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Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, 6th Edition: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening
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Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, 6th Edition: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  79 reviews
This is the updated 6th edition of Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, which has evolved from a self-published pamphlet to the master guide to organic vegetable gardening over the past 28 years. Steve Solomon, who was a founder of the Territorial Seed Company, was one of the early proponents of organic gardening, and the first to codify and refine the best practices o ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Sasquatch Books (first published 1981)
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T Hill
Aug 30, 2010 T Hill rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New Pacific NW gardeners
Reasonably good advice for gardeners new to the Pacific NW. He explains why some techniques used in other parts of the country are less effective here and which crops you can grow in a 4 season garden here. (I've been gardening in this part of the state for about 30 years and agree with much of what he says.) His focus is on larger gardens (1/4 to 1/2 acre), but his methods would probably be useful to experienced gardeners with smaller lots or even container gardens. I was a little surprised tha ...more
Excellent resource for the Pacific Northwest. I especially appreciate the detailed description of how to plant each class of vegetable and his honest assessment of how things will grow in our area. This is going on the reference shelf for much future use.
Lise Petrauskas
I love this book, but it can be a bit of a stumbling block if one is just starting to garden, especially if one is the personality type to become too focused on getting everything right the first time, or doing everything the most efficiently or just the way Steve says. The garden is a place where one must improvise and work with what one has, especially if there isn't extra money lying around infinite time and energy to be burned, both of which things Steve Solomon himself is very stingy about ...more
What it boils down to is this: there are two books that address year round gardening in the BC/Washington/Oregon region, and this is the only one that is in print. (Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest is the other one, out of print and older. I haven't yet gotten my hands on it.) It's useful, its region-specific information basically makes sense. If you live in this region, it's an important companion to whatever other gardening books you may use, perhaps even if you aren't oriented towar ...more
Erika RS
Reading this book, you can tell that Solomon is something of a personality, but the book is packed full of detailed information about growing vegetables in the Pacific Northwest.

I appreciate how this book takes a scientific approach to gardening. In addition to telling readers what to do, Solomon tells readers why they should do them. He clearly believes that readers should have the background information to adapt their gardening practices to their particular location and problems.

There are many
I. Love. This. Book. As you might have guessed by the title Solomon throughly explores how to grow things if you live west of the Cascade Mountains. Our climate over here is different than the rest of the US and so a lot of general gardening guides don't work for us, for instance, mulching with hay or leaves around a plant will bring the slugs a chomping.

While not a how-to guide, Solomon has many handy items included in this book: a month-by-month planting guide; advice NOT to do a soil test as
Liked it, but didn't think it was the end all be all.
I had one of the earlier versions and kind of sort of wish I would have been hip to the library first instead of buying this outright.

Lots of the samples are very Seattle specific (I live west of the Cascades, but barely and not in Seattle so lots of the zone stuff just doesn't apply).

I do like the flow and writing style and will, during the winter go back and give it another go. Lots of personal stories of growing with some great suggestions
Laura Lynch-miller
I read a later edition than the one pictured here - the 6th edition. Steve Soloman obviously knows his subject well, and that's the strength and weakness of this book. He writes like he's thinking out loud at times, which makes it harder to absorb the information. It could be a lot better organized.
if you live west of the cascades and grow food, this is your bible.
if you live somewhere else, and grow food, lots of things in here (compost, soil, seed saving etc) will also make this your bible.
Brad Belschner
This book is written primarily for a Cascadian audience, i.e., folks living in the Northern Maritime climate of Western Washington or Oregon (very similar to the climate in much of Britain). If you're gardening there, this book is tailor-made for you! However, most of its content is useful and applicable in other climates as well. I live in a dry Northern Idaho climate and still reference this book often. Steve Solomon has decades of gardening experience and research to learn from, and ALL of hi ...more
Cort Odekirk
Apr 24, 2008 Cort Odekirk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gardeners
This books is not something you ever really finish reading, it's pretty much a guarenteed pick up each spring. Steve Solomon has an earthy style that makes the sometimes dry material fun and homey, but can come across as a bit preachy at times.

The tips are focuses for the Northwest, although that still covers a surprisingly wide range of growing zones. He's based in coastal Oregon, but his tips still are viable for most of the coastal Northwest. I'd take them as a starting point for more eastern
For the serious gardener. Very thorough.
I don't know what to say about this book that hasn't been said. Solomon provides a world of information I never knew, and has a huge amount of knowledge with gardening that I may never obtain. But it's great to have someone like him and something like this book in my permanent library. I've already learned so much in just 300 or so pages that I wouldn't have learned on any website or class.

