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Vegetable Gardening For Dummies By National Gardening Association

Vegetable Gardening For Dummies by National Gardening Association

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Vegetable Gardening For Dummies Summary

Vegetable Gardening For Dummies by National Gardening Association

Vegetables from your own farm to your own table We all love good food, and the fresher it is, the better! And what could be fresher than farm-to-table terms than vegetables you've grown at home? The new edition of Vegetable Gardening For Dummies puts you in touch with your roots in a thousands of years old farming tradition by demonstrating how easy it is to grow your own. And there's no need to buy a farm: all you need to become a successful cultivator of the land is this book and a small plot of soil in the yard, or a container set aside for some tasty natural edibles. Add water and some care, love, and attention-et voila! In a friendly, come-relax-in-my-garden style Charlie Nardozzi-leading horticultural writer and guest expert on shows such as Martha Stewart Living Radio-shares the nutritious results of a lifetime of vegetable-growing experience to delve into the nitty-gritty of micro-farming. It's not rocket science-quite the opposite-but you do need a bit of patience before you can reap your first glorious harvest. This book shows you how to master that, as you get down and dirty with the enjoyable work of building soil, starting seeds, controlling pests, and maintaining your garden. And as your early efforts turn to green shoots, you can dig deeper into information on special tips and tricks, as well as hundreds of vegetable varieties-many of which are beautiful to behold as well as tasty to eat! Plan out your garden Know your veggies, from tomatoes to chard Keep your plants happy and healthy Harvest, store, and preserve your crops Whether your thumb is a fertile green or you've never put plant-to-pot before, this book will bring out your inner farmer: you'll find everything required to transform your garden into a self-renewing larder-and complement every meal with a crisp, healthy, home-grown treat.

