Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

A great book to inspire your gardening adventure with beautiful photos. It also has a nice bit of information on a variety of veggies grown in North America with some unique veggies that you may not have considered for your garden. This book doesn't give you the latest hokey growing trend, but information that is tried and trued and tangible eg. soil acidity and what fertilizer should be used and when. Being in Canada I also appreciated that he acknowledges what does well in colder climates/shorter growing seasons. Overall, a nice solid gardening book for your collection. *I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and this is my voluntary and honest review.
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Finally a book about gardening that doesn't pigeon hole why you do it, what you grow, how the pH of your soil is.  This book is about growing vegetables for your table, vegetables you actually want to eat.  The author gives you freedom of choice without feeling guilty.  He is also keenly aware that today's families are not canning 60 quarts to put in a root cellar or that today's gardener is not making a victory garden as a matter of necessity and patriotic pride.  The author suggests that you treat your garden like your fantasy supermarket.  Ingenious!  Loved the book and will be recommending it to my friends. Great job!
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I am a relatively new gardener and already own dozens of books on the subject. How does one justify purchasing yet another one? By finding one that specifically addresses how to hone your craft! Matt Mattus does just that in Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening, and I am actually better prepared to garden because of reading this book. 

In the introduction, Mattus writes, “For me, food quality isn’t a question of organic versus conventional, or no-till versus digging-in, or heirloom versus hybrid. It’s a question of what I want to grow, and what I should do to help each seed or plant become the best vegetable it can possibly be.”

Count me in!

Make no mistake, this is a book about growing strategies.  He covers everything from artichokes to zucchini. Each section has a highlight box that provides “Mastering Techniques” that I found to be extremely helpful.  Scared to start from seed? In some cases he will convince you it’s the only way to go. Been avoiding certain vegetables for one reason or another? He will give you the confidence to give it a try. He tells you what to do when, what to consider, and what to look for along the way. He provides information regarding varieties, but at the same time he encourages you to look around and see what you can find. 

I loved this book and would be thrilled to receive a hard copy from the publisher. I received an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

For more about me and my gardening efforts, please follow my blog at www.patch405.com
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Very thorough look at various vegetables that you can grow. Very America-centric, unfortunately. Great tips, though.
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As an intermediate gardener this book was such a joy to read, in-depth information and beautiful pictures help create a wonderful book that will be a staple in my library for years to come. This book has much more than the basic information in every beginning gardening book, it’s in-depth with information for the immediate processing, eating and storage of all of your vegetables. 

This book is compressive with each step a gardener needs in the process of vegetable gardening. Step by step the author takes you from the best way to start your garden (seeds or starts) to the best place to plant all the way through to how to harvest, eat and store. 

I loved that the author was encouraging in how to have a garden no matter the size of land you have. It was nice to see that I could still have a very nice garden in a small place and that the author talked about how to get the most out of your land. The author walks the reader through the process of choosing the best plants for both their garden and their climate. Bugs, diseases and weather are all topics that are discussed, and this is valuable information for any gardener. 

The typical and common plants are talked about here, but there are also some unique plants that get this gardener’s heart beating a bit fast. It is always fun to discover new and interesting plants! If you think that cover is stunning, just wait until you see the photographs inside. This book will get you in the mood for spring and get you excited for the new growing season. I received an ARC via Net Gallery and am leaving an honest review. 

#MasteringTheArtOfVegetableGardening #NetGalley
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An intermediate level book on vegetable gardening. Assumes that you know the "basics", and concentrates on a more advanced level of growing. Really hits the different types of vegetables that you can grow. Covers many of the more common varieties, but also includes rare or unusual strains of vegetables. 
Beautifully photographed. 
As it's the time of year when I'm poring over the latest garden catalogs, planning this year's gardens, it really helped me to decide what to plant!
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Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening by Matt Mattus 


December 2018
Nonfiction, gardening
Rating: 5/5

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Beautiful colorful illustrations of seeds to seedlings to plants. The book covers rare varieties of vegetables with helpful charts and descriptions. A gardener can never have too many books or suggestions on growing the best plants. It’s winter and the vibrant pictures make me eager to start browsing the seed catalogs. This is a wonderful addition to any gardeners library.
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As a very keen vegetable gardener and an avid reader of books on gardening,  I was sold on the book when reading the introduction. Like the author I am a passionate cook and avid gardener and the two come together in my quest to produce quality ingredients for quality meals. 

Some gardening books, whilst great for reference, are dry and dull to read, but “Mastering the art of vegetable gardening” was a really enjoyable read.   I really liked the easy, chatty style of writing and the glorious photographs taken by the author.  

