While we were on vacation recently I stopped by the local Dollar General. They often carry inexpensive books, but I rarely, if ever, see anything worth purchasing. However, there was a book that caught my eye this time. I knew the first edition was sitting on my shelf at home, and I also knew I had learned quite a bit from that first edition. But this one didn't appear to be just a remake with the same text and updated color on the same photos. It appeared to have new content. New ideas. Better ideas.
And since it was only $5, I put it in my shopping cart. ~smile~
I'm so glad I did. I have thoroughly been enjoying Mel Bartholomew's "All New Square Foot Gardening." I can't even begin to list the major improvements over his first book, and I enjoyed that one! He has learned a lot since he wrote his first book, and the new one is much more simple. The directions are easy-to-follow. The diagrams make sense. And the concepts seem basic enough. It made me wonder why no one thought of this eons ago.
Mel's gardening method involves making raised beds 4' by 4'. And then, instead of filling these raised beds with regular dirt or topsoil, Mel has a special "mix" that he recommends using. It's composed of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss all mixed together. The advantages of doing it this way are numerous. One of the biggest advantages being that it's the perfect mix, so you won't have to worry about testing the pH. Another huge advantage is that you'll be starting with a weed-free garden. The only weeds you should have will be the ones that blow in.
Of course, the book goes into much more detail than I can here. Mel describes how to do plantings, how to arrange your garden so that it functions better and so that it's more pleasing to the eye. He describes how to keep pests at bay and how to train vegetables and fruits (even watermelon) to grow up on a trellis-type thing.
If you've never gardened before, read this book first. You won't need a tiller or all the big fancy gardening tools. Just a few things you can easily pick up at the dollar store. If you already garden, you will also appreciate Mel Bartholomew's "All New Swaure Foot Gardening." It is likely to seriously change the way you approach gardening!
Here's a link to his book on Amazon. I don't get a kickback for this, but this way you'll know what the book looks like and you'll know what other people are saying about the book: