Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reading Material

I've always loved to read. I spent a good portion of my childhood at the library and my mom is an elementary school librarian, so books were never hard to come by in our house.

Working full time and taking graduate level classes doesn't leave much time to read what I want to. I like the topics I read for class, but there's something less satisfying about reading when you have to do it.

Spring break was last week so I took the opportunity to procrastinate on all the coursework I had promised myself I'd complete and finally got to the pile of books I've had lying around from the library.

Actually, some of those I own, mainly the top four, but they're all good. I'll give you some mini reviews in case you're looking for some great new books to read over your "Spring Break".

The Bountiful Container - My new favorite book about container gardening. I actually got it from the library and loved it so much in the first skimming that I immediately bought it. Great advice, written in an easy to read way and some great art as well.

The second one down is actually a magazine called "Urban Farm." While a lot of their projects and ideas involve more space than I have, it's great for inspiration and I plan on keeping all the issues to pull out when I have a real yard one day.

The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible - The other reviews online make it sound like a classic. I'm not sure it's that great, but it does give lots of good information about self-watering containers, something I think I'll try next year.

Four Seasons of Orchids - Gave me reassurance that I haven't killed my orchid and also informed me that I have a winter flowering orchid that needs more light (the guy who sold it to me in the student union somehow forgot to mention what type it was).

Canning and Preserving with Ashley English - I realize this is a bit premature since right now I just have seedlings, but I was curious to see if canning was something I could do myself and Ashley's book makes it seem absolutely within reach.

Teaming with Microbes - I'll be honest, I haven't really gotten into this one much yet. Lots of people have recommended it, but it seems to be really heavy on the science terminology and I'm having a hard time getting motivated. And now that Spring Break is past me I'm not sure reading this one will happen.

37 Houseplants Even YOU Can't Kill - Interesting enough. For the really simple basics of houseplant non-killing.

The Vegetable Gardener's Book of of Building Projects - My dad is incredibly talented when it comes to woodworking, and he helped me with a woodworking 4-H project years ago so this book reminded me of him. Great range of projects from really simple things I can do in an apartment (Coming Soon!) to bench swings and arches and bird boxes.

I got through those books so quickly that I headed back to the library and got more!

These I've mostly just skimmed to far.

Incredible Edibles -
It's pretty basic and I definitely think there are better books about urban gardening.

The Girl's Guide to Growing Your Own - Still not really sure why this one's gender specific. I'm fairly certain men/boys could also use these tips - but to each their own.

Growing Tasty Tropical Plants -
I AM IN LOVE. And J is terrified that our apartment is going to be taken over and turned into a very high rent greenhouse. That fear may not be totally unjustified... stay tuned.


  1. I picked up the Growing Tasty Tropical Plants book from my library this week as well! So many tempting options all in one book! And canning is a cinch. I taught myself from a book last summer when fruit and green beans were coming out of my ears. It's easy once you just do it once. :)

  2. that's a good looking stack of books. i love the building projects one--my aunt gave me a copy for xmas and while i probably won't make a whole lot of what's in there, i really like the make-your-own tomato cage idea. i have plans to make four of those pretty soon. good call on the "girl's guide" book...that's pretty silly.

  3. These all look like great books and I think my orchid must be a winter flowering one too! Thanks for that.

    I was thinking of you the other day when purchasing "Pot it Grow it Eat it" by Kathryn Hawkins. You might have a look for that at the library. I am enjoying it very much.

    You are a zone 5 right? If you can put pots outside right now on your balcony in sun, and the soil can be worked, what about trying to plant some peas? Thinking about that myself you see)))...that or some hardy greens I can cover with garden fleece. Like you, I find it's fun to experiment.

  4. "Growing Tasty Tropical Plants," "Grow Great Grub," and "The Girl's Guide to Growing Your Own" are some of my favorite gardening books!

    My other favorites:
    "You Grow Girl"
    "Crops in Pots"
    "Garden Anywhere"
    "Strawberries and Sugar Peas"
    "Put 'em Up!"
    "Grow Fruit"