Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Books to get your Garden Growing (Giveaway Draw)

Recently, Timber Press sent me a big box of their new spring titles and I would like to share copies of the first three of these books with my gardening friends in a giveaway draw.

Starting Seeds by Barbara Ellis:
128 Pages
Illustrations throughout
Storey Publishing

For the novice gardener, seeds can be mysterious and even a bit intimidating. How do you turn a stack of seed packets into a thriving garden?

In this handy pocket-sized book, expert gardener and author Barbara Ellis offers practical advice for sowing vegetable and flower seeds both indoor and out. Seed starting topics include all the basics, plus subjects like pre-germinating seeds and stratification: cool-moist stratification, warm-moist stratification and complex dormancy.

With concise text and simple illustrations throughout, the author offers advice on such things as seed starting mixes, containers and indoor lights. The book continues on to address the care of young seedlings, as well as how and when to transplant seedlings out into the garden. Finally there are handy tips for collecting and storing seeds for next year. 

If you are new to gardening and want to save a little money this spring by start your vegetables and flowers from seed, this is the perfect guide to get you started.

Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener by Joseph Tychonievich
216 Pages
Images: 7 line drawings
Timber Press

Even though I have been gardening for years, I must confess I was a little intimidated by the title of this next book. Plant breeding? Could I really be ready to take that on? It sounds really interesting, but possibly a little tricky and maybe even a bit too technical.

Well, let me reassure you. The book is a great introduction to the subject of plant breeding and won't overwhelm you with a lot of scientific jargon.

In this book, you will learn some basic information about genetics; how to pick the best parent plants; how to cross-pollinate; the best techniques to use for popular vegetables and flowers; and how to harvest and store seeds.

Towards the end of the book the author tackles specific flowers like columbines, daffodils and coleus. Wouldn't be fun, for instance, to create your own unique daffodil? The book also addresses vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and squash. Might there be a unique Three Dogs in a Garden tomato in my future? Maybe, just maybe!

The Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz
208 Pages
250 Color Photos
Timber Press

Traditionally, we view the vegetable gardener's lot as a long suffering matter of sowing seeds, tending young plants, pulling weeds, fighting diseases and fending off bugs and other creatures. If all goes according to plan, eventually there are vegetables to harvest.

The Speedy Vegetable Garden highlights quickly harvested crops like sprouted seeds and micro greens that can be planted and eaten within weeks, days and even hours.

Chapters include: soaks and sprouts, micro greens, edible flowers, cut-and-come-again salad greens and quick harvest vegetables, like cherry tomatoes and early potatoes. Growing tips are nicely paired with beautiful photography and recipes.

What I like best about this book is that it suggests that even gardeners who are pressed for space or time can enjoy their own homegrown food.

To enter the book draw, please leave a comment below. I will make three separate draws, one for each book, so please be so kind as to state which of the books you are interested in winning. I also ask entrants to make sure there is some kind of link available to their email address. I need to have a way to get hold of you should you be a winner! 

The draw will remain open for one week.

I am going to link this review/giveaway to Holley's monthly garden book reviews. To find other great gardening books, please click the link: Roses and Other Gardening Joys


  1. I would be very happy to win any of the books! Here's my order of favorite - just in case you pick me 1st! ;o)

    1) The Speedy Veg. Garden 2) Plant Breeding & 3) Starting Seeds

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great books here Jennifer! All of them sound very interesting! I hope that you are having a lovely week and thanks for the kind comment on my blog...we are still drying up! Take care!

  3. I obviously need "Starting Seeds" as I have never even heard of stratification or complex thingamabobby.

  4. Jennifer, I read the descriptions of the first two books and was immediately swooning. Seed saving, