Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work by Mel Bartholomew (Mar 10, 2005).
**NOTE: At the time of this writing this book is on SALE for $13.59 (reg. $19.99) We knowAmazon prices change with no rhyme or reason, so if you were thinking about getting this book, now would be a good time!**
I first came across this book (an earlier edition) in one of those giant used book stores in Philadelphia, probably fifteen years ago. I used to frequent these places, and buy absolutely every gardening book and field guide I could get my hands on. At any rate, after bringing this particular book home and thumbing through it, my initial impression ‘oversimplified.’ At the time, I was studying bio-intensive agriculture, permaculture, etc – some pretty heavy sciences, so Mel’s approach to intensive gardening seemed kind of pedantic to me. I put the book on the shelf and never opened it again until a couple of years ago. It was then that I finally perceived the genius of it. Brilliantly simple, and far from oversimplified, in fact. The book is packed with info, but presented in such an accessible manner.
If you’ve never gardened before, Mel makes the process super-simple and pretty much fool-proof. I’ve seen no better gardening book for beginners. Experienced gardeners could find it quite eye-opening as well. There are some great planting charts in the book that, alone, are worth the cost of the book. I now refer to these charts frequently throughout the gardening season.
I’ve been gardening for quite a while. I have dozens of gardening books, but only a few I ever open. This has become one of my “go-to” books.
In short, I think every vegetable gardener should have a copy of this. It’s not as deeply concerned with self-sufficiency or sustainability as, say, Jeavons/Cox, or even Elliot Coleman, … but it is also not so overwhelming in terms of the complexity of the system.
If you’re a beginner, starting out with one book, this should probably be the one, because it’s so easy to read and understand. If you’re a seasoned conventional gardener, it’s a great place to start learning about organic & ‘intensive’ gardening methods. If you’ve been overwhelmed by other ‘intensive’ methods, you’ll find this refreshingly uncomplicated.
**At the time of this writing this book is on SALE for $13.59 (reg. $19.99) We know Amazon prices change with no rhyme or reason, so if you were thinking about getting this book, now would be a good time!