Saturday, May 18, 2013

Garden Book Review - Gardening for Geeks

Before reviewing the book 'Gardening for Geeks' by Christy Wilhelmi, let's determine what exactly a 'geek' is.
Oxford Dictionary of Current English:  geek• n an obsessive enthusiast
Well that certainly describes me, and many of my friends!
A kindred soul, Wilhelmi starts off by writing about how important it is to create an eco system in one's garden, or on the whole property for that matter.  She describes the principles of permaculture design with a keyhole garden as an example.
Soil texture and pH balance is covered for we all know that we should feed the soil, and not the plants.
An excellent nudge towards using the term biomass as opposed to garden waste when creating compost, because nothing is being wasted.  Besides using compost from a bin, other organic fertilizers are studied with the particular benefits of worm castings which leads to a chapter on vermiculture,  the keeping of worm bins.
The advantages of raised beds are covered and how chicken wire in the bottom of them will prevent gophers from accessing the plants from below.
There's a listing of cool and warm season crops, when to seed and harvest them and first frost dates, important things to know when growing vegetables.  Also the practicality of bio-intensive methods for growing; square foot gardening for one which is the method I like to use.
The topic of biodynamics, founded by Rudolf Steiner is about gardening by the cycle of seasons and lunar cycles with documented proof that planting by moon phases produces better results.
There are specific vegetables with how to grow them and troubleshooting as well as a good chapter on irrigation.  Rain barrels are a necessity for the home gardener, how many do you have?
I liked the section on creating your own trellis and tomato crib and description on proper pruning of tomatoes and other plants.
There's a good organic solution chart for pests and one for overall trouble shooting.
Ways to process your harvest and some recipes rounds out this book to cover everything one should know to have food from the garden to table.
Gardening for Geeks will inform a new gardener on how to prepare, grow and harvest a garden while at the same time perhaps refresh the memory of an experienced gardener  on various aspects they may have forgotten about or not known with new technology.
Published by Adams Media 2013.
I'm linking with the monthly Garden Book Reviews hosted at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.


  1. Judith:
    Last Sunday afternoon I got 5 wheel barrels on good soil out of my composter. I had been filling it for 2 years so it was about time. I was so happy. Now I am moving it and refilling with lots of garden stuff and starting again.

    Your book sounds very helpful!

  2. Nice to know "gee: doesn't just apply to techno nerds anymore, haha.

    Have a fabulous weekend playing in dirt, Judith!

  3. I am trying not to buy any more garden books, but being a geek I think I will need this one!!

  4. Sounds like the book has lots of good info.

  5. That would be me, a garden geek. I have not been to your blog for awhile and it is stunning. It is really beautiful. You flower photos are gorgeous.

  6. This sounds like a very good book. I'm sure every gardener could take away something of value. I had never heard the term biomass. Thanks for defining it. I enjoyed reading your book review, Judith. Hope you have a great week!
    Hugs, Beth

  7. I stopped for a moment at that definition. Interesting, not quite what I thought it was! Hope you had a good weekend!

  8. This sounds like a great book, and one I probably would not have picked up on my own. I don't usually consider myself 'geeky', but according to your definition, I am definitely a gardening geek! The book sounds like it has a ton of great information in it, too. It's definitely going on my must-have list. Thanks for joining in!

  9. My eyes tend to glaze over at technical stuff although I research every plant before I put it in the garden. My scientist husband however is going to love this book.

  10. Oh, yay, I know what worm castings are! (The magazine I formerly edited ran an article on them.) I'm going to share this book review with a friend who is truly a garden geek...this is right up her alley!


Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
If you have a 'no reply' status on your blog I hope you'll consider changing this to enable others to email a question or continue a conversation from the comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...