Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden
Sal Gilbertie and Larry Sheehan are clearly very good organic vegetable gardeners who have been at it for a long time. You can’t help but come to this conclusion after reading Small-plot, High-yield Gardening, an extremely detailed instructional book on how to grow vegetables using time-tested, organic methods.
Written in a very homey, easy to read, autobiographical style, the book passes on years and years worth of garden knowledge obviously gained from practical experience. It strongly promotes using organic methods.
Small-plot, High-yield Gardening is not a book for the casual reader or someone with a light interest in gardening. It is clearly one that was meant to be studied. It covers over 50 different vegetable crops and yet has very few illustrations, but is almost encyclopedic in its detail of how to grow vegetables in the yard. It is not just about growing either and also covers everything else you need to know to be successful in the vegetable garden from, how to read seed catalogs, shopping for seedlings, companion planting, NPK theory to composting and using raised beds and cold frames.
Small-plot-High-yield Gardening definitely features Gilbertie’s lifelong exposure to gardening. He learned from his Italian relatives and neighbors before chemicals came into vogue. He passes on many great tried and true tips learned from at least a couple of generations of gardeners. This is definitely a book full of useful information.
However, it is a book meant to take up a few winter nights, sitting by the fire, learning before you start to plan this year’s garden rather than one you can read in an hour and in the middle of the season. Therein lies the problem. Small-plot, High-yield Gardening is not a book for every gardener and surely not the casual reader who just wants an illustrated, hand-holding set of instructions that can be read the night before starting out to garden.
However, for those with the time and patience to study a system of gardening that has worked well for the authors and will work anywhere, Small-plot, High-yield Gardening is a worthwhile read. It will help to have an appreciation for the necessity to transpose starting and harvesting dates to fit one’s own climate, but this book should help any gardener organize and execute a high-yield, organic vegetable garden.