About National Gardening Association

Established in 1971, the National Gardening Association is a well-known and widely recognized authority on the consumer lawn and garden market and is the largest member-based, nonprofit organization of home gardeners in the United States.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Foolish Assumptions 2 Icons Used in This Book 2 Where to Go from Here 3 Part 1: Digging Into the Basics of Vegetable Gardening 5 Chapter 1: Vegetable Gardening 101 7 Having a Garden: Yes or No 7 Planning a Veggie Garden 8 Growing a Cornucopia of Vegetables 9 Tomatoes 9 Peppers and eggplants 9 Carrots, onions, and potatoes 10 Peas and beans 10 Cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squash 11 Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower 11 Lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and specialty greens 12 An array of other great veggies 12 Non-vegetable edibles 12 Getting Down to Growing 13 Choosing between seeds and transplants 13 Working the soil 13 Keeping your garden growing and enjoying the rewards 14 Trying for a bigger bounty 14 Chapter 2: Eyeing the Popularity and Benefits of Vegetable Gardening 15 Food Gardening: It's Popping Up Everywhere 15 Identifying a Few Good Reasons to Grow Your Own Food 17 Better tasting and higher quality food 17 Improve your health 18 Save some cash 18 Help the environment 20 Increase your quality of life 21 Self-reliance 21 Chapter 3: Planning Your Veggie Garden 23 Deciding Where to Put Your Vegetable Garden 23 Considering different sites 24 Letting the sun shine 26 Checking your soil's drainage 27 Understanding Veggie Varieties 28 Timing Your Planting Wisely 30 Some like it cool, some like it hot 30 Frost dates and the length of the growing season 31 Your local forecast trumps frost dates 33 Designing Your Garden 33 Deciding on hills, rows, or raised beds 34 Spacing your plantings properly 36 Following the paths 37 Sketching it out 37 Part 2: Focusing on All Things Veggies 43 Chapter 4: Tomatoes: The King of Veggies 45 Checking Out Tomato Varieties 46 Categorizing tomatoes 46 Classifying tomatoes by their appearance 48 Enjoying classic red, round tomatoes 48 Surveying all the other colors of tomatoes 50 Sweetening the pot with cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes 51 Considering some saucy tomatoes 52 Introducing the tomato's relatives 53 Growing Tomatoes with Ease 54 Jump-starting tomatoes 54 Planting, trellising, and pruning 55 Fertilizing and maintaining your plants 57 Eliminating pests and other problems 59 Harvesting tomatoes 61 Chapter 5: Meeting the Tomato's Cousins: Peppers and Eggplants 63 Producing Plenty of Peppers 64 Those sweet bells 64 Long and round sweet peppers 66 Peppers that turn on the heat 67 Pretty peppers: The ornamentals 71 Distinguishing Eggplants by Shape 71 Large and oval 72 Cylindrical 72 Small and round 73 Growing Peppers and Eggplants 73 Starting and planting 74 Fertilizing and watering tips 75 Patrolling and controlling pests 76 Harvesting peppers and eggplants 76 Chapter 6: Growing Underground Crops: Carrots, Onions, and Potatoes 79 A Rabbit's (and Gardener's) Favorite Root: Carrots 80 Classifying carrots by type 80 Examining some varieties 81 Onions: The Bulbs with Layers of Sweet and Pungent Goodness 82 Choosing your onion varieties 83 Looking at scallions and perennial onions 85 Potatoes: No Longer a Boring Spud 87 Potatoes classified 87 Selecting a few potato varieties 87 Growing and Gathering Root Crops 89 General guidelines for all your root crops 89 Cultivating carrots 90 Growing onions 91 Producing potatoes 92 Keeping Your Root Crops Healthy and Pest Free 95 Chapter 7: Sweet and Simple: Beans and Peas 99 A Bevy of Beans: Filling Your Rows with Bean Family Plants 100 Bushels of bush beans 101 Pole beans: The long and tall crop 102 The versatile shell and dried beans 103 Miscellaneous beans not to be forgotten 104 Growing Peas, Please! 106 English peas: The reliable standby 107 Sweet and tender snap peas 108 An earlier harvest: Snow peas 109 Get 'Em in the Ground: Growing Beans and Peas 109 Planting legumes for an ample harvest 110 Thwarting pests and diseases 113 Keep on pickin': Harvesting your crop 115 Chapter 8: Vigorous Vines: Cucumbers, Melons, Pumpkins, and Squash 117 Checking Out Cool Cukes 118 Before you choose: Brushing up on some cucumber vocabulary 118 Surveying common cucumber varieties 119 Melons: The Sweet, Juicy Vining Plant 121 Distinguishing different types of melons 121 Perusing popular melon varieties 122 Unearthing the Humble Squash 123 Identifying different squash types 124 Recognizing popular squash varieties 125 Great Pumpkins: Counting the Uses for This Versatile Squash 127 Growing Those Vines 129 Planting and feeding 129 Watering and watering some more 131 Ensuring proper pollination 132 Controlling pests and diseases 133 Harvesting your vining crop 135 Chapter 9: Cool Weather Staples: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower 137 Paying Attention to the Often-Overlooked Cole Crops 138 Easing into cole crops with broccoli 138 Brussels sprouts: The little cabbages 140 Choosing cabbage: The age-old and dependable cole crop 141 Considering cauliflower in a rainbow of colors 143 Growing Your Own Cole Crops 145 Giving cole crops what they want 145 Nurturing cole crops 146 Putting a stop to pesky pest problems 148 Harvesting cole crops 149 Chapter 10: A Salad for All Seasons: Lettuce, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Specialty Greens 151 Lettuce Get Together 152 Crisphead lettuce 153 Romaine lettuce 154 Loose-leaf lettuce 154 Popeye's Pal: Spinach 155 Savoy spinach 156 Smooth spinach and some spinach-like friends 156 The Attractive and Hardy Swiss Chard 157 Going Wild with Specialty