EdibleNotesReviews's Reviews > Vertical Vegetables & Fruit: Creative Gardening Techniques for Growing Up in Small Spaces

Vertical Vegetables & Fruit by Rhonda Massingham Hart
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's review
Dec 14, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: garden

Growing up and not out are words to live by for anyone who gardens in small spaces - or who wants to produce more from the space they have. Vertical Vegetables & Fruit by Master Gardener Rhonda Massingham Hart (Storey Publishing, Dec. 2011) is an absolute treasure-trove of highly useful and practical information for any gardener considering growing tomatoes on a balcony or growing more fruit through space-saving espallier pruning and anything in between.

Hart has compiled, in a brisk, tightly-written and effectively illustrated 176 pages, what has to be one of the best special-subject gardening books of the year (and it must be considered one of the best overall gardening books of the year as well). From the ideas and information on building structures to support plants as they grow up to the resources on plant-by-plant varieties that are well suited to a 'vertical lifestyle', Hart has placed an enormous amount of information at the hands of experienced and novice gardeners alike who can easily digest it and put into their work immediately.

The resources on plant-by-plant varieties that are well suited to vertical growing are very well thought out and include not only the peculiarities of growing beans or melons or whatever in a more vertical space but essential, easy to understand and apply information on plant propogation, planting and transplanting, water requirements and plant nutrition needs. These resources are clear, concise and very effective and make the book even more of a worthwhile guide.

Even gardeners free of the confines of a patio or balcony will find the book to be a valuable resource for growing more in the space they do have. Urban and community gardeners take note - this is the book for you when it comes to solid, expertly written and highly useful information about getting more produce out of the space you have.

The design of the book - from the way each chapter is laid out to the sidebars and resource chapter, should set the trend for how well gardening books can be done. The illustrations are effective and clear and the book does not rely on terrible black and white photos of important elements where the reader is expected to guess or surmise what the photo is about or what to do as so many other gardening books do. Here you get the real deal - great information and great illustrations all in a highly effective and useful design.

Verical gardening has taken a few hits recently especially as it pertains to water use. Don't confuse this type of vertical gardening with 'living walls' where water use can be intense. If a trellis, teepee, cage, A-Frame, arbor or even pots stacked one on top of the other won't cure your space problem then a living wall won't be of any help either. These are real-world answers to the immortal quandry of not having enough space to grow the vegetables and fruits we all work so hard for and wait so long for.

Vertical Vegetable & Fruit is one of the most worthwhile investments in knowledge any gardener can make regardless of space or experience. There is something here for everyone to use and for other garden books to grow up to in terms of how garden books should be done in today's marketplace.

EdibleNotes received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and no other compensation was received for this review. Copyright 2011 Edible Notes.

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