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The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  843 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Discover the last W.O.R.D. in vegetable gardening with Ed Smith's amazing gardening system. By integrating four principles -- Wide beds, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep beds -- Smith reinvents vegetable gardening, making it possible for everyone to have the best, most successful garden ever. By following this complete system you cultivate deep, powerful soil that no ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 15th 2000 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,496)
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Bethany
May 02, 2008 Bethany rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: New Gardeners
Shelves: non-fiction
I did not read everything in this book, but it is a fantastic book for getting a start on a garden.
Angie
This is my total go-to book for quick referencing issues that crop up in my garden. I have lots of gardening books, but when it comes to needing the info, this book delivers all the answers. Highly recommend for the beginner and seasoned gardener alike!
Ellen Bell
This book is a must-have in any serious vegetable gardener's reference collection. It covers all the basics (in plenty of detail) about siting your garden, preparing your soil, choosing what to grow and where to grow it within your garden space. It has an excellent table on companion planting, covering each vegetable's garden "friends" and "enemies." And it has a comprehensive section in the end on each individual type of vegetable plant and herb, covering specifics down to optimal germination t ...more
Stacey
So I have a backyard that's too small to play in but too big to lay vacant. With the prices of everything going up, combined with fond memories of my grandmother, I thought I might start a vegetable garden. After reading Edward Smith's The Vegetable Gardener's Bible I decided that I maybe don't have the best spot after all. I'll certainly check it out in the spring but if I decide to plant anything this year it'll probably just be a few berry bushes in the front garden.

That was the great thing a
...more
Dr. Ann Coker
An invaluable resource for all gardeners

What a delightful journey through the author's garden...a "plain English" go-to reference with clear, easy-to-follow directions that includes almost every veggie and herb you could want to grow.
Zack Stackurski
If you're thinking of starting your own garden, go out and buy a copy of this book first!

When we purchased our first home I knew I wanted a garden... and remembered my Dad always referenced his "Crocket's Victory Garden" book when I was growing up. I couldn't find a copy of that... but this was made by the same publisher and is a fantastic resource for any vegetable gardener. The first section of the book deals in the details of things like creating garden beds and making your own compost using
...more
Jen
It seems like all the gardening books I find are along the "how to grow more with less space/work/etc." path. It starts feeling like an odd pitch. I didn't pay much attention to the author's "WORD" system (nor does it seem to be an overwhelming theme in the book), but was happy to find a vegetable book with a basic reference section in the back where I can look up something I'm not used to growing (leeks, anyone?) and get the basics on how and when to plant it, good and bad companion plantings, ...more
Jthreadsmith
Aug 28, 2010 Jthreadsmith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all vegebale gardeners
This is a good guide for new and experienced gardeners alike. I especially like the section in the back that dedicates a couple of pages or more to specific information about each vegetable, including planting and growing needs, pests and diseases, and lots more. Just be aware that Ed Smith lives somewhere in the mid-west and he writes from that perspective. So if you are gardening in another part of the country, you might not have great luck with a given vegetable variety he talks about, or you ...more
Amy Kilcullen
Love this book. The ultimate garden reference. I thought I would use this book as a reference, which I did, yet also found myself reading page-to-page. I planted veggies this year I may not have tried had I not read about planting them in this book (I planted potatoes for the first time this year from old potatoes in my fridge). I referenced this book often when planning my garden layout, deciding which plants to plant together and which to plant far from each other, how deep to plant each. I al ...more
Rift Vegan
My first gardening book, so I'm not sure how to rate it. Lots of pretty photos, and the "Vegetables A to Z" seems adequate.

It says "Organic Methods" on the front cover... but eh:

* He recommends fish emulsion or fish-and-seaweed liquid fertilizer for many of the plants. Seeing how fishing is such a major environmental disaster, I'm not sure how "organic" that is.

* He also recommends Neem Oil as a pesticide. Technically, it's organic (a vegetable oil made from an evergreen tree), but it's still
...more
Neil Walter
Great information, my garden turned out incredible after researching this book.
Skeetor
Packed with a lot of useful information. Great for reference.
Camille
Apr 28, 2008 Camille rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gardeners
This is a great practical garden guide! Beautiful pictures, concise text, and clear descriptions/instructions. Very useful information about composting and garden pests. The reason I only gave it 4 stars: the vegetable section covers the same 30 or so standard garden crops that all gardening books address. These were discussed well, but I'd like to hear what Ed has to say about some of the lesser grown vegetables and herbs that are becoming more common in backyard gardens. Perhaps he does this i ...more
Sandra
A very good basic organic gardening book. Most of the information was stuff I've learned elsewhere, but he does delve a bit deeper into some particulars like organic fertilizers/pest control (with recipes). I especially appreciated his section on the particulars on specific vegetables and herbs. It was thorough with instructions from sowing to storing, companions, nutrition, good varieties, etc., etc. I took a lot of notes. If you're wanting to get into a more organic way of gardening I would de ...more
Amerynth
I checked out several books on vegetable gardening from the library recently -- "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" is the only one I wanted to buy a copy of for myself. This book is a great gardening reference -- especially the crop by crop listing for each vegetable, which includes instructions on how to sow, good varieties and even the right time for picking. The book felt really accessible for a beginning gardener, as opposed to some of the other books I looked through at the library.
kathryn
I read this book cover to cover during a few snowy afternoons this winter. Although it's kind of a reference book, it was quite readable as well as informative. It's written by a gardener up in the Northeast Kingdom in VT, so it gives you great tips on how to grow vegetables even if you have a short growing season. (He is very inspiring!) Great pictures and step-by-step instructions for building raised beds and growing organic vegetables.
Allison
Technically, this is more of a reference book, so I may not ever "finish" reading it.