Greens 158 Growing Great Greens 160 Timing is everything: Determining when to plant your greens 160 Putting your greens to bed 162 Adding nitrogen-rich fishy fertilizer 163 Thin and bare it: Thinning your greens 163 Watering to win the war against wilt 163 Working out the bugs (and other common ailments) 163 Your bowl runneth over: Harvesting greens 164 Chapter 11: Sweet Corn and an A to T of Other Worthy Veggies 167 Sweet Corn and Its Relatives 168 Sweet corn 168 Popcorn 170 Considering Other Great Vegetables 171 Arugula 171 Asparagus 172 Beets 174 Bok choi 175 Broccoli raab 176 Celeriac 176 Celery 177 Chinese cabbage 178 Collards 179 Endive 179 Escarole 179 Florence fennel 180 Garlic 180 Globe artichokes 183 Gourds 183 Horseradish 184 Kale 185 Kohlrabi 186 Leeks 186 Mizuna 187 Okra 187 Parsnips 188 Peanuts 189 Radicchio 190 Radishes 191 Rhubarb 192 Rutabagas 193 Shallots 194 Turnips 194 Chapter 12: Edible Landscapes: Fruits, Herbs, and Pretty Things to Eat 197 Sweetening Your Garden: Berries and Trees 198 Strawberries 198 Blueberries 199 Blackberries and raspberries 199 Unusual fruits 200 Focusing on Herbs 201 Basil 203 Chives 204 Cilantro 205 Dill 205 French tarragon 206 Mint 207 Oregano 208 Parsley 209 Rosemary 210 Sage 210 Thyme 211 Blossoming Edible Flowers 212 Part 3: Getting Down and Dirty in Your Vegetable Garden 215 Chapter 13: On Your Mark, Get Set Grow! 217 Choosing Seeds or Transplants 218 Deciding on Your Seeding Method and Decoding a Seed Packet 219 Starting Seeds Indoors 220 Picking a pot to plant in 221 Using a mix that doesn't include soil 222 Sowing your seeds 222 Providing the right amount of light and heat 225 Watering your seedlings 225 Thinning and transplanting indoors 226 Feeding your seedlings 227 Transplanting Indoor Seedlings and Starter Plants 228 Buying starter plants 228 Toughening up all types of transplants 229 Making the big move to the ground 230 Sowing Seeds Directly in Your Garden 232 Deciding on a seed-planting method 233 Thinning seedlings in your garden 237 Chapter 14: Workin' the Dirt 239 Razing Your Garden Spot 239 Killing weeds and aggressive grasses 240 Stripping sod 242 Analyzing and Improving Your Soil 243 Distinguishing different types of soil 244 Testing your soil 245 Adjusting soil pH 247 Adding organic matter (aka the dead stuff) 249 Turning Your Soil 251 Making Your Own Compost 252 Building a compost pile 253 Avoiding materials that don't belong in a compost pile 255 Moistening and turning your compost pile 255 Chapter 15: Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden 257 Addressing the Basics of Watering 258 Knowing when your veggies need a drink 259 Discovering ways to water your vegetable garden 260 Conserving water with a few handy tips 266 Keeping Your Plants Cozy and Weed Free with Mulch 267 Spreading organic mulch 267 Laying inorganic mulch 269 Deciding which mulch to use 271 Determining Important Nutrients Your Soil Needs 272 Macronutrients 273 Secondary nutrients and micronutrients 274 Fertilizing Your Vegetable Garden 275 Examining a fertilizer label 275 Choosing a fertilizer 276 Side-dressing 277 Supporting Your Vegetables 281 Beans and peas 282 Melons and cucumbers 283 Tomatoes 283 Fighting Weed Wars 283 Making a preemptive strike on weeds 284 Battling weeds after planting 285 Chapter 16: Surveying Some Cool Planting Techniques 287 Adding Nutrients and Stability with Cover Crops and Green Manures 288 Eyeing the advantages of cover crops 288 Choosing cover crops 289 Planting cover crops 290 Giving Your Plants Some Friends: Companion Planting 291 Making Your Garden Work Double Time with Intercropping 292 Extending Your Harvest with Succession Planting 293 Rotating Crops to Preserve Soil Nutrients and Maintain a Pest-Free Bed 295 Planting by the Phases of the Moon 296 Building a Hugelkultur-Raised Bed 297 Growing Plants in Strawbales 297 Adding an Herb Spiral to Your Yard 298 Combining Fish with Plants: Aquaponics 299 Chapter 17: Keeping Your Plants Healthy 301 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Controlling Pests 302 Recognizing the good bugs 302 Rounding up the bad bugs 303 Considering the best form of attack 309 Gardening to Eliminate Diseases 312 Avoiding diseases with good habits 312 Watching out for common diseases 313 Keeping the Animal Kingdom at Bay 315 Chapter 18: Containing Your Veggies 319 Considering a Few Container Characteristics 320 Filling Up Your Container: Potting Soil Made Simple 322 Knowing Which Vegetables Grow Well in Pots 323 Identifying some common container veggies 323 Some bee-u-tee-ful vegetable combos 325 Planting Your Veggies in Pots 326 Caring for Container Veggies 327 Chapter 19: Harvesting, Storing, and Preserving Vegetables 329 Knowing When to Harvest 329 Putting Away Your Vegetables 332 Freezing, Drying, and Canning Veggies 335 Saving Vegetable Seeds 336 Part 4: The Part of Tens 339 Chapter 20: Ten Tools of the Trade 341 Watering Hoses and Cans 342 Hand Trowels 343 Hand Cultivators 343 Garden Hoes 343 Spades and Shovels 345 Garden Forks 345 Garden Rakes 345 Buckets, Wagons, and Baskets 346 Wheelbarrows and Garden Carts 347 Power Tillers 348 Chapter 21: Ten (or So) Ways to Extend Your Growing Season 351 Plant in Clever Locations 352 Time Your Planting Wisely 352 Protect Plants with Hot Caps 353 Add Elegance to Your Garden with Glass Cloches 353 Buy or Build Cold Frames 354 Drape Row Covers over Veggies 355 Place Wall O' Waters around Plants 356 Try Portable Greenhouses and Hoop Houses 357 Appendix: Planning Guidelines and Other Resources 359 Index 383

Additional information

Vegetable Gardening For Dummies by National Gardening Association
John Wiley & Sons Inc
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

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