Q&A with the editors of Fine Gardening for ‘Easy-to-Grow Vegetables’

By Shelley Pierce | June 25, 2017
Image by Taunton Press
by Shelley Pierce
June 25, 2017

The book ‘Easy to Grow Vegetables’ is a true beginner’s guide to producing a garden that’s filled to the brim. Loaded with expert tips, tricks, and techniques from Fine Gardening magazine, this book is a touchstone for planting, weeding, growing, and harvesting advice. Get the basics on creating a garden bed, preparing soil, and properly rotating crops. This book provides in-depth information on cultivating tomatoes, peppers, green beans, carrots, onions, lettuces, zucchini, kale, cucumbers, herbs, and many more.  Read on for more information about this book and enter to win one of three copies from The Taunton Press!

1.  How does this book help us to get the harvest of our dreams without breaking the bank or our back?

A: The book is filled with tips and tricks for pest and disease-prevention as well as care and maintenance tactics for a plethora of crops. All of this information leads to healthier plants and, in turn, a bigger harvest. The many seed starting strategies outlined in the book are a perfect example of a way to save money. A packet of several dozen seeds costs $1.99, whereas a single tomato seedling in the garden center can set you back $5 (or much, much more).

 2. What is it about this book that will make readers reach for it every time they need information about vegetable gardening?

A: This is basically the bible of vegetable gardening. Each chapter focusses on a specific crop and takes readers through the ins and outs of starting the seeds, transplanting outside, caring for the veggie through the season, and advice on harvesting. Everything you could possibly need or want to know about a given vegetable is in this book.

3. This book is touted as a “true beginner’s guide to producing a garden that’s filled to the brim”.  However, would it be fair to say that seasoned gardeners would also appreciate this book as well and why?

A: Yes. I’ve been gardening for several decades and I still learned several new things from this book including the tip on page 120 about mixing carrot and radish seeds before sowing them into the garden in order to get two crops from one small space. It’s a brilliant idea and actually works!

4. Do you have a cool tip or technique that you would like to share with our readers about one of your favorite vegetables?

A: My favorite trick has to do with tomatoes. It seems like no matter where you live in the country, people always end up with a plethora of green tomatoes at the end of the season. Here’s a trick to get more ripe tomatoes: Practice the “late season chop.” To do this correctly, first you need to envision the U.S.A and bisect the country in half. If you live south of that center line, you will do the chop around the Fourth of July. If you live north of that dividing line, you will do the chop around Labor Day. The chop simply means hacking off the tops of your tomato plants so they are only 5 to 6 feet tall. This forces the plants to spend their limited energy on ripening the green fruit below the cuts, as opposed to setting more immature fruit at the tops of the plants (which will never ripen before the season ends).

5. What advice do you have for beginning gardeners?

A: This may seem odd, but I would say don’t start by growing tomatoes, eggplants, or peppers. These crops can actually be really hard to raise when you’re a beginner. Better choices would be lettuce, peas, or squash. These staples are far more forgiving when it comes to general care and you’re pretty much guaranteed a bountiful harvest without much effort.

WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES OF ‘Easy-to-Grow Vegetables’!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Sunday, June 25, 2017 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

Which vegetable is the most easiest to grow for you?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)

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