The book is divided into sensible chapters of plant groups and each vegetable section includes an interesting introduction, usually on history /background.  Further information includes sowing seeds, fertility requirements and tips for growing.  Each chapter includes an excellent list of suggested varieties, with interesting comments.  It is a pity that many of the varieties were not available in Europe, but I accept that the book is aimed at a US audience.  It was great to have a book that acknowledges the influence of Asian vegetables ,  including Daikon, Asian brassicas etc.  My only niggle about the book is that the content varies per chapter – so for example not all chapters give detail on pests and diseases or water requirements. 

This is not the perfect reference book for a vegetable gardener -  but it is certainly a very useful and enjoyable book  that I would like to have on my bookshelf.
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Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening is a comprehensive book that details everything you need to know about growing different veggies. An added bonus is the photography, which is just beautiful.

In the introduction, Mattus is positively inspiring. I think he could actually motivate someone who had no intention of starting a vegetable garden!

What you grow is a personal choice.  Be creative. Treat your vegetable garden as your own private fantasy supermarket.  Make it the most amazing farming experience you can imagine. Grow things you can’t buy at any vegetable stand or find at any store. But also grow the things you use most or find yourself buying every week.  Be inspired not to just sow something and let it grow, but to truly master growing it.

The book goes through every step in growing different vegetables. There is every vegetable I could think represented in this book, including kale, garlic, swiss chard, broccoli, okra, parsnips, carrots, beans, tomatoes and more. There are even some herbs included like parsley, dill and cilantro.

Mattus holds your hand through growing each vegetable but not in an arrogant way. The treatment of each vegetable is extensive and very thorough, including varieties, raising from seeds, transplanting to the garden, pests/disease, staking and pruning, and pollinating. He talks about the best kind of containers to use when growing your seedlings and advises on temperatures for both seedlings and plants. Also, Mattus discusses fertilizer, watering and mulching. 

I am so glad I found this book because I want to start a vegetable garden this spring. And I found it at the perfect time since he recommends starting tomatoes by ordering seeds and seed trays in late winter, which it is now!

Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Cool Springs Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I'm a gardener.  Nothing feels as good as being outside in the sunshine working with your hands to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.  I have mastered the routines of planting but wanted to know more about varieties and soil prep to make the most of my time and money.  I have been very impressed with the manner in which Mr Mattus has presented his knowledge and is encouraging the beginner gardener to become an expert.  His book has now joined my small gardening reference library and I'll be using it often.  I'm definitely growing artichokes!!!!!
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This book is seriously fantastic. I’m coming up on my fifth season of gardening and the tips provided in here are absolutely what I crave.   

Don’t get me wrong, introductory books about gardening have a time and place in a grower’s education. However, this book offers so much food history and growing advice about literally hundreds of garden fruits and vegetables—it’s awesome.

Last summer I struggled with white powdery mildew on all of my cucurbits, but this book easily offered a new watering practice that I never considered before! I’m looking forward to trying morning watering times versus evening watering times to protect my plants from mildew.

Thanks to #NetGalley, I had an advanced PDF to read and review. 

*All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. *
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This is a fantastic book. I love the depth of went into for each vegetable and how to plant them. The pictures are beautiful too! I can't wait to start my own garden now! Inspiring and informative read!
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This is a fabulous book - even the only one you need to have a productive, healthy veggie garden.
Although there  are plenty of wonderful photographs in the book, the information is the stuff that makes this book so good.
I too have been gardening for many years, and I remember at 4yrs old  helping my grandfather, an Italian migrant,  grow all the vegetables needed for our table. He continued to do so well into his 90s. Over the years I have read many book on growing vegetables, but none actually have been as good as this, answering sensible questions and explaining the "why and hows" as this book does. 
The photos are truly amazing and consolidates the information on each variety. They also not only make me jealous, but offer inspiration that my next years crop will hopefully look as good (or half that good)
It all makes sense and it is quite simple when one understands.
Love this book
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This book is organized first by plant group (e.g. nightshades or allium) and then by veggie.
There is good information on why you'd grow that veggie and varieties to choose.
While there was good information on soil type, germination, etc. the depth/layout fell below my favorite gardening books. That being said, it was better than many gardening books so it's worth a looksie.
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Beyond your basic or average gardening book, this one is real wealth of in-depth information on seeding, growing, fertilizing, harvesting and addressing issues like pests, diseases and growing problems. Focusing on common species from artichokes to zucchini, Mattus gives quick rundowns on the history of each as well as a list of his favorite varieties. Really inspiring, informative and well done!
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Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening
Rare Varieties * Unusual Options * Plant Lore & Guidance
by Matt Mattus 


Gardening may sound easy...take a seed, stick it in the ground and water it...voila...a plant. Well, it is often much more difficult than that! Knowing which plants will thrive where you live may not be enough because there are always pests or amendments or any number of other things to take into consideration. This book provides the novice and the master gardener with information that will assist in creating a beautiful vegetable garden with the additional information of how to avoid foibles the author encountered in his years of gardening. 

