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You Grow Girl

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  850 ratings  ·  124 reviews
This is not your grandmother's gardening book. You Grow Girl is a hip, humorous how-to for crafty gals everywhere who are discovering a passion for gardening but lack the know-how to turn their dreams of homegrown tomatoes and fresh-cut flowers into a reality.

Gayla Trail, creator of, provides guidance for both beginning and intermediate gardeners with eng

Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 2nd 2005 by Touchstone
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,583)
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Jul 25, 2008 Gayla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm obviously a little biased.
Rachelle Nicolette
Punk rock gardening.
Kit A.
Mar 15, 2008 Kit A. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: urban/small space beginner gardeners
Recommended to Kit by: Zorianna Z.
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago, but I never had much use for it because I was living with my parents and sharing a huge country garden with them. Now that I live in the city with my husband, yard space is limited and reading this book was extremely helpful.

It's packed with tips on anything garden-related, from how to easily & inexpensively construct a small fence to making your own organic pest control. A great book for beginners, especially those who feel alienated by
Apr 13, 2008 Susie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crafty, urban people who love nature
Shelves: i-commented
i've got this at home from the library right now and already regret not having purchased it as there are so many great ideas and recommendations, i wish i could bookmark and write notes on the pages.

i love that it's a gardening book for impulsive, crafty, urban people - very niche but i completely relate (although i feel there's an unusual emphasis on growing a garden on your fire-escape or window sill and making the most of your space, although the cover gives exactly the opposite impression of
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
At first I thought "You Grow Girl" was going to be a disappointment. The introduction seemed to be very specific towards urban gardening. I'd read the summary and the reviews online and while it talked a lot about "small space" gardening it never suggested the book was solely for the urbanites. There's even one point during the introduction that suburbanites seem to be all wealthy white women with too much time and money.

That's not me. I live in my parents garage because I can't afford a place w
Confession: I am not reading this book in sequential order, and there are some parts that do not apply to me right now because I am very new at gardening, so maybe, it is not fair to say I have read the WHOLE book, but here's what I know so far:

1. Just flipping through the book at the store, I learned several helpful facts that I had not known.
2. Immediately, I started looking for other books by this author or similar to You Grow Girl.
3. I went home (after purchasing the book)and started doing m
Feb 17, 2008 Ali rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: city slickers, green thumbs, black thumbs, and anyone with a windowsill to a yard
Recommended to Ali by: Gayla Trail
I was introduced to this book through the gardening website Like the site, it's a combination of fun, practical and inspirational gardening advice and projects. The book is useful as an intro for DIY-inclined urban gardeners. It's unassuming and breaks down any stumbling blocks a new gardener might come across. Flipping through it always makes me think "Hell yeah, I'm going to plant something right now!"
This is a great read and reference guide if you are interested in starting a garden. Trail lays the details of gardening out in a way that is simple to understand and easy to pick back up later to reference when you are having problems. I think between this book and her other book on growing in small spaces, we can hopefully grow a somewhat successful garden this summer.
A fun book that proves anyone can grow plants even if all you have is a windowsill. It's a great jumping off point into the world of gardening.

Love the design/layout of the book as well.
Okay, so I bought this for the permaculture guild but liked it so much that I kept it. Oh, simplified. Wonderful.
For a beginner this book was very helpful. Beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written this book takes you step by step through basics of everything concerning gardening. As spring is just weeks away after a hard winter in New England this was a delightful respite from biographies, horror novels and mysteries I usually frequent. I'm ready to get out and garden thanks to my new friendly gardening guide Mrs. Trail.

As a postscript. . . Thank you mom for sending me this book : ) It's a gem!
Written well enough to read for fun, but still has all the information you could ever hope for in a garden how-to book. It's written for a novice gardener, which I am not, but I still found lots of great tips and my copy is now littered with post-its marking pages.

There is information about planting, growing, harvesting, and storing vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers in both containers and in the ground. If that weren't enough (it is!) there are also "recipes" for ways to use your herbs (edi
As a new gardener, I was looking for a beginner's guide to learning about gardening. I liked this book because it went beyond creating a beautiful aesthetic to really enjoying the actual act of gardening. Some other gardening books I have come across are mostly concerned with the final result of having a beautiful, this author focuses on also enjoying the process, learning and growing plants you can eat and use in out of the ordinary way.

I loved the photos and the illustrations, along with the t
So, this is a pretty kickass gardening book that originated from which is an excellent resource for all things gardening.

Don't be fooled by the title or the lame cartoony cover, this book is crammed with useful information that is for young gardeners, not just girls.

Gayla covers lots of topics and includes some awesome little DIY projects and recipes in the book. One thing that got a bit tiresome was the "all natural" "organic" aspect of things. Growing organic in an environm
When I had my first in-depth to Gayla Trail with her Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces, I noticed that, while I loved the book, it was missing some of the more basic info that was needed by beginners like me, so I went back to her fist book, You Grow Girl. And lo and behold, there was the missing link. You Grow Girl covers all the gardening fundamentals, starting with basic gardening equipment you should have and going through all of the stages of planning, planting, caring, harves ...more
I was looking for a good, basic, not-scary introduction to gardening, and this absolutely fits the bill!

It's definitely a beginner book, and anyone who reads it is immediately going to need to start doing more in-depth research, but it's such a friendly jumping-off point that I really can't recommend it enough.
Mar 19, 2011 Trish rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jacki, diy crafty gardeners
Love this book!!! Will own it soon.

