Have you ever read a book that changes the way you garden? A book that is so rich with information and ideas that you can't wait to apply them and get started? That's what happened when I read Vertical Vegetable Gardening by Chris McLaughlin. My book reading during the cold winter months this year got me so excited about gardening that I started making plans right away for my 2013 garden. Basic enough for beginners yet full of detailed steps throughout the broad spectrum of subject matter make this a book for all levels of gardeners.
I really liked the structure of this book; it is broken down into four parts for ease of reading and reference. Part one discusses "The Beauty and Bounty of Vertical Gardening." The author begins by explaining the benefits behind growing vertically and how "Less Really Is More!" This section shows you how much space you can save, how growing vertically can save you time and work as well as money. There is also information on how this method reduces weeds, pests and disease. Perhaps best of all, you will increase your vegetable production by learning how to grow vertically! The remainder of Part 1 discusses different structures and containers with how-to tips along the way. There is information within this section about DIY structures as well as how to Re purpose items for your vertical gardening. I have to say that since I have read this book, I am using more re purposed items and think more about reusing rather than just purchasing something new (and perhaps wasting money).
Part Two is titled; "The Basics: Soil and Seed." This section contains all the information you need to learn about why soil is so important in your garden, what type of soil you have and how to improve it, as well as how to start seeds. There was a great section here about the many different types of seeds and even how to go from starting your own to transplanting them. Very condensed but well organized and summarized information.
The last two sections discuss the nitty-gritty of gardening with your vertical vegetables. There is so much information here! From Organic pest control to a fact-filled section on all of the vegetables that like to grow vertically, I can tell that these sections will be ones that I reference often (there's already dirt and coffee stains all over it and the gardening season hasn't officially begun)!
Overall, this has got to be my favorite gardening book to-date (and I have read a TON). The wealth of information that is categorized and summarized in an easy-to-read format makes this book highly valuable to me. I can turn to this book for just about everything related to my garden. There is also a list of resources for seeds/plants, online help and books in the back that I am still referring to often.
I am literally growing 90% of my food vertically this year thanks to the inspiration from this book; saving time, money and growing more food as a result. Fantastic find and must have if you want to grow more food in less space (and not be confused or frustrated while doing it)!