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Snippet of The Joe Gardener Show Episode 184: Great Gardening General Reference Books

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Last Played: December 09, 2020
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Listen now to an Audio Snippet “Great Gardening General Reference Books” as The Joe Gardener Show recommends sources for garden essentials and fixing common problems.
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in this category. I have several, so we'll start with the garden primer that is the great bestselling book by Barbara Damrosch. She is the wife of Eliot Coleman, many of you who wrote in about your favorite books Love Barbers Book and You Love Elliott's books. And they're a married couple who live in Harbourside Main. They had a TV series together for a long time. It was an excellent Siri's. Can you imagine the two of them? Wow. But the book is so comprehensive about the book, it's 100% organic focus. So that's good. I love it for that. The full title to the book, The Garden Primer that completely revised gardeners, Bible thing, essentials of planning, planting and upkeep. And it really is that it's It's a thick book because it's got so much great information in it. So if you want a basic go to book about everything gardening, I highly recommend this book and Barbara is really knowledgeable. You will enjoy this book now. The next book. This is a crazy story and hear me out on this. First of all, the one book that stays on the table next to my desk that I can quickly reach two is called The Ortho Problem Solver fifth edition. I think there's seven editions now. It's not cheap, and it's not small. I don't know if any of you cringed when I said The Ortho problem solver, I do a little bit because the poll book, it's comprehensive like I've never seen. The book itself weighs many pounds, and it's large and it's heavy, but it is completely packed with useful information. So what information is there? Well, for any problem that you can think of, whether it's lawn vegetables, flowers, trees, herbs, shrubs, pest diseases any problem that you could think of, it's probably addressed in this book. That's why it's so big and so heavy, and it gives you pictures for that. It gives you all the basic information as well as options for treatment, and this is the one area of this book. My full disclaimer here is that I stopped short of using their solutions because they're always guiding you towards one of their products, which is not an organic solution. I don't think they even ever mentioned organic solutions, but it is good to identify the problem, and then you can take that information and research the best organic solutions. So it's not a comprehensive book that you're gonna be able to apply or they're recommended organic solution. It's just not there, but it gets you way far down the road. Now here's the other thing about this book you need to know. It's very expensive. For example, the seventh Edition, the newest edition, is available from Amazon Online. At the moment of this recording, there are nine currently used copies available from Are You Ready for this? $665.87? I know it's crazy, but let me give you some better news. The fifth edition, the one I have, uh, I don't know what's changed, but probably very little. There are 22 used available on Amazon from $70.97. Or you could buy a new if you really wanted to. There's no reason to do that at $212 but I have even better news. You can scale way back from that and get the light version in the light version is totally acceptable and practical for the home gardener. In fact, it's called the Ortho Home Gardeners problem solver. It's $53 new, and you can get it as cheap as $8 used on Amazon. And it's really what you need. It's a it's a scaled down version, but it eliminates a lot of the things that probably will never become an issue for you. And that's really all you need. But again, it's a great book to help you identify the problem, and then you can take it from there on how you choose to solve it. If you're not an organic gardener, then this book will guide you all the way through. But for most of us that listen to this podcast, that's our method of practice. And so we'll just have Thio research the solution once we identify the problem. But that's the main thing. The problem solver. The other book that if you don't wanna go with a North a guide, there are similar books. For example, here in the Southeast, where I live in Atlanta, the Southern Living Garden problem solver by Steve Bender is very much like the Ortho Home Gardener Problem Solver book, but it's probably more regionally adapted, and they give you, ah broader options, not just guiding you towards on Ortho product as the solution. So I really do like that, and I often go to that book. You could get the paperback from between two and $8 on Amazon and then another type of book that so much similar. But it's really not a problem solver book, but I love it because it has a similar look and size kind of like a small phone book. It's Ah, it's not as thick as a phone book, but it's Ah, it's rather thick, but not quite as big. It's the Sunset Western Garden book for 2000 and 18. The ultimate guarding guide is the subtitle, and I Don't live on the West Coast. Most of this book it's addressing more than 8000 plant choices for the western U. S. Climate zone, covering 11 contiguous Western states, plus Alaska and Hawaii and even southwest Canada. And so whenever I need to research something for the Western US or Southern Canada, that is really, really a good book. And I know many of you on the West Coast are very familiar with this, uh, but it gives you a lot of great plan information, and there's a great plant selection guide and a plant encyclopedia. So I really love that book. It's just a great resource. And then here's a Here's my next great general reference book and that's rodeos all New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening subtitled The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener. And I agree with that If you are looking for kind of a general all purpose organic gardening book, this is really good. It's a comprehensive guide, so likely everything you wanna know related to organic gardening plants and flowers and vegetables with great illustrations and key term call outs and boxes for certain points. They really want to make clear, and it's very well written. It's concise and the descriptions and the terms are good. So it's a lot of good information without being overwhelming. And I like the book because it's a collection of qualified, contributing authors who all participated to create this book, and it covers it all with excellent illustrations at just the right places, and you'll find yourself picking this book up a lot for just a quick refresher or understanding on a certain term or a concept. It gives you just enough information without giving you too much, but as much as you need, I think it's just a perfect balance. So that's that book. The next one is on insects. It's Garden Insects of North America By Whitney Cranshaw. The subtitle to this book is The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs by Princeton Press, and I love this book. It's one of market Roaches, favorite books. Probably anybody that has it goes to it all the time. In fact, we did a podcast with a great entomologist friend of mine, Suzanne Wainwright Evans, and it's her go to Book two. So there's a lot of endorsements behind this book, but what's neat about it is every bug an insect of North America is in this book. Whitney Cranshaw is an entomologist. I think he's out of Colorado. Basically. He reached out to every entomologist in the US and said, Look, I'm writing this book, and if you'll send me all your bug pictures, I will give you credit. But we're trying to get a handle on every insect and bug that's out there so that people could identify it, and that's what he did. So every bug an insect is identify with multiple pictures of each of its life stages and different angles. So you have a really good visual on the bug, and it names the host plants for each insect. It describes the damage, and it identifies the regional distribution of that insect and its appearance, and it covers the life history in the habits of the bug or the insect. And as I said, there's multiple pictures of each one in the various life stages. Now here's the thing it doesn't do. It doesn't tell you how to treat for it, and that's just fine with me. It's not for that. It's an identification book for the insect, and there's no better book out there for that. And that's why you need this book. It will help you identify any insect that you find in your garden, no matter where you live in the US and one more little nit picky detail I'm gonna insert right here and re listening to this podcast. I just want to clarify when I'm talking about bugs and insects. There is a difference between true bugs and insects. True bugs have some distinctions that separate them from all other insects, and I've covered that in a previous podcast. But as is often the case when we talk about bugs generically, it really is a term used to just describe very small creatures with legs. Now, to piggyback on that, I mentioned witness book doesn't give you the solutions on how to treat it. But here's my next reference book for you that I recommend, and that is the Organic Gardeners Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control. Subtitled A Complete Problem Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden Yard Healthy Without Chemicals by Rodal Publishing. Of course, it's a New York Times best gardening book, and I like this book because it covers over 200 of the most common plants vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, trees and shrubs. And it gives you a disease symptom guide to I. D the Cause and an insect I D guide to recognize the good bugs and the bad bugs to. And then, of course, the organic controls, the cultural controls, the physical controls, biological and then organic sprays and dust. So it gives you all your options organically, which is what most of us are looking for, and it's a great book that works in tandem with the garden Insects in North America identification book. So if you get one, you need the other one, too, especially as an organic gardener moving down the list of great general reference books. Although this is a specialized towards plant propagation, there are a lot of plant propagation books, and I have many of them. This is a good as any, if not better, and it's called the Plant Propagate Er's Bible, subtitled A step by step guide to propagating every Plant in your garden written by Miranda Smith Road. L Publishing again, of course, not surprised, and I like it just because it's got enough information without being overwhelming. You know, sometimes plant propagation could be a little bit intimidating. But this book really makes it simple, with great illustrations and all the information that you need to feel empowered to do it yourself. It's not a big book. It's not a heavy book. It's a handy book that I think that you will reference all the time so that you can propagate literally anything in your garden. And it's a simple is that so? Look into that if if you're wanting to try plant propagation or improve your skills there. This would be a good book to have in your library and then the last one. The granddaddy of the Great General Reference books is the manual of woody landscape plants, their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture propagation and used by Dr Michael Dir. None other than Mike Dir, University of Georgia horticulture professor extraordinaire. He really is an icon in the horticulture world, but this book is like a phone book in size. It's that thick. It's that heavy, but it's that good. But it is the resource guide. I like it because it is the Bible for all things related to woody landscape plants and trees. There are great illustrations of the plant parts to help i. D. Them literally. Everything you want or need to know or didn't know you needed to know is recorded on every plant in the book, and really, it is beyond a basic resource guide for sure. But it is a wonderful investment that you'll use for the rest of your life. You really will and just get to know it. Get to know the book, and you will appreciate it so much, and you'll find it to be an invaluable tool. So do get that book. It's probably around 70 bucks, but you
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