I borrowed the Week by Week Vegetable Gardener’s Guide by Ron and Jennifer Kujawski from the library a couple of years ago and loved it so much that I added it to my Amazon wishlist. This past Christmas, I found it wrapped underneath the Christmas tree. I didn’t even make it to New Year’s Eve before I’d cracked it open and started making notes inside.
This book is a gardener’s journal of sorts. However, it’s got lots of instructional tips as well. If you are a novice gardener who needs some hand-holding in your garden planning, this book will help you plan your garden, plant it, maintain it, and clean up at the end of the season. However, even experienced gardeners will enjoy the weekly planning steps that the authors lay out for you. If you’ve ever forgotten to order extra of a certain seed, or let the season get too far advanced to plant all of the cool-season veggies that you’d originally planned on planting, this book will help you remember all the little things that makes a garden successful.
This book is not the sort of book that you stare at with glossy pages and gorgeous photos. No, this book is meant to be thumbed through, sketched and written in, and become stained and tattered after a couple of growing seasons.
The book works like this: You find your area’s last frost date and pencil it into the middle of the book where the authors direct you to. Then, working forward and backward in the book, you jot in dates. Each week’s work is laid out for you, from starting seeds in late winter, to harvesting asparagus in early spring, to tying up tomatoes in summer, to adding manure and organic matter in the fall. It’s a great way to break vegetable gardening up into manageable bits so nothing is forgotten.
The only downfall to this book is this: Various areas of the country have different lengths of growing seasons. The authors must live in a cooler climate than I do, because when they are advising cleaning up plants for the fall, I would still have several weeks of growing season left. So, my advice you is to use common sense. If warm weather is still around in the fall, postpone some of the gardening advice present in these pages for a few weeks.
Additionally, be sure that you have an practical idea of when the last frost date in your area really is. These dates are merely estimates. My family never plants until at least two weeks past the last frost date for our area, just to be on the safe side.
Overall, I found this book very useful in planning my garden. I can’t wait to really get into the growing season and use some of the tips included in these pages. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to putter around in the dirt growing food for their own family.