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The Vegetable Gardener's Bible

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  995 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The invaluable resource for home food gardeners!

Ed Smith's W-O-R-D system has helped countless gardeners grow an abundance of vegetables and herbs. And those tomatoes and zucchini and basil and cucumbers have nourished countless families, neighbors, and friends with delicious, fresh produce. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is essential reading for locavores in every corner
Paperback, Second Edition, 352 pages
Published December 2nd 2009 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published February 15th 2000)
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May 02, 2008 Bethany rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Kathleen Callum
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
If you are into raised bed veggie gardening, this is your book. It's oversized.
Neil Walter
Great information, my garden turned out incredible after researching this book.
Great resource for gardening. A book I want to add to my library.
Packed with a lot of useful information. Great for reference.
Apr 28, 2008 Camille rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
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.
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

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.
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.
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.
Sep 14, 2008 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Really great resource. I think I may have to buy this one
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.
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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 Pembreidelan Pers di Indonesia Thomas Jonathan Jackson 1824:1863: A Sketch (1920) The Vegetable Gardener's Ultimate A Z: A Comprehensive Sowing And Growing Guide To Success With Vegetables And Herbs

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