254 internautes sur 256 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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I bought "Grow Great Grub" because I got so much out of "You Grow Girl". I really didn't see how the author could come up with that much excellent material again, but she did.
You probably should stop reading and just buy the book. The quality is excellent. Photographs are beautiful. The book is easy to read and doesn't waste time. Well done!
Pictures of what vegetables are supposed to look like always help. I'm always turning to my neighbor and asking, "Did I plant that or is it a weed?" Usually the neighbor says it's a weed, but I'm never sure.
The text covers harvesting, drying, preserving, and storing, only one of which I want to do, harvesting, but the other topics are beautifully covered for those who are ready. I'm pushing my luck just to grow and harvest a plant from seed. Maybe next year I'll preserve and store.
She lists plants that grow well in depleted soil, shady or very hot spots and makes coverage interesting on topics of nutrients, fertilizers, containers, pests, building self-watering planter boxes cheaper than buying, a great idea.
I learned about heat-loving spinach I was already growing, but had no idea what it needed! Lists of recommended varieties of vegetables and those that work well in containers are especially helpful.
Now I know when to harvest vegetables, something that always baffled me, including when to dig up onions, when to stop watering, and hang them to cure, and when my radishes were ready to harvest, unfortunately I didn't learn that in time for the current crop, how radishes can be used as a pest repellent for squash, that carrots are slow to germinate but ready to eat at any size, and when potatoes are ready to harvest. I had been about to pull mine out to check. I'm glad I didn't. I had no idea some gardeners say squash plants produce too much squash! I can't wait to have that problem. She covers spacing and staking squash plants, preferred pot size for these space hogs, when to pluck them for best taste, and how to help pollinate, "to make sure the job gets done."
Sections cover special needs of tomatoes, potatoes, blueberries, cucumbers, squash, and radishes, etc.
My notes include why not to let water splash up on lower leaves of tomato plants and how to give them certain nutrients while making leaves and stems, when to stop so they will produce fruit, and when and what to give them at that point. There are special planting needs, since they have lots of root growth, and companion plants for best use of space. Then she gave the best definition I've heard of the differences between determinate, indeterminate, semi-determinate (new to me), dwarf hybrid tomatoes, and which one is right for me.
There is a section on growing fruit in small pots. Now I think I'll grow some strawberries after all. Blueberries - hedge or containers. I think I'll do both. I learned why nothing grows around my pine tree and why blueberries might, why, what and how to prune out to increase growth and discourage fungal problems, needs of high-bush and low-bush blueberries, which one is right for me, how to get the best crops by promoting cross-pollination, when and when not to pick flowers off so the plant can put its energy into growing healthy roots, why/why not to grow fruit from seed, how to prepare citrus soil for fruit plants, when and when not to water, how much sun and heat they need, and how long it takes for them to grow fruit, I might have given up, and finally, how to plant, elevate, and hand-pollinate.
How did she make all this so interesting and easy to read? I don't know, but I'll be referring to this book often. It's a keeper!
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I've spent years killing plants until getting Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces a few months ago, which finally revealed:
-why the rosemary survived but did not grow (too small a pot)
-why the basil died (unrelenting exposure to wind)
-why the thyme survived where the basil did not (the thyme is drought resistant and didn't care that I'd ridiculously put all my herbs in a tiny coir-lined window basket on a wind-whipped second story balcony)
-why the mint rotted (mints like to "stay wet" I'd been told by other books. Apparently not that wet, and only the soil not the leaves.. Excessively wet + poor air circulation = rot)
-how all of them could have benefited from mulch (did not occur to me to mulch pots)
-a clear metaphor to understand and see how often any plant needs water
-how to make simple plant foods
-and on and on!
It also explained terms I had seen thrown around in several gardening books, like the warning to not let your plants "bolt" (which at the time I could only imagine involved my herbs running away to a more competent home). If years of looking at those unhelpful charts so common in other books, describing the exact conditions favored by each plant (type of soil, pH, full sun vs partial shade, etc) have led you to believe that each plant can only be grown in its own meticulously placed test tube, this is just the book to coax you out of that hopeless paradigm. And I spent maybe a decade thinking "partial shade" meant some kind of sparse, broken shade, like under a tree, when it turns out the "partial" refers to time; 4-6 hours of direct sun per day compared to 8 hours of direct sun per day for "full sun."
And if you've always wanted to grow herbs, but wondered what you might do with them beyond cooking and tea, then absolutely get Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, a brilliant DIY book on everything from making hair detangler to tinctures to infusions (not to mention all the non-herb-related projects, like how to espalier). Or just look around at the things in your home. Trader Joe's sells sachets of lavender to toss into the dryer; now that I'm up to my eyeballs in lavender, I'm making a reusable mesh pouch that I can just refill. California Baby makes a nice bubble bath for chest colds; I can make an herbal infusion that does the same thing without the bubbles. The authors also have a blog, Root Simple. I love the post on harvesting and drying herbs [...]
The only point where I disagree is the suggestion to use newspaper and cardboard in compost (I'll pass on the glues, inks, and who knows what else).
There could be a little more information with regard to harvesting herbs. For example, for lavender it says, "Harvest in the summer, just before the buds open." Well, if I just bought a transplant of lavender that has flowers and some or many of them have already opened, what do I do with those? Leave them, deadhead them, harvest them anyway with the caveat that they won't be *as* potent? I've found the blog Root Simple to be great for this kind of information. See this series on Calendula, which covers growing, harvesting, drying, infusing, and then using the infusion to make a balm. [...]
I wish there was more information for fruit, specifically dwarf fruit trees and espaliers, beyond the 2 pages given to growing citrus indoors (how does that get pollinated?). The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) says "Grow Edible Perennials: To work less, dedicate part of your garden to plants that bear fruit without you having to think about it. All fruit and nut trees fall into the perennial category. There are dwarf ... varieties that do not take up much room, but deliver plenty of fruit (and because the tree are small, between 8 and 10 feet high, all of that fruit is easily harvested). ... With trees you have yearly harvesting and pruning duties, which is some work, but less than shepherding annual plants from seeds to harvest. After trees, there are fruiting bushes, like blackberry and raspberry bushes. These are usually grown on trellises to control their growth and make harvesting easier. As with trees, this is some work when you set it up, but not constant work (all the years that follow)" I met someone today who has 390 fruiting plants on their 1/3 acre plot; they are definitely a worth including in any "food from small spaces" book. Since most fruit is grown either on a tree or a trellis, the section of this book specific to fruit is 11 pages compared to the vegetables' 47 (and 2 of those 11 are devoted to melons, which she says most small-space gardeners skip because melons sprawl and take up a lot of room in a bed). If anyone knows of a good dwarf orchard book, please recommend it (to clearly explain when to fertilize and with what and why, when and how to prune (open center, central lead, thinning cuts, heading cuts, growth collars, waterspouts, suckers, dormant pruning, after harvest pruning, active growth pruning) troubleshooting and preventing various problems (spider mites, powdery mildew, leaf curl, caterpillars, snails, aphids), how to plant (I've heard something about "percolate the ground first"), equipment & care (bypass pruners, pull saw, loppers, a sharpening tool, disinfectant), culling fruit, or whatever can be covered before it gets too specific for a particular region (like chill hour requirements and what that means for what variety grows where).