Now the question is how do I actually work with him so he can really teach me what I need to know to have
Shelton TRL
This is the book to consult for specific information on gardening in our PNW climate and especially for coping with rain-leached soils. Steve Solomon has definite opinions about how we can and cannot correct for these deficits - I pick out the parts I think I can implement with and skip the rest. I use this book much like a reference book, focusing on certain chapters such as soils. Believe it or not, his views on compost & humus are very interesting! No 'glossy pix' but lots of pertinent in ...more
There's a lot of good information in here, but it's pretty dense, and the intense focus on problems... well, it's interesting when you want to know why various garden practices are important, but after enough pages it becomes an undercurrent of AND YOU ARE ULTIMATELY DOOMED TO FAILURE BECAUSE REACHING OPTIMUM CONDITIONS IS IMPOSSIBLE. I wouldn't want it to be my only resource, because it makes vegetable gardening sound immensely daunting.
Kylin Larsson
This is a very useful, hands-on book. As a novice gardener, I can see this becoming more and more mud stained over the years. The most useful information is about regional soil quality and amendment, pests, and garden planning. The only downside is that sometimes the enormity of the process of what goes into a garden can seem a bit daunting. This guy knows his stuff and wants you to know every bit if it too. The book comes with free seeds (lettuce or cucumber).
This is a fantastic reference on everything you could ever want to know about gardening in the Pacific Northwest. It has a lot of information on how to prepare your garden for best results and sections on how to get specific vegetables to grow their best. He takes a very no-nonsense simple approach to all of it. A great, great book for anyone who wants to grow edibles in this region. I'll be cracking this one open to look things up on a very regular basis.
Usually I demand lovely color pictures in a non-fiction informational book. But Solomon's conversational style makes me feel very comfortable, and it is obvious that he knows exactly what he is talking about. I found myself reading it through almost like a novel. He answers a lot of my silly "why" questions, and teaches me how to grow veggies in MY climate. Love it!

Now I just need the perfect picture book to compliment it for all my veggie needs.
The authority on growing vegetables in the Maritime Pacific Northwest, Steve Solomon offers advice based on real-life experience. The founder of Territorial Seeds, Solomon has grown vegetables in multiple locations in the Northwest and has experimented with many techniques and varieties of vegetables. An essential piece of any Northwest gardener's bookshelf - mine is worn already.
Shauna Lambert
Like learning gardening from your old crotchety grandfather. Opinionated, lovable, and knows what he is talking about from loads of experience. He isn’t into fancy tools or techniques, but definitely has a scientific approach to the way he recommends doing things. I appreciate the focus on the specifics of NW gardening. This is my go-to gardening book.
Was simultaneously reading 2 books on gardening in the Pacific NW. This one was more technical and difficult to follow for a beginner. However, I did think it was very informative and will definitely return to it to hone and improve my gardening skills once I become proficient at growing some vegetables.
Bill Thorness
A classic that every gardener in the Maritime Northwest should have. I think it would also be useful for gardeners in other regions, especially ones with mild climates. Steve Solomon's gardening wisdom is broad and deep, and he dispenses it with a comfortable, neighbor-over-the-back-fence style.
I don't know what I would do without this book. He is a font of knowledge. (though he can make you feel a bit like a heel for not constantly being in your garden AT ALL TIMES) but If you live west of the cascades and want to grow veggies year round (or not) read this book, period.
Jan 15, 2014 Barbc marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pamiskey4
This book was sometimes an information overload and the author can be a bit nutty, but overall I enjoyed this book and I have gained all sorts of random gardening knowledge. I'm going to keep this book on hand as I try out my first vegetables patch this summer.
Gemma Alexander
It's the bible.

Unfortunate, though, how often the bible doesn't address a situation like your own. So much of his advice depends on widely spacing vegetables and regularly rotating out of vegetable production - both impossible in an urban garden.
Like reading a textbook and extremely wordy. Probably could have said the same information in half as many pages. However, the specifics to the Northwest, especially the listing of specific vegetables at the end, is worth having for reference.
Shelly O'grady
The best gardening book EVER! If you live "West of the Cascades". Even if you do not, it's still extremely informative about the necessities of gardening, such as composting, how to produce great soil, raised beds,ects. Steve Solomon rocks!
This is the guy who founded Territorial Seeds. Very specific regional info on gardening. I have some organic gardening books that share a lot of philosophy but are vague on details. I need details. This is a great reference if you live in the PNW.
who knew reading a gardening book could be so interesting? i'm really enjoying learning a lot of gardening basics from a pnw vantage point. and steve solomon's writing is entertaining and conversational in a way that makes this book very readable.
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