‘The Vegetable Gardener’s BIBLE’ by Ed Smith

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith

The name ‘The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible’ is really appropriate as this is truly the bible for vegetable gardeners. My edition is 11 years old being printed in 2000 and the information in it is as current as if it was written yesterday. It is one of those garden books I keep handy to go back to over and over again. In his methods, he advocates wide rows, organic methods, raised beds and deep soil which just about says it all.

Ed Smith has a 1500 ft garden that he tends with his wife, growing nearly 100 varieties of vegetables in Vermont. He states if you can grow in Vermont, you can grow everywhere. I guess he hasn’t tried growing in the high deserts of New Mexico! Having said that, I feel that no matter where you grow there are always challenges and his book addresses many that gardeners experience everywhere. He shares step by step instructions on how-to build raised beds, soil conditioning, crop rotation, greenhouse gardening, cold frame gardening and so much more. Everything is explained clearly for both the novice and experienced gardener. I love this book.

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2 comments on “‘The Vegetable Gardener’s BIBLE’ by Ed Smith

  1. Ed Smith is a serious gardener. His approach to vegetable growing is best suited to half acre gardens in the northern areas of the United States. Smith lives and gardens in Vermont and judging by the contents (great photos as well as text) of his book, THE VEGETABLE GARDENER’S BIBLE, I suggest his gardening effort constitutes year-round full-time employment for him. I am a dedicated urban gardener, but one with a less than one-eighth (<1/8) acre plot of land, much of which is covered by a house and driveway. I cannot begin to use most of the material in Smith’s book, however, even for urban gardeners like me, Smith provides much useful information. My experience has shown that vegetable growing in the city has one advantage over growing vegetables in the hinterland…most of the pests that plague the countryside have not moved to town…yet! When I grew green beans on a half acre plot in the country, I fought a daily war with bean beatles. I’ve yet to see a bean beatle in my urban back yard. On the other hand, the larvae of the Monarch Butterfly found my parsley last year. Smith’s section on pests includes something I have not seen in other gardening books..a picture of Monarch Butterfly larvae or Parsley Caterpillers as Ed calls them, munching away. Smith is an organic gardener so he advises pest control methods that deter unwanted visitors without damaging the larger envirnoment. He also advises moving the Parsely Caterpillar out of harms’ way when you battle other insects. However, the birds living in my yard consider Parsley Caterpillars a delicacy, much to the horror of my granddaughters who watched the pretty little green and yellow striped caterpillars with interest last summer as they grew bigger and bigger until one day they were discovered to have been eaten by a feathered predator who left only a few body parts in his wake.Smith includes much that will be of interest to anyone setting out to grow vegetables for the fifteenth or first time. Although most of us don’t have a green house for winter gardening, most of us do have a sunny window sill that can be used to germinate seedlings for transplanting. Most of us can compost (check out WormWoman.com on the Internet if you live in an apartment). Smith advocates growing vegetables in (W)ide rows, (O)rganically, in (R)aised beds with (D)eep soil. Even with my small yard, I can do that. We built raised beds with timbers, and filled them with compost made entirely of yard and kitchen waste and the result is fabulous. He provides a nifty section that shows you how to construct a raised bed on a patio or balcony. You may not have a half-acre spread, but you can use Smith’s Bible if you want to grow vegetables.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Diane’s comment is correct about Ed’s garden. I just finished his book on container vegetable gardens and it is great. I think would be helpful no matter how big your space or level of commitment in time.

    Liked by 1 person

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