Designing Organic Gardens: The Ultimate Organic Gardening Book

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By Kat Yares

Many people are looking to improve their lifestyle, their health, or the environment by making the decision to grow organically. Some understand the concepts behind organic gardens, while others only have a vague notion. The problem for many is not knowing where to start and not knowing where to find reliable information. Keep reading for my take on some of the best organic gardening tips with this organic gardening book review.

Comprehensive Book for Designing Organic Gardens

For the backyard organic gardener, there is no better book than The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, published by Rodale Press. This gem of a book has been constantly reprinted since 1959. With well over a thousand pages of information, this organic gardening book is considered the bible by most organic growers.

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A word of caution though: The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening went through a major revision in the early 1990s, and while it now has more illustrations, much of the better information was cut. The new version, appropriately named Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, is smaller and contains far less information than the original.

Numerous copies of the older versions can be found online at places such as eBay, Amazon and half.com and are well worth the search and the price they are being offered for. The best editions were produced during the mid-seventies through the mid-eighties and are a wealth of information.

Using the Encyclopedia for How to Start an Organic Garden

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening covers everything an organic gardener needs to know for how to start an organic garden. It contains extensive information on everything from individual plant needs and compost to preserving the harvest. Including not only vegetables, but also herbs, flowers, trees and grasses, all the information is there to grow anything organically.

As the name implies, this is a comprehensive encyclopedia. Every entry is in alphabetical order, making it easy to find the information you need quickly. Listings of plants are by their common names – the names familiar to everyone instead of Latin names, which require a separate glossary to find what you are looking for.

This organic gardening book has extensive sections on topics such as composting, mulching and natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Where needed, cross-referencing is included within the entries so that you can find more information if needed.

Definitions of what may be unknown words also are included and given the same thorough description as the individual plants and topics. The encyclopedia covers all methods of organic gardening, including a basic primer on hydroponics. Black and white pictures are included with some entries, as well as charts, tables, and lists where needed.

Every entry is thorough. For topics like composting, the entry gives the reader everything he or she needs to get started. For the individual plants, the entries cover everything from the seed to the harvest and further into forms of preservation if applicable.

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening is written for the beginner and the seasoned gardener alike. Written in a clear, comprehensive style, the encyclopedia gives basic instruction and advanced techniques for designing organic gardens. Whether you’re looking to just plant a few organic tomatoes or begin a large organic orchard, all the information is between the covers.

Many books have been written over the years on organic gardening. Some offer good, practical advice, while others barely offer an overview of what organic gardening is. It would be easy to spend hundreds of dollars for other books in an attempt to find all the organic gardening tips and information included in The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening book.

While much of the information found within the covers of The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening can be found through other sources, such as the Internet, having a reference book at hand that has everything, is far better than spending hours searching for the information you need. With this organic gardening book on your library shelf, you will have everything you need for a successful organic garden at your fingertips.

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