10 April 2012

Year-Round Vegetable Gardener - Grow food 365 days a year by Niki Jabbour

Niki Jabbour's blog "The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener" is a reflection of her new book of the same title. She also writes for the plant marketing company, Proven Winners and has a Canadian gardening radio show. Judging by her blog entries, Jabbour is an avid gardener and speaker.

If you live in a cold climate, this is a book you will want to pick up. Don't worry about its ease of use. Although she lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jabbour provides temperatures and measurements in both English and U.S. units.

If you would like to grow vegetables in every season, Jabbour provides quite a lot of practical help.
Chapter 1 describes the three growing seasons in detail: cool, warm and cold. Then day length, length of growing seasons, and the use of grow lights. Comparisons of different weight row cover fabric, home made cloches, raised bed planters, etc.
Chapter 2 is about intensive planting, continuous crops, soil amendments (natural minerals), succession planting and interplanting
Chapter 3 explains growing in winter by protecting plants with cold frames, hoop tunnels, cloches, unheated greenhouses, polytunnels and hot caps
Chapter 4 covers design: Site selection, planning, crop rotation, winter sun, microclimates, plant rotation, perpetual vegetables.

Part 2 is crop selections with an A-Z of vegetables and herbs to grow from page 96 to page 225. Each vegetable or herb has a page or two of its own with planting, growing and harvesting information. For example, the advantages of asparagus crowns vs seeds.

In order to grow in cold weather, you will need instructions for building a cold frame and the appendix provides that.

The photography is beautiful, the information useful and well presented for a new gardener's understanding. The author tells us which her favorite varieties are and gives a schedule for planting seeds.

256 pages, 8" by 11" paperback, $19.95 from Storey Publishing

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