The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables

Timber Press. Mar. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781643260853. pap. $19.95. GARDENING
The past year saw a boom in amateur gardening, as people stuck at home sought to save money, compensate for food shortages, and relieve stress. The latest title from Forkner (Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest) offers these new gardeners practical advice and encouragement in a friendly, unpretentious tone. Forkner begins with an overview of basic principles: growing regions in the United States and southern Canada, temperature, light, water, soil, seeds, sustainable practices, garden planning and design, and a short glossary of common gardening terms. Next up is a month-by-month guide with gardening to-do lists by region and articles related to that month’s tasks (e.g., sowing microgreens in January, water-wise gardening in July). The final section is an A–Z list of common garden vegetables; each entry includes a photo, suggested varietals, basic information on growing and harvesting, and a table of planting and harvesting dates by region. To cover so much ground in a short book, Forker has sacrificed some detail and specificity. More experienced gardeners and those growing in challenging or unusual conditions should consult books focused on their specific needs.
VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended for new and novice gardeners who want a straightforward, unfussy guide to growing their own food.
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