Great detail, good introductions and descriptions of botany (but specific to vegetables) concepts.

Although, if you did everything this guy recommended, you'd be out thousands of dollars and be spending 60 hours a week in your garden...not that that's necessarily a bad thing!

I guess we'll see in August how good his recommendations really are

Paul
This book is very helpful for when to plant what,and what to plant next to which plant.

It has the WORD method which seemed good to me as a beginning gardener.

Tons of photos and instructions.

Worthy of retention.

10/25/2011 update - This book has proved to be so much more than it seemed when I first bought it. The part on compost for the raised beds doubled my harvest the next year. This author makes gardening nearly fool proof.
Lori
I loved this book. Very informative with lots and lots of PICTURES!!! The first half covers everything you'd ever want to know about successful gardening (and then some)... The second half is a reference with 2-3 pages devoted to specific vegetables. I read most of it after getting it from the library and went ahead and ordered it from Amazon. I can tell it will be a good reference book to have on hand.
Heather
A great resource. I'm a hobby gardener who's been learning as I go. I learned a lot of technical things that I wasn't aware of. Also, this past growing season I tried a few of the methods from this book and found that I had a lot of success with them. However - the close growing beds he recommends seemed to have encouraged blossom-end rot in my tomatoes. Everthing else did very well.
Rob
Sep 14, 2008 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone that wants to grow their own
Recommended to Rob by: Adam, Sue
Shelves: vermont, own, gardening, 2008
This book is incredible. It's easy to read and full of useful tips. As a novice gardener, it helped to make the planting/sowing process a lot less intimidating and has helped me to actually yield some fruits. Having shown the book to some more experienced gardeners and getting their feedback as well, this really does seem to be the best overall book for organic gardening.
Julie
BEST GARDENING BOOK! Easy to read (Ed has a great scene of humor)with lots of useful information and practical ideas from seed staring, compost making, fertilization, natural pest control, watering, plot planning, canning and cold storage. It is my most used gardening book, I refer to it almost all year long.
Julie
This is another of my favorite gardening books for vegetable gardeners. I love the pictures and I especially love the glossary in the back for the different vegetables and their specific needs. It is easy to look up things in this book and he has some great ideas.
Lora
Really great gardening book, lots of pictures, diagrams, and information. Covers the following topics: how/where to plant, when and planning what to plant, seed growing, weed/feed/watering, soil, composting, pest control, vegetable varieties and suppliers.
Jan
Since I'll get growing my own garden this summer (complete with greenhouse) I really liked Mr. Smith's book. And he has one all about CONTAINER GARDENS that I just ordered. I like when people figure out things for me BEFORE I take the 'plunge'!
Kristine
A great resource for gardener's like me who wonder, "when should I rotate my crops?" "How often do I need to cut back my basil?" "Why are my tomato plants yellowing?" A little heavy on the raised beds section, but a great comprehensive resource.
Nolan
good book for the gardeners out there. Smith's garden is in New England, and has to deal with cold winters much like Wisconsin. I found this useful as the other gardening books are written by people in Florida or California.
Suzanne
Excellent all around gardening book, covered many many (many!) topics in just the right amount of detail. Accessible and yet still valuable.

If I needed an all-around reference this would be an excellent purchase.

Amelia
This seems like a good, solid guide to vegetable gardening, but, like most books of its kind, it has some limitations. I haven't tried to apply it, but I got the impression that implementing this system would be fairly expensive.
Edithandersen
Great book for anyone who wants to start and grow an organic garden. This will be my go-to-book for years to come unless my garden decides not to cooperate or the produce I grow causes harm to loved ones.
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Edward C. Smith tends a garden of over 1,500 square feet filled with raspberries, blueberries, flowers, herbs, and nearly 100 varieties of vegetables, including some heirlooms, in his home state of Vermont.
More about Edward C. Smith...
Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers: Using Ed's Amazing POTS System The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers Pembreidelan Pers di Indonesia Thomas Jonathan Jackson 1824:1863: A Sketch (1920)

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