The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

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.

2 responses to “The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour”

  1. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Genevieve!! I’m looking forward to following your edible adventures! ๐Ÿ™‚ Best of luck to your many followers.. That Proven Winner preview box is a true treat for a plant lover.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Gen, I’m stopping by to encourage you to garden year-round ๐Ÿ™‚ I moved from the mtns of central PA after 15 yrs, to Seattle for 3 yrs, then to my final place/area of home in the mtns of NC 4 yrs ago.
    The weather where I lived in PA was quite cold and winters lasted 4 months. I learned through ‘Gardening Naturally’ with Eliot Coleman on TLC – TV (when it was a real learning channel) in 1992 I believe that he was growing/harvesting year round in Maine! I thought if he could do it in Maine that I could surely do it in PA (2 zones warmer than Maine). And so I got his book, ‘Four Season Harvest’ and stayed glued to the TV every Saturday morning to learn how to do it. I built a 12×20 hoop house with cold frames, and low-and-behold – I DID it!!!! Just like Eliot was doing.
    My first impression when I moved to Seattle was… wow, the winters are warm here (compared to PA) and I was shocked that no one, at least no one that I knew of or could find, was gardening and harvesting year round. I was living there for 3 yrs in an apartment and could only do container gardening. You can do this Gen in the NW!!!
    Now I’m in the southern mtns of western NC. The winters here are 3 zones warmer than where I lived in PA. I haven’t been in a situation yet to do a year round gardening thing, but I will be within a few months.
    Anyway, I just want to encourage you to apply Niki’s tips and experience in the book… because I know you can do it in your area! The one thing that I noticed in WA that you’d have to be mindful of is the shortage of daylight for extended periods and what you plant when. Aside from that, I would LOVE to see more folks in the NW dive into the dirt year round and take advantage of the opportunity.
    I’m looking forward to reading your posts as you show yourself that you absolutely can do it, I have a feeling you’re going to love it ๐Ÿ™‚