The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Northeast

The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Northeast

by Marie Iannotti

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604694215
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 119,297
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Marie Iannotti is an avid gardener, writer, photographer, and speaker. She is a Master Gardener Emeritus, as well as a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. She was the gardening expert at About.com for over a decade, and her writing has been featured in outlets nationwide. You can find out more at marieiannotti.com.

Read an Excerpt

Preface
I can’t look through a seed catalog without choosing enough varieties to plant a football field–sized garden, with an appetite for more. Just thinking about vegetable gardening makes me hungry. Few things in this world can compete with biting into a freshly picked fruit or vegetable. The scents, the vibrancy, and the anticipation of that eruption of flavor make growing food an all-sensory delight.

Very few edible plants can’t be grown in the Northeast, especially if you are willing to push the seasonal envelope. Leafy greens, earthy root crops, luscious berries, and hearty winter squash are all ours for the growing. Our climate provides gardeners a warm, sunny summer and plenty of chill days for those exacting plants like rhubarb that need a rest between seasons (kind of like us gardeners). We take a brief pause to celebrate the holidays, and then we reach for our seed catalogs and the gardening season is back underway.

Vegetable gardening allows us to be part of the seasons and their changes. Although some people mark spring by the whims of a mercurial groundhog, there is no denying that spring has begun when we see the first green shoots of spinach, asparagus, or rhubarb. It’s not summer until we can bite into a beefy, glowing tomato, and just when the garden is overflowing with abundance in early fall, the shortening days remind us that it is time to slow down. The Northeast vegetable garden may go under cover for the winter—under mulch, under plastic, or underground—but the process never ends; it just keeps re-creating itself in a most comforting, and often frustrating, way.

This book offers information for gardeners in several states and Canadian provinces: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. Our part of the world is the perfect place to enjoy the change of seasons, and each season brings its own reward. The information offered here will help you make sure you do not miss out on any of the gardening enjoyments the region has to offer, whether it is filling your winter home with sprouting greens and luscious fruits or the succession of harvests from the first spring thaw through the closing curtain of frost in the fall. The Northeast may be thought of as urban and industrial, but it is also home to some of the best farmers’ markets, locavore restaurants, and resilient gardeners who can turn any abandoned lot or alleyway into a feast for the soul.

Having four true seasons gives us the down time we need to plan and prepare our garden year, and getting the most from a vegetable garden does require a little advanced planning. It’s all laid out for you in this book, including a year-round schedule to show what you can prepare, plant, and harvest each season. Whatever your level of gardening experience, you can jump in at any time and get up to speed. Read and digest it all at once, and keep it handy to guide you month by month.

Viewing your garden throughout the year is the best way to learn the intimate nuances of what each plant wants. That knowledge will serve you well, because no two years are the same. It is the rare spring when we can enjoy the gardening tradition of planting our peas on St. Patrick’s Day, but it is not unheard of. What I most hope you will glean from this book is the cycle of the garden and the role you play in keeping it moving forward. The Northeast offers a climate for savoring everything from arugula to zucchini; think about what you love to eat, and get ready to take it to another level.

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