Gardening When It Counts

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Paperback, 360 pages.
by Steve Soloman
ISBN: 978-0865715530

The decline of cheap oil and the threat of harder times to come is prompting people to grow more food themselves. But currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods depend on cheap oil, requiring high inputs of water, fertility, and organic matter.Prior to 1970s, home food growing used more land because wider plant spacing reduces the need for irrigation and requires lower levels of soil fertility to be productive - and well spaced plants can be weeded rapidly and conveniently with hand tools while standing upright. But these efficient systems have been largely forgotten. "Gardening When It Counts" helps readers rediscover these traditional low-input gardening methods in their quest to produce healthy and affordable food. 

Applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except for the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 square feet of garden land can halve their food costs in most climates using just the off bucketful of household waste water, a few hand tools, and a few hundred dollars a year spent on supplies and seeds - working just an average of two hours a day during the peak growing season. Helpfully illustrated, it covers a host of material including:

  • Vegetables ranked by how difficult they are to grow
  • Root systems as the key to gardening mastery
  • Seeds, spacing and irrigation
  • Home made organic fertilizer that really works
  • How to choose, use and sharpen hand tools
  • Compost making, root-cellaring, and irrigation
  • Chemical-Free handling of insects and diseases

Designed for readers with no experience, yet an eye-opener for even the seasoned gardener, "Gardening When it Counts" returns the backyard food garden to center stage for uncertain times ahead.