Cover Image: The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables

The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables

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Member Reviews

This was a highly informative book for a complete novice gardener! The book is broken up into a calendar that informs the gardener of what they should be doing at this point in the year and what can be planted or harvested. With an emphasis on organic garden maintenance this book is perfect for anyone looking to take a next step in their eco life journey. If you have an interest in gardening definitely check this book out!
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A well written and informative guide. I learned something new and it's highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This was a very informative book. I am a gardener trapped in a busy city, with a small plot of land in the Midwest, where it’s cold nine months of the year. This book breaks down what is beneficial to start indoors, and when, how to collect seeds for next year and how to make a compost pile to enrich your soil. It breaks down the different regions and what steps to take each month throughout the year. All in all, a good book that I already ordered for my library. I’m sure I will reference it often.
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What an amazing book on gardening!!! While the title and cover set up the expectations on what the book is going to offer, the book, those gorgeous pages are filled with loads of useful, beginner friendly and understandable information to those who want to raise their own vegetables. I especially loved the way the sections in this book are created so that no matter which month of the year we are in, we have our work cut out for us, to fill our hearts and gardens with a little more fresh, organic, seasonal produce. I absolutely loved all the images, photography with all the acronyms explained and techniques illustrated. Kudos to the team for bring forward this wonderful book for all the gardening enthusiasts.
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Enjoyed this book for beginning gardening. Just the right amount of information without being overwhelming.  The photographs and charts are invaluable and make this book a resource to go back to again and again.
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Easy to read, informative book with great pictures, charts and graphics throughout.
 Gave me wonderful tips and ways to improve my vegetable garden.  Highly recommend this book.
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A very complete book about how to grown you own vegetables, tips and tricks, and a lot of great information. I need to get a physical copy of this one. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
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Informative book that will help me do more than just grow some tomatoes. You will learn how and when to start planting, how to help your soil, and the monthly actions you should take to make sure your garden will prosper. So read this book and have a bountiful and beautiful garden.
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An approachable guide to reassure nervous first-time vegetable growers, and a helpful reference for even experienced gardeners. Activities and advice are broken down by month, with information on different growing regions. You can design your garden, decide what to plant, tend it, and harvest your vegetables. There's a compendium at the back of A-Z all things you can grow, with details on when to plant and different varieties. A useful guide for home gardeners and library collections.
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Picking up bits and pieces of gardening wisdom over the years from family and friends, along with simply learning by trial and error, I’m always up for honing my knowledge.  However, the sheer volume of gardening manuals and how-tos out there make selecting the best books to meet my needs anything, but easy.  The title and a swift perusal of the blurb had me instinctively reaching for this book and anticipating it would fill in some of my learning gaps or giving me new possibilities to consider without being too big a challenge or a budget issue.

The Beginner’s Guide was methodically put together.  It truly assumes the reader is a novice at gardening.  It doesn’t rush off into complicated gardening methods and assume the reader will figure a great deal out on their own, but it also doesn’t talk down to the reader, either.  The book starts with helping the reader consider their living space to help determine what type of gardening they can consider and consider what results they reader wants, to determine planning their garden size and make up.  Once plotting and planning the gardening space is underway, there were discussions about testing soil and depending on the results how to enrich the soil as needed.  Following this was consideration for climate and weather patterns which came with helpful hacks to extend northern growing season or protect southern plantings from dry and heat.

Following the soil topic, there were considerations for water sources like having a rain barrel collector to help reduce the amount of metered water used and doing composting to rejuvenate the soil.  Also, crop rotation and how certain plants are good neighbors to put into the soil what the other plant needs.

Next, there was the discussion about seeds.  A chart about the expiration dates on types of seeds, how to read a seed packet, and what the growing season is on the various vegetables and herbs.  There was also a handy discussion about ordering the plantings so that those who could go earlier would be producing right around the time the next group was just starting and leaving time for a second planting of some all occupying the same space.  This was particularly helpful to me as I have limited garden plot spaces because of the tall trees around which limit the full sun spots.

The bulk of the book was a growing season calendar, starting with January including what action could be taken, what was needed to prep, and a break down by planting regions (it is specific to US gardening regions).  Here in the monthly pages are discussions that correspond with what is being prepped or growing that month.  Like, in March there is a discussion of climbing frames because it is a good month to start peas and beans that like to climb.  There are discussions about home remedies as opposed to insecticides.  In July, there is a discussion about what plants need special attention to keeping their roots cooled and how to help keep heat damage and pest damage to a minimum.

By the end, there is a wealth of knowledge about the traits of the vegetables and herbs themselves.  Growing complimentary foods and seasonings and growing to fit needs so there is enough produced and not too much, or that the novice actually planted vegetables they will actually eat and like.

Incidentally, the book’s ideas and implementations are friendly on the wallet.  It gives options for various plans and ideas and doesn’t expect the reader to sink a fortune into their new gardening venture.  In fact, by the considering questions and options posed, the book can save money with the good advice that lead to a fairly good chance at success and satisfaction.

I know I will be referencing back to this book quite often as I attempt some of the ideas for extending my production seasons, rather than just growing summer vegetables and trying to work the soil by smarter planting and soil enrichment.  I’m even convinced it will be okay to grow certain plants in flower beds in front and side of the house and not just the conventional garden plot.  I never gave much thought to seed expiration and how to check for viability so I’ve been able to thin out about half the seeds I was keeping until they were gone.

The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables has left me jazzed about gardening and was a well-organized book with wonderful charts, photos, and graphics, good index, and of course that splendid month by month planning guide.  I can definitely recommend it to those who are interested, but haven’t started yet and those who are, like me, perhaps long time gardeners though still classified as beginners.
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This is the book you wish you’d read before you went to the trouble of buying a mountain of compost, too many tools, and planted your garden all wrong. This common sense, clearly written guide takes you through a year of planning, planting, and harvest with good humor and wise counsel, the kind of hard-won knowledge it takes many years to acquire. Handsomely illustrated throughout, it is also a delightful  read, as the author’s voice is friendly, reassuring, and always encouraging. Her enthusiasm is infectious; the advice offered is easy to understand and jargon-free. The most timid novice as well as  the seasoned grower of tomato plants will want to branch out after perusing this book. Beautifully written and conceived, this guide is one any gardener will appreciate, as it leads you confidently through a productive year in your garden, to reap and enjoy, and finally, to plan for the next growing season. Lorene Edwards Forkner has written a guide to growing great vegetables that deserves to become a standard. Highly recommended. I received a prepublication digital copy from NetGalley.
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Truly fantastic gardening guide for both new and experienced vegetable gardeners! I love the month-by-month guide as well as all of the wonderful tips and tricks. The visuals throughout are also so beautiful and captivating. I can't wait for this book to come out to put it on my shelf and be able to reference it year after year! Highly recommended.
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Good reference material..  Lovely illustrations that were inspiring to look at.  I already ordered copies for my library and look forward to looking through the print copy.
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Such a great book for a beginning gardener like me! Took huge amounts of notes, my only complaint was that it was on my iPad and not in the margins of the actual book! Hugely helpful and inspires me to start planting now.
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The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables is a new tutorial gardening guide by Lorene Edwards Forkner. Released 16th March 2021 by Workman Publishing on their Timber Press imprint, it's 224 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is a comprehensive and well written guide full of easy to understand advice for getting started and succeeding with vegetable gardening. It's slanted toward readers in North America and USDA regional maps and zones are those used in the USA. The first section is a good intro to the concepts and first steps to get started (and succeed) with a garden. The author does a good job explaining the basics and the first chapters are full of clear tables and illustrations as well as a short glossary of terms. The author gives a good overview over soil, water, siting, light conditions, local climate zones, garden planning, and more. 

The following chapters are set up chronologically with garden tasks for each month Jan-Dec. There is also an abbreviated herbal listing of edibles from A - Z including all the usual garden favorites as well as some surprises. Each of the listings includes the name (common names only), culture info, planting info for each of the regions, growing and harvesting info, and some varieties to try out. 

The appendices include resources and suppliers links, some often overlooked vegetables to seek out and try, an abbreviated bibliography, metric conversion chart, and a cross-referenced index.

The photography throughout the book is lush, clear, and abundant. It's very inspiring to see healthy vegetables and plants, well displayed and appealing. 

Four stars. A good beginner's guide. I would recommend it for garden groups, library acquisition, or for the home gardener's library.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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A blessing for home gardening aficionados everywhere! The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Great Vegetables is chock full of vegetable planting tips and advice just in time for planting season in the South. This will be reference book you will return to time and again to increase your harvest yields.
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This book came to me at the perfect time!! After reading this book I am ready to get out and start planting! The author gives great advice for all the different zones in America. So you know exactly when to plant and when you can expect to harvest your veggies! I can’t wait to get out there and start.
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Loved it!

I’ve been scouring the shelves looking for a beginner’s book on veggie gardening that would be one-stop shop for what I need to get started. I’ve read some great books yet this one has risen to the top (and that ‘unseeded’ a top book that was stellar as well). This book has its own take, of course, and the blend of friendly prose and (not off-putting) technical approach to gardening was the perfect mix. The author offered all the hints and tips from organic gardening (which I was particularly keen on) to container, to planning to harvesting. This book had it all and was fun to read to boot. I will be looking for this book in print as I will be re-reading it often. If you read only one veggie gardening book this year, I highly recommend it be this one!

*I happily reviewed this book
**Thank you to NetGalley
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This beginners guide to gardening was great. Last year I  tried to grow a bunch of stuff and it was like a Pinterest fail. Didn’t know a thing about gardening and it showed. So I was glad to get my hands on this. 
This author had a fresh approach (to me) about the joy of gardening. She wrote the preface like a novel. She told me to prepare to be delight and I was! 
I never even thought about keeping a garden journal. 
The photos in this were realistic and encouraging. I live in the SE region on a hardiness map which has as  being one of the longest growing seasons. Yay me! These parts were well explained. She guides you through every month with what to do and how. 
Things I loved: 
	•	Kitchen cupboard organics for insect and fungal control 
	•	The ten uses of soap for a garden
	•	How to save seeds
	•	Homemade compost
The  last part has a resource and service guide that was very, very helpful. And a metric conversion table for people like me who can never figure it out on my own. 
I highly recommend this colorfully thorough, easy to follow gardening book. It’s great for anyone interested in learning gardening. 
Thanks to Timber Press via Netgalley for this ARC. I’ve voluntarily given my review.
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Each year I plant a vegetable garden, and each year I eat precisely 5 tomatoes, and maybe a few beans, because I cannot get anything else to grow. At all. This book has given me hope that this year, our harvest will be bountiful and full of tasty treats. Following the monthly guide, I have actually begun a planner for the year, and will follow my successes and failures into following years, building on the knowledge from this book. Breaking it down into easy, organized monthly chunks allows me to focus on small successes, rather than the end game, and my five tomatoes. Thank you!
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