The photos of the plants are gorgeous and made me almost want to take up a shovel and do some planting but as that is my husband’s domain I instead shared some of what I learned with him. There are several unusual varieties I had not seen before of vegetables I eat weekly and I might look for some of those seeds to gift my husband with in the future. 

Definitely a book I could sit and read in greater detail and one I would consider gifting a gardener with in the future. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Cool Springs Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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This title is great for anyone interested in starting their own vegetable garden. It has thorough explanations of a range of things like how to store, grow, plan for growing, and how to prepare before growing your selected vegetables. The book includes a massive range of vegetables and how to care for each one, include the alternative caring procedures for all varieties of each vegetable. It's great for a beginner gardener who wants the most information in one book.
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I grew up with a garden every year; my dad would raise so many different types of vegetables for us to eat through summer and fall and then can and preserve for the winter.  There is something magical about fresh corn in the late summer, fried okra from the garden, and cracking the seal on a jar of canned tomatoes in cold winter months.  If was those early years being in the garden and learning to eat from the land that gave me the appreciation for different types, flavors, colors, and textures of food that I enjoy today.  My diet is mostly vegetarian, and nearly vegan most of the time.  I say mostly because I don't turn down fresh tacos or tamales.  Because of that, I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.  One of my goals in the upcoming years is to get back to my gardening roots and start growing most of the food I eat.  Since I left home for college way back in 2011, I have always dabbled in herbs and some container gardening.  Even though it is nice to have fresh basil and parsley on hand whenever you need it, it just isn't the same as a full garden bursting with colors, flavors, and life. 

So really, that desire was my impetus for reading and reviewing this book.  I'm not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I have a black notebook that I keep for my random notes or entries or just things that I want to remember.  Sometimes, I flip back through it and highlight things that I have written that stick out to me even more.  The entire time that I sat down to read Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening I kept that notebook with me and made so many notes!  What I love about this book is that it isn't too heavy to actually read, but it gives you so much specialized advice and tips for growing vegetables that if you are serious, or want to get serious, this is the perfect book to read.  It feels as if you are taking a self-guided course into gardening.  I loved that the author, Matt Mattus wrote this book from his experience in vegetable gardening.  He makes clear in the introduction that all of the photos (except for a couple of pages) are his own and he has written everything in this book from his experience; he has tested and tried everything in the book.  It just makes it feel so much more genuine and trustworthy. 

Along with Matt's experience and obvious expertise, the photography is stunning.  It almost makes me want to find gardens and start taking photos.  I am not trained in photography or have had any formal education on it, but the balance of photos, the colors, the textures, the subjects, everything in the photos of this book is perfect.  They really give life to what Matt speaks about in his text and makes vegetable gardening so vibrant and inviting.  It is that kind of photography that really brings life to the pages of this book and makes it all so much more appealing. 

Matt's details when it comes to vegetable gardening is really what I took the most notes on.  It can be overwhelming to find a trusted source to teach you gardening, especially if you are looking for a book or online for guidance.  There are so many opinions and ideas out there, along with myths.  Matt works to dispel some of those myths in this book by opening them up for discussion and delicately refuting their incorrectness.  All while giving clear, and concise facts.  He does beat around the bush by offering solutions to growing problems that will leave you shelling out money or creating a chemistry lab of chemical and concoctions.  Honestly, when it comes to things like fertilizers, Matt clearly explains differences and mainly focuses on three major elements that plants need.  To get those, the fertilizer sources he names are easy to remember and probably commonly found at any gardening or home store.  There's no fancy names or brands to buy, just the straight facts on what you need and how to get it.  I love that in this book, gardening is for the reader and to make food, not to sell products or make it seem like more work than it might be.  


All in all, I loved reading this.  Currently, it is chilly where I live but I know the warmer rainy season is coming, so it is nice to read something with bright sunny photos of cheerful and colorful food and plants.  I cannot wait for warmer days and to hopefully get started planting some things and putting what I learned and took notes on, to use.  On Goodreads, I gave this book five stars because there really wasn't anything wrong or bad about it.  Each vegetable is explained in detail, most of which even have a short history or introduction.  His division of vegetables is smart and done in a way that connects some vegetables that we normally wouldn't.  The length of this book is perfect; each vegetable has its pages and then on to the next so that nothing is drawn out or dragging on.  I loved it!  This is probably one that I will buy to add to my collection since it is already available for purchase.
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#MasteringTheArtOfVegetableGardening #NetGalley

Many vegetables are covered in this book including many rare ones. What separates this book from most of the others are the sections on care and processing. This book gives you a reference on how to process immediately for eating and how to process for storage, which is invaluable! The book takes you step by step from what kind, to how to plant, to how to pick and how to process. This is a great step by step guide for a newbie or seasoned gardener. It also has beautiful pictures but encourages people to have the size of garden that best suits their time and family need. 

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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