The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener: Gourmet Gardening for the Rest of Us

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9780679448150: The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener: Gourmet Gardening for the Rest of Us
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Everyone loves garden-fresh vegetables, but who has the time or energy to grow their own? You do--if you adopt Tom and Marty's tried-and-true schemes and tricks for 20-minute vegetable gardening.
  
They'll help you create from scratch a ready-to-plant garden in less than two hours, and then help you choose the easiest, most rewarding plants for your region and your tastes. You'll learn tips for winning the neighborhood tomato contest and how to turn a stack of old tires into an heirloom potato patch. Discover the perennial vegetables you plant once and harvest for years, and claim as your own the recipes for Brighton Beach borscht, Japanese radish pickle, and sweet- potato pie. Encouraging, practical, and always unexpected, The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener means liberation for home growers everywhere.

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Review:

Mutt and Jeff, Bert and Ernie, Click and Clack, and now, for the would-be kitchen gardener, Tom and Marty! If dumbed-down straight guy/funny man humor tickles your fancy, you are sure to love Tom and Marty's The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener.

There are 10 or so basic principles for 20-minute vegetable gardening. They range from "grow high impact crops such as hot peppers or asparagus" to "choose crops according to local conditions," and from "nurture soil" to "learn how to water."

There are chapters on bean sprouts, salad greens, cabbage-family plants, root crops, herbs, and tomatoes. Each chapter begins along lines like these: "Having finished the installation of his garden bed, Marty was hot to start planting. He was dreaming, he said, of the most extraordinary salads. That made Tom anxious. Marty always makes Tom anxious, but in this case, Tom had reason." Punch line: it was too late in spring to plant salad greens, according to Tom. This leads to brief discussions of how to plan a planting calendar, how to select seedlings at a nursery, how to care for seed, and several good salad crops. The chapter discussion is followed by "20-Minute Projects," such as planting lettuces in a decorative way, and, in the case of chapter 4, "The Salad Course," planting salad fixings in window boxes.

A novice gardener would have to slog through the entire book to have any sense of what to do. There is nothing unique or particularly noteworthy in the text; nothing that isn't available elsewhere in a more straightforward, more easily accessible package. But then, with The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener, the package is the whole shtick. --Schuyler Ingle

About the Author:

Tom Christopher and Marty Asher are the authors of Compost This Book! and The 20-Minute Gardener. Their "20-Minute Gardener" column appears monthly in House & Garden.

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Asher, Marty
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