Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow? A Review of Seed Starting The First Step to Gardening

Several years ago I had a small garden in our back yard; one year was a success, but another year it was a total flop. After the flop I wasn't eager to put all the effort into a garden again and haven't tried since. So when the opportunity to review Seed Starting was presented I eagerly accepted hoping I could learn some tips to have a successful garden again.

 Seed Starting The First Step to Gardening
$2.99 Kindle

Seed Starting topics including:  planning your garden, choosing seeds and equipment, potting soils, a plants light and other needs and transplanting. Not only is the reader pointed to things to look for when they are making choices at the garden store, but also cautioned as to what to avoid. For example in the chapter about soils it is clearly laid out what composition of potting soil is ideal for which use and which products won't be as beneficial for achieving the desired results. There is also a clear explanation as to why it is probably better to avoid dirt dug up from the backyard. If this is your only option, Gary shares a simple remedy to improve the dirt.
Another important topic of the book is a discussion of when to plant various types of seeds, both in the house and outdoors in a garden. Because of varying germination times and hardiness different seeds need to be planted outside at different times, both before and after the last expected frost date. Several lists detail when it is "safe" to plant each item outside.

 My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this little book. It is packed full of useful information and written in a conversational tone. I was able to read through it in a short time and learn a lot, but because there is so much information I will refer back to it when I am ready to plan a garden. For me the tone or style of the book is such that Gary is having a conversation with me or a small group of people. The facts and how to's that he shares are supported with examples and explanations of how he does things in his own garden and what he has found successful as well as what has not worked for him. The suggestions he makes for doing things in a specific way are backed up by experience.

As with just about any new activity there are a number of supplies which a new gardener needs and the variety of choices can be overwhelming. Gary talks about many of the most common and explains the pros and cons of each, thus allowing the gardener to choose what will work best for their situation. The information shared builds on itself. As the reader goes on the journey of growing seedlings they will see the reason for doing something in a specific way or not doing something which could hurt. The steps to growing seedlings, from determining the size of a garden to pick out seeds and supplies, to transplanting into the larger garden is clearly ordered throughout the book. There is no need to go back and forth from chapter to chapter.

If you are even the least bit interested in starting any size garden, from a container garden on your window sill to a raised bed outside  and have never planted anything before you will find loads of helpful advice and suggestions in Seed Starting.

Since my failed garden attempt several years ago I haven't tried a garden again, but Seed Starting has encouraged me to try again when our situation is right. For a number of reasons I can't try a garden this year, but maybe next year. Besides a year should be more than enough time to plan. right?

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