How to Grow Your Own Vegetables and Herbs

May 22, 2012 by

Honestly, I have no idea. Luckily, other people do and they have written books for idiodic people like me to follow. Sometimes gardening books can be hard to apply because they might not be for your country or climate – even in Australia, having moved from Queensland to South Australia, I find I no longer have to contend with 98% humidity for most of the year but I have to be more careful with winter frosts.

I have 3 books that I absolutely rely on for edible gardening. Note that I don’t have a good track record as yet, but I’m blaming that on the fact that we’re renting and I just can’t seem to find enough time to garden these days. When we move into our own house I am going to make an effort to really look after my garden once I’ve planted it. I tend to get extremely discouraged when something dies or doesn’t grow well, and that’s what has happened here since I don’t have the space or layout to give my herbs the right sunlight and pot sizes. Plus I’m a slack waterer.

Vegie Patch: How to Grow Your Own FoodVegie Patch by Alan Buckingham

I love this book because it sets things out in months (and it’s Australian) and is nicely laid out and easy to follow. It has tips for all the usual planting and pruning, but also how to control pests, which is often lacking in other books. This is probably the one I refer to most often, and as it’s very thick and has lovely photographs, it was a steal at $35 from Fishpond.

Harvest: A Complete Australian Guide to the Edible GardenHarvest by Meredith Kirton

This book is filled with comprehensive information about planting, harvesting, pruning, and pests, as well as guides to growing methods (like how to plant rows). There is also an easy to read table showing seasonal jobs in the garden, which is exactly what I need in the long term. I use it to set reminders on my phone. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the planting section is divided into types of fruits and vegetables rather than a timeline. Makes a great companion to Vegie Patch.

The Girl's Guide to Growing Your OwnThe Girl’s Guide to Growing Your Own by Alex Mitchell

The tagline of this book is “how to grow fruit and vegetables without getting your hands too dirty”. It was the first gardening book I bought. It’s not a definitive guide to the edible garden, but it does have very easy to understand tips including how to plant each vegetable in pots, from both seeds and seedlings. If you have a teenager or girl in her 20′s who is looking into growing her own for the first time, this is a great beginner book.

Practical Self Sufficiency: An Australian Guide to Sustainable LivingPractical Self Sufficiency by Dick and James Strawbridge

I don’t own this one yet but I’m really keen to add it to my collection. I am nowhere near a stage of self sufficiency, but it’s a topic I like to read up on anyway. This is another Australian book so you can be assured that the information will be relevant and applicable. I truly do hope that one day I could be self sufficient enough not to have to work full time, and I could just enjoy creating my own life rather than working to pay for it.

If you have any great recommendations for ‘growing your own’ books please let me know. I am always looking for new ones to add to my collection.

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