While I’ve been a professional gardener for, gosh, 16 years, one area of gardening that I have never felt very confident is in vegetable gardening. When I bought my own home a few years back, I finally began growing vegetables on my own plot of land.
Though growing a few lettuce, zucchini or kale plants didn’t pose much of a challenge, I struggled to have a steady supply of food year-round. It seemed like it was feast or famine in my garden – either everything was ready all at once and I was spending time every day harvesting and freezing, or I was staring at my baby plants with frustration, wishing they’d hurry up. And it always felt I was a bit behind on every planting season, yet still got caught out by late frosts.
If only I’d had The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener sooner. While there are a lot of vegetable gardening books on the market, what makes this one different is how clearly the book is written and photographed, and the photos are of real gardens and believable situations.
There is actual snow in a great number of the photos, and seeing the practical homemade cold frames and cloches she shares alongside the store-bought ones gives me the powerful feeling that anyone can do this stuff. You don’t need to have a lot of money, and it doesn’t have to be too terribly complicated to grow your own food. You just need a clear, experienced guide who can tell you all the tricks, and that’s what this book does.
She also provides a few vegetable garden designs to share what some ideal setups might look like (even in un-ideal situations like when gardening among deer or other animals), as well as an entire encyclopedia of the best varieties and methods for growing individual fruits and veggies. I loved seeing her melon sling, which is a problem-solver for people trying to grow melons vertically in a small space.
I’m not the only one loving this book, either. In the couple months since publication it has already won multiple prestigious awards!
Since Niki is a Proven Winners Garden Guru with me, we all decided to help her launch this book properly with a Proven Winners giveaway. Niki is giving away a copy of her book, and Proven Winners is pairing it with a box of their brand new 2013 varieties, so you can get a sneak peek at some of their ornamental plants to go with all the veggies you’ll be planting.
Details for how to enter are over on the Proven Winners site, where Niki’s written a blog post about combining edibles with ornamentals.
Want to know what my fellow Gurus think about The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener? Pop on over to their sites to see their reviews, and once you’re done, be sure to pick up a copy at your local bookstore or at Amazon.