Monday, April 27, 2015

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers by Karen Newcomb is a great resource for people with limited space who want to have a beautiful, abundant garden to grow their own produce.  My husband is the green thumb of our family and I was excited to share this book with him and see his interest in how it could help him plan our garden and get the most out of its space.

This book was originally published forty years ago, but it has been completely revised and updated with an eye to current trends including heirloom vegetable gardening and the importance of chemical free organic gardening practices.  It is packed with illustrations and plotting options to create garden spaces in areas as small as 4'x4' to 10'x10' areas and also contains suggestions for container gardening for folks who are limited to just their patios.  It has already been useful to our garden's planning in numerous ways, and has included many helpful hints that will make our crops much more productive this year even without following one of the precise diagrams.

Here are just a few of the wonderful tips this book includes:

A list of plants like lavender, cosmos and verbena which can attract beneficial insects to help pollinate and naturally rid your garden of other dangerous pests.

Helpful hints on which containers to choose for gardening in the smallest of spaces and how you can convert a simple drying rack into a vertical gardening helping hand.

Ratings on the ease of incorporating plants that will feed your family throughout the spring and summer including prolific vegetables like radishes and a chart of how many plants you will need per family member to plant a robust garden.

Step by step instructions on time saving strategies for watering and setting up a perfect growing medium for your plants with the inclusion of organic ingredients, and how-tos for composting your own nutrient rich soil.

A comprehensive list of plants that "like each other"; for example, how your asparagus plants may prompt your tomatoes to work overtime (something we enjoyed quite by accident last summer)!

Organic pest control recommendations specific to vegetable families and practical advice on how to maintain your garden plot once it is producing pounds of vibrant colorful veggies for your family's enjoyment.

There is much to learn in The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden for the skilled and novice gardener alike.   I know that there will be a great benefit to our garden this year thanks to the advice in its pages.  Ms. Newcomb's books have spent many years on the best seller list for a reason.  I'm thrilled that this book was available from the good folks at Blogging for Books for us to review for free, but I would choose other books by the author after seeing how thoroughly explained and easily she imparts her knowledge and love of gardening.  Thank you sincerely for letting me review this work.