garden season by season, although precise dates for these will vary according to frost times in different regions. There is nothing more satisfying to the soul, eye, and stomach than a garden well stocked with produce. This book will help you to grow what you want with confidence, and perhaps to experiment and try out new plants and flavors.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Should be in the library if you are serious gardener!!!

    The book provides quick info along with photos for many types of veggies, fruits, and herbs. The book also has description of history, planting, propagation, pest, health benefits, and companion plants for each of them. I use it to cross reference with other sources on internet and other books.
    Definitely this is one of them in my library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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