Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Reading

Once the garden gets going in the spring and summer, it's hard to find time to read about gardening...  but when the winter cold has you trapped inside with no green in sight, that's when I find myself pouring over the gardening books dreaming of spring.  

So what have I been reading this winter to prepare for the spring?  Check out a couple of old standbys below and one new fun addition:  
Old Standbys:  *
  • Month-by-Month Gardening in the Carolinas:  This reference has been very helpful to me as an Ohio native attempting to learn when to do what in my exploits as a now southern gardener.  It offers overviews of what you should be doing each month, dividing it between all types of gardening (i.e. vegetables, annuals, bulbs, lawn, shrubs, etc), but I pretty much only use the section on vegetables.  I like to keep a sticky note in the month I'm in at all times for a quick reference...  it helps me not to get ahead of myself or fall behind, my two biggest gardening struggles.  
  • Guide to North Carolina Vegetable Gardening:  This reference gives a general overview of most common vegetables to grow in NC, with recommendations for varieties that do well in my area as well as recommended planting times and common pests/diseases for this region.  I like to cross-reference planting directions on seed packets with what it says here.  I think you can get this book and the one above for just about any state/region.  I got the Georgia versions of both as a gift for my brother in Atlanta.  
*  One drawback on both of these is that they are written more from a conventional (rather than organic) gardening perspective.  I use them as a guide to the region, but forgo their advice when it comes to things like soil building, fertilizing and pest control.

Favorite New Addition:
  • The Urban Homestead:  Derek got me this for Christmas, and I love it!  It goes way beyond just gardening, discussing everything from homemade cleaners to sourdough bread...  all geared toward making your lifestyle more self-sustainable and sustainable in general.  I love the parts on gardening and find it a refreshing innovative approach to a lot of common tasks.  
So how dos we transition from all of this information gathering to action?  Next up are planning and journaling...

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