IMO this book is a must have for the crafy garden girl on a budget. This book helps with the projects that would cost a whole lot more if you had to buy from the chain department store or local nursery. I plan on making some of the trellises that are shown in the book. I have been putting off buying them at the store b/c I wanted my flower budget to go to buying actual flowers and not the items needed for the flowers. Yes, I could look up some of the DIY garden
A fast, easy read to get you started with gardening. Most gardening books are intimidating and have a lot of up-front cost & effort. You Grow Girl has a trash-to-treasure, DIY ethos that is a relief for the overwhelmed newbie.
Loved it... my favorite gardening book so far. Honestly, I did think the punk rock thing got a bit old since that's not my style, but the gardening ideas, the DIY crafts, the RECIPES!!!!! This book is worth owning just for the organic make-from-kitchen-ingredients garden recipes. Natural insect control/fertilizer/soil prep/etc from peppers, tea, coffee grounds, baby powder, pennies, whatever. I was just doing light gardening pleasure reading (because that's how I roll...) until I hit the section ...more
Having read this book, do I feel like I can grow a plant successfully, or even multiple plants successfully? Eh, maybe. Do I hate how these kinds of books make it seem like [insert activity which you suck at] is easy peasy? Yes.

All in all though, it does give some good basic instructions for basic gardening (for those with the Black Thumb of Death), and I really liked the emphasis on organic gardening and natural pest management, foregoing all the chemical nonsense. I read a little of the autho
I wanted to do a garden this year, but stopped short because I also seem to ruin them. I did a bit of container gardening and only got basil in return. I found this book and just wanted to see if I could get gardening figured out.

This is labeled as a punk rock gardening book, but I think that's a stupid label for anything. It actually had a lot of great information about gardening, if you have a big yard or just a rooftop or fire escape. There is a lot of info about plants, what is good where, e
I found this at a yard sale. It's a pretty cool gardening book. Interesting and lots of awesome DIY projects
This book is cute! Very easy to follow suggestions for those who don’t know too much about gardening. I really liked the cloches she shows, the chicken wire one would be perfect for my hanging strawberry plants. You can tell Gayla likes to garden. She is mindful of reusing plastic bottles for cloches, watering funnels and her idea of a reusable tea bag is genius! I never thought of it. Well thought out and put together book! Definitely recommend for anyone that has limited space for gardening, b ...more
I really love Gayla's blog--a beautiful, meditative blog of a complete and utter plant lover. I wanted to like this book more, but I think it was just a case of mismatched expectations. It's a beginner's gardening book and even in my first year with a garden, I already feel past a lot of these issues or skeptical of folksy sounding remedies. I would have loved to read a book called "Plants Gayla Loves," because that'd be fascinating, but I'm just not interested in sewing patterns for aprons in m ...more
Juliette Williams
I love this book as much as I love the blog (! There are really great ideas, tips and solutions for all sorts of issues - from dealing with plant disease, to seedling transplants to companion planting. It's not so much a cutesy book as it is a practical no-nonsense guide to gardening for those who may have once thought they couldn't grow anything. Case in point: me. I used to proclaim I had a brown thumb, and while I still make mistakes, my veggies and flowers are doing very well ...more
Jun 30, 2007 Liz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: urban gardeners
This spring, I went out and bought loads of little plants to fill up my little deck. I found a great website and blog to help me in my efforts at keeping the plants alive, called The site's author, a cool Canadian woman, has written a great, easy-to-read book for beginner gardeners, aimed mostly at thrifty, young, city-dwelling folks.

I only wish it was a longer, more in-depth book. But then, I can always go to the website for more help with my plants.
Sep 01, 2007 Jill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Urban Gardeners
I loved this book. I wish I could say it resulted in a lovely garden. However, my backyard is overgrown, and I tend to kill things that I plant. However, I still have hope. And this book is a fun read with cute projects. If anyone ever wants to buy me a book for a gift, this one's perfect.... hint.. hint... : )

UPDATE: Someone who read my shameless plug for wanting this gift as a book gave it to me. Yay! Rachel, you're the best!
Not quite as entertaining as the blog. Trail gives tips on gardening for urbanites/suburbanites with little money and little in-the-ground space. Repeatedly stressing that there are no gardening guides for those of limited means and limited ground isn't the same thing as giving substantial ideas - although the book has lots of ideas, don't get me wrong - and I could've lived without the cute-little-projects throughout. Nice basics.
Every time I open this book I learn something new. It's a great beginners' guide to the hopeful urban gardener, and includes a lot of fun craft ideas to complement your adventures in growing! The only drawback is that I would like to see more about indoor and container gardening, but it looks like her new book (out Feb 2010) will delve in specifically to those things! Looking forward to it!
I wouldn't say I have a black thumb, but it's something like green with a pretty brown thumbnail. Hopefully, You Grow Girl will change that this season (assuming Wisconsin doesn't have the crazy June rains and exploding tomatoes that we did last summer). I picked this up because of the title, but stuck with it I liked Gayla Trail's smart, fun book. It's like a Stitch 'n Bitch for urban gardeners.
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I write and speak about urban gardening and growing food. I take pictures too. I do graphic design work. And some other stuff.
More about Gayla Trail...
Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces Drinking the Summer Garden: Homegrown Thirst Quenchers, Concoctions, Sips, and Nibbles (You Grow Guides, #1) Gärtnern geht überall

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