DOWN TO EARTH GARDENING DOWN SOUTH, Revised Edition (Paperback)
A hands-on book to garden by, this update of a popular guide to backyard vegetable gardening in the Southern Coastal Plain by a former garden writer is especially valuable for newcomers to the area who find the concept of all-season gardening confusing. Experienced gardeners also can learn and enjoy. The clear, easy to read style helps even the novice gardener understand how to work with nature to grow vegetables; locate the garden site, choose tools, select varieties and plant or transplant and take it through to harvest. It is a guide to improving both plot and production year after year through organic methods of soil building, composting, and a selection of environmentally friendly but effective pest control substances. . Chapters on selection of vegetable varieties, seed starting, tools to buy, identification of insect friends and enemies, small space and container gardening cover the bases. The Planting Guide targets spacing, amount of seed required, planting dates and varieties. A 12 month gardening calendar lists chores, planting and harvesting tips; numerous NOTES pages throughout encourage keeping adequate, helpful records and make this a useful tool. The chapter on pest identification and control "TAKE A TOAD TO LUNCH" begins, "For those of us who grew up secure in the knowledge that all bugs are bad bugs and toads give you warts, gardening organically takes some major psychological adjustments. Some of the bugs and all of the garden toads turn out to be on your side. "A toad, conveniently, looks like a toad. Identifying beneficial members of the insect world takes more study. It's worth the trouble though, because insects that prey on pest insects are important biological or natural controls that help us grow food without unnecessarily poisoning either ourselves or our environment." Revised edition by Lacy F. Bullard, former Garden Writer for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper, who wrote the original with the late C. Art Cheek, noted local gardening personality. Illustrations by Sam Westbrook suit the light touch of the chapter headings, and pepper the text with airy vignettes of individual vegetables. They get detailed and seriously clear in those meant for insect identification and demonstration of gardening techniques like building a compost pile, staking and tying plants, supporting climbers, or seed bed preparation.