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February 20, 2020

The New Gardener's Handbook by Daryl Beyers ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Spring will eventually be here and garden stores will be filling with colorful flowers and lush vegetable plants. If you are thinking about starting a garden but have never done any gardening before, then The New Gardner's Handbook will get you started on the right foot.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

February 2020; Timber Press; 978-1643260068
ebook, print (288 pages); gardening
This is a very introductory text meant to provide basic information to first-time gardeners and gardeners who have been unsuccessful in the past.

Chapters included

Get Gardening (balancing the roots and the shoots)
Soil (nourishing the roots)
Plant Selection (matching plants to place)
Germination (starting plants from seeds)
Planting and Mulching (establishing plants the right way)
Watering and Feeding (balancing between nature and nurture)
Vegetative Propagation (making plants from pant parts)
Pruning (the right cut in the right place at the right time)
Weeds, Pests, and Diseases (working with the bad, the good, and the ugly)

I bought a house 17 years ago with some established plants since then I've ripped out the holly hedge in front of the porch, tried unsuccessfully to remove the English ivy, and now I'm also battling bamboo and kudzu. Last year I created a flower garden in a spot that isn't easy to mow and I'm thinking of planting my first fruit trees this year (figs). In the past, I've done some container vegetable gardening. So I'm not a complete novice, but as it is more of a hit-or-miss hobby for me I thought I would pick up this book to see what tips it might have for me.

As someone with a biology degree who took two botany courses and a plant taxonomy course in college (not to mention the horticulture class in high school), the section on plant biology was a bit tedious and I know from experience understanding plant biology doesn't mean you will be a successful gardener. I was disappointed that equal time wasn't given to laying out your garden as that is what I'm struggling with right now with the new garden plot and what else I might be able to do in my "mini orchard" with the fig trees.

I found the chapter on pruning to be helpful.

The book is filled with photographs - and not just of pretty plants. There are several step-by-step guides provided and they are provided in both text and visually. Many times writers do not take into consideration that readers have different learning styles so I thought it was a nice touch to provide photographs. And for things that aren't easily captured in photos, such as parts of the plant or pruning techniques, there are line-drawn diagrams.

Whether you are wanting to grow veggies to feed your family or just want to add a splash of color to your apartment's balcony, The New Gardener's Handbook will provide basic information to get you started without going into overwhelming advance details.

Buy The New Gardener's Handbook at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. i don't have a green thumb, so anything that helps me is a good thing
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. I wish for the great of success in all of our destiny endeavors