Hot Off the Press: Gardening for Geeks

This review also appears in the March/April issue of Northern Gardener.

Please don’t be put off by the name. Whether you consider yourself a geek or, like me, aren’t sure what that term means, this is a comprehensive gardening resource that is written for anyone who is willing to consider some new ways of gardening.

hot off press imageWritten by the founder of the Gardenerd website who is also an organic gardening instructor, Gardening for Geeks by Christy Wilhelmi covers the gardening basics: site selection, soil enhancement, compost creation, crop rotation, companion and succession planting, irrigation, trellises and raised beds. In addition, there is a chapter devoted to small-space gardening that explains the biodynamic, French intensive, double-digging methods and offers suggestions for manipulating (mostly increasing) available sunshine.

In the chapter on planting, heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid and genetically modified seeds are discussed before the author offers capsule summaries of most mainstream garden vegetables and herbs. In addition to the basic seed-packet information, she includes growing and harvesting tips for each plant.

The final chapter deals with post-harvest activities, including short-term storage tips as well as dehydration and freezing methods. There are extensive explanations of how to build a solar food dryer and how to can tomatoes, followed by a few recipes. An extensive collection of resource information (seed sources, glossary and index) is also included.

The chapter I will, unfortunately, refer to most often in the coming days is the one on pest control. She offers many suggestions on identifying and dealing with pests and includes a wonderful flowchart to help identify the perpetrators.

—Julie Jensen

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