My first attempt at vegetable gardening was a disaster. I hauled home a yard of compost. Dug my bed and stuck everything from leek seeds to tomato and pepper plants in the ground at the same time. I don’t even remember if I ever got a tomato. I had started my bean plants from seed in a flat in my house and tried to transplant them into my garden. I bought bush beans and tried to train them up a trellis. I did everything wrong.
The second year I was determined to give it up. Then Spring came around. I heard a blurb on NPR about volunteering for the Green Corn Project and was drawn in again.
Never mind the fact that I had started a bicycle gang with my buddies. I gave up all my free time that Spring to volunteer and learn how to do it right. Bicycle gang be damned.
I went to the local Sunshine Community Garden’s annual fund-raiser. I was so excited. There were so many people there. I was determined to find someone who knew more than me. And I did…
Nancy was hanging out near the bathroom line and I struck up a conversation. She looked like she knew what she was doing. I had big plans for my garden and told her all about them. Nancy, of course gave me her uncensored opinion and told me I had to buy Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening by J. Howard Garrett & C. Malcolm Beck.
Imagine if you had a light weight encyclopedia with a page for all your favorite veggies, herbs and fruit plants. It would be so simple. Its made just for Texas. With hardiness maps and average last frost dates. It will help you plan a year round veggie garden. Other vegetable gardeners will wonder how you do it.
Actually consulting a book can’t even really be considered cheating. It’s just a way to learn how to be a better gardener. Think of it like having an expert at your side whenever you need to know when to plant your tomatoes or how to harvest your beans.
I carried this book with me pretty much every day for the first year and a half that I had it.
The first few chapters of Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening are easy to read and definitely contain need to know information for the beginning gardener. The second portion of the book is a reference guide for possible edibles you might be planning for your garden. Check out the table of contents on Amazon here.
I would recommend this book for anyone starting out with vegetable gardening or needing a quick reference guide. It doesn’t go into too much detail on any one plant, but does give information about common diseases and pests you are likely to encounter.