Paperback: 720 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books; Revised, Updated ed. edition (February 3, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.8 x 8.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #253,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #216 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Technique > Organic #224 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Gardening #239 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Reference
I bought this edition because when I first started organic gardening in the 1970s, Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening was my gardening bible. It was everyone's organic gardening bible. I figured a newer edition would be more up to date, but I was so disappointed with it. It's fancier than the old editions, but shorter on information and longer on political correctness. I'd recommend finding a used copy of the original edition; you absolutely won't be disappointed with that one.
This is an excellent reference book that I find myself constantly using. Sometimes it is in reference to a specific problem, other times, I just find it interesting to read. Most often, I will pick it up to look something specific up and then realize that 30 minutes has gone by because I have found other interesting things to read. Great, reliable, organized well, and lots of great ideas.
I've enjoyed most of the other books in this series, so perhaps my expectations were high. This book is really just not that helpful. Partly the problem is the "encyclopedic" organization. The book is (obviously) arranged alphabetically. Fine - but then the index and TOC are useless additions of wasted paper that serve no real function, because hey - everything is alphabetical! The index is worthless for cross-referencing. Oddly, some things are alphabetical by scientific name, others by general name, etc. Another reviewer mentioned it was good for general reading. I didn't feel it was readable this way at all, but I wasn't expecting to. It really is organized as an "encyclopedia" and more conducive to looking up specific items. But when you look something up, the information itself is just not that useful. As a beginner to intermediate gardener, I was underwhelmed with the depth of the info - and at 700+ pages, you'd think there would be a lot of information! There are also about a half-dozen small black and white illustrations in the entire book.Overall - it's okay, but not worth the money or the wasted trees....
I got this book from my local library and was not impressed. 1. I don't like the alphabetical set-up of the book, and 2. I like books that go into much more detail. This thing is thick and heavy, and has information on a ton of topics (probably almost everyone I could think of) but after reading a book on composting, the composting section seems very bleek. After reading books on vegetable gardening- the vegetable gardening section seems to be missing A LOT. Some people may want one big volume as a general reference, but I like details. I want to know what's going on in that compost pile and why I'm doing the things I'm doing and different methods in doing it. I also like to troubleshooting in the way of OK I read this thing and am now trying to do what it says to do but it's not working... what am I doing wrong? I also saw nothing about vermiculture (worm composting)- which is kind of a big deal in gardening I think. I first saw this book on the bookshelf at a used book store and almost bought it. I'm now glad that I didn't buy it. In my personal case I would prefer to buy several different books that cover the subjects (of composting/soil building, organic disease/pest control, vegetable gardening and fruit trees) in detail and truley be knowledgable on the subjects, rather than one giant book that includes many, many subjects but just gives a very basic (aka minimal) overview of them.
Have no doubt, this is a reference book--an old-school encyclopedia. There are not a ton of illustrations or photos. It's all black and white. And you look up plants by their Latin name, not their common names. (Look up blanket flower, and you'll be refered to Gaillardia.) But I have learned SO much from this book. I planned what seeds to start when. I got ideas for how to organize my vegetable garden. If I'm paging through a seed or plant catalog, I can use this book to get an objective third opinion. I learned why going organic is so worth it from a soil health perspective. I figured out how to make compost tea. And I can actually get a detailed description of how to take cuttings and things like that. If you're looking for a coffeetable book, this isn't it. But if you're looking for both depth and breadth of gardening knowledge, this is the one to get.
This book has alot of information for beginning, as well as experienced gardeners. Very informative from pest control to garden and flower beds, to harvesting and planting just about anything. Great resource book.
I like this book because it has lots of newer information my book from the early 80's does not. However the new book does have less illustrations and in some entries I have looked, less information. So I refer to both for my gardening needs.
I am new to the organic lifestyle and am growing our first organic garden. I think this book is very useful and full of good information. I recommend it for beginners.
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