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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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4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,165 Ratings  ·  91 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 2,009)
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Bethany
May 02, 2008 Bethany rated it really liked it
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.
Karen GoatKeeper
Aug 15, 2015 Karen GoatKeeper rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2015, nonfiction
The big problem reading a gardening DIY book is adapting it to your own garden. This book is about gardening in Vermont. It snows in Vermont. The soils are different in Vermont.
Making allowances for that there is a lot to learn in this book. It is primarily for the serious gardener who wants to have lots of vegetables.
The ideas of wide raised beds with or without edgings is interesting. Mixing plants instead of rows is interesting. The downsides of tilling is thought provoking. The section on so
...more
Angie
Sep 13, 2012 Angie rated it it was amazing
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!
Sher
Apr 22, 2016 Sher rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Terrific comprehensive guide for the beginning vegetable gardener. Covers soil, site selection, building trellises, plants, companion plantings, and rotations. Lots of helpful illustrations. The only thing I didn't get much information on was companion plants -flowers to plant for attracting beneficial insects.
Larissa
Aug 25, 2015 Larissa rated it it was amazing
So much valuable information! A must-have for vegetable gardeners.
Kathleen Callum
Mar 14, 2015 Kathleen Callum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-and-soil
I grew up in Vermont, so I may be partial to gardening author Edward C Smith. Buy "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" if you only have room for one how-to manual. You'll find you'll rely on this manual even if you own more than a score. The photos, graphics and clear text are practical and fun for novices and experienced gardeners alike. Smith's mantra for wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil radically increased my own garden yield. Coping with slugs, northern climes, or crop rota ...more
Ellen Bell
Mar 21, 2014 Ellen Bell rated it it was amazing
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
Alex
Oct 14, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the one book I refer to year after year when planning out my veggie garden. It has a very easy to follow format, with suggestions on how to get the most out of your garden. The most helpful tool is the crop specific vegetable guide in the back which tells you everything from what type soil works best to varieties that are most popular. I recommend this to all my friends who have an interest in gardening!
Stacey
Dec 28, 2008 Stacey rated it really liked it
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
Ruth
Aug 29, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
I feel like I've finally found the book that tells everything I always wondered about container gardening. Now, I have as black a thumb as anyone I know (despite my mom's green thumb, I didn't get that gene)--but this book MAY, just may, help me learn to garden someday in my condo!
Dr. Ann Coker
Jul 28, 2014 Dr. Ann Coker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 23, 2013 Zack Stackurski rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
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 really liked it  ·  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
Liberty
Oct 25, 2015 Liberty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for the beginner and expert. I borrowed this from a friend and copied down everything I needed, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
Amy Kilcullen
Oct 04, 2009 Amy Kilcullen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2011 Rift Vegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
Sunny
Jan 24, 2015 Sunny rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening
If you are into raised bed veggie gardening, this is your book. It's oversized.
Neil Walter
Aug 26, 2014 Neil Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great information, my garden turned out incredible after researching this book.
Naomi
May 04, 2015 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
Great resource for gardening. A book I want to add to my library.
Skeetor
Aug 13, 2014 Skeetor rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening
Packed with a lot of useful information. Great for reference.
Camille
Apr 28, 2008 Camille rated it really liked it
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
Clarke
Most of the book talks about setting up your garden location, tools, plant selection, ect. It has an excellent section on bugs both good and bad with pictures and tricks of the trade. There is also a couple pages (no pictures) of diseases and solutions. The last section of the book covers specific veggies and herbs. This is my favorite section it's has nice pictures and easy to read information including simple sowing and growing lists for each plant.
Sandra
Mar 30, 2008 Sandra rated it really liked it
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
Jul 26, 2012 Amerynth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 12, 2009 kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sustainable
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
Mar 17, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
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.
Dawn
Aug 19, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books, gardening
I did not read this book from cover to cover. I read the beginning part of planning the garden and things like that. The beginning was not so impressive I feel like it is a bit repetitive. What is awesome about this book are the parts on pest control and specifics in veggies and herbs with tips on how to grow and harvest them.
As an all around book I think this gets the job done very well and it is easy to read.
Lori
Mar 30, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it
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.
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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...

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