This companion volume to the PBS program Your Organic Garden covers the territory reliably, eschewing synthetic controls (fertilizers, pesticides) for the natural alternative. Some of the methods recommended to home gardeners include: have your soil tested, and infuse it with needed organic nutrients over time; take preventive measures to avoid pest problems and disease, when possible; and, always, keep weeds to a minimum. All seemingly simple stuff, and yet not so simple, which is why Cox ``learned my way into it'' and why the book is needed. Dividing it into a portion on methods and another on plant types and their care, the author discusses composting, planting and propagation; varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers, groundcovers, lawns, flowers and more. The plant directory contains helpful ``at a glance'' capsule summaries, and sidebars elsewhere focus on the trials to gardeners of raccoons and Japanese beetles--and how best to respond. Clear and conversational, Cox doesn't have to sell himself in these pages--he just makes sense. Illustrated. (Jan.)
The official companion to Cox's PBS television series contains practical advice, emphasizing natural, nonchemical solutions to problems that gardeners can expect to encounter whether they're just starting out or dealing with a mature garden. Aimed rather more at country and suburban gardeners (with space to spread out and experiment), this book may make the urban dweller who posseses limited gardening terrain feel left out at times. But advice on gardening basics will assist all enthusiastic gardeners with planning a site; improving soil quality; handling seeds; planting trees, shrubs, and perennials; composting waste; and propagating new plants. Welcome counsel is offered for organic methods of fertilizing and for designing a garden that will invite wildlife. Final chapters focus on various type of gardens, such as vegetable, flower, and herb.