Monday, March 30, 2015

Garden planning

Spring is here and it’s early, but who’s complaining? Although there is still snow on the ground and it’s a bit nippy, now is the time to start planning your gardens. Check out the following non-fiction books on the main level.
Want to go organic and biodynamic, then check out Vegetable Gardening for Organic and Biodynamic Growers by Joel Morrow. This book contains over 70 vegetables with detailed accounts of how to grow them, their nutritional and therapeutic potential. Everything is organized alphabetically, and Mr. Morrow gives new perspectives and ways to work with soil and plants. He might have some great information considering he has over 40 years of experience with plants.

Now on to fruit, like blueberries (one of my favorites), peaches, apples and pears for starters. Lee Reich has a new hands-on guide to homegrown fruit, entitled, Grow Fruit Naturally. He is also the author of The Pruning Book. His books contain many tips on harvesting your fruit, how to store it, and how to deal with all the many pests and diseases that you will need to control.

You know that space of weeds, dirt and something that resembles grass between the sidewalk and the curb? It’s waiting for something exciting to happen, really it is. Evelyn J. Hadden’s (award-winning author of four gardening books) Hellstrip Gardening can help you create that hell strip into something that will throw your neighbors into the “keep up with the Joneses” mode. This book is loaded with beautiful color photographs. Also, don’t stop with that lonely little strip out front when you can transform that patch next to the steps, beside the driveway or that bald spot in the back yard.

If you enjoy flipping through recipes to find new things to entice your spouse or family with, then how about taking a look at The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman? This book contains about 100 living arrangements for any home in any season, even winter. Each plant recipe has a list of ingredients that will teach you step-by-step about how to lace each plant, which kinds of containers you can use and so much more. Treat yourself and bring some of the outdoors inside.

Many of us understand the importance of growing native plants in our gardens to help sustain wildlife but are unsure about how to make a garden that is friendly to both wildlife and humans. If that’s the case, then The Living Landscape, Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy might be the book to check out. This book is overflowing with information about a variety of techniques. They refer a lot to “layers” and how to use and incorporate the various layers found all around you to achieve your goal to design a much more eco-friendly garden/area.

If you like using fresh herbs in the food you eat or just like to enjoy the variety of fragrances that herbs provide, then the book, Your Backyard Herb Garden, by Miranda Smith will help you do just that. It has information about how to grow over 50 herbs and she also has pages of information on how to cook them use them in crafts and much more. She shows you how to grow your favorite herbs using safe, natural and all organic methods. This book has great pictures and is very easy to understand and follow.

Not ready to venture outside just yet? Here’s a book just for you, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, by Carol Wall. Get your warm throw and a cup of something hot and cozy up to this wonderful true story of an unlikely teacher and a doubting student, who work together on a neglected patch of ground and bring it back to life. I think my garden needs this book. This book will be very uplifting and make you stop looking outside at the remaining snow and cold, well at least for a few days.

 --Nicki Malave, Network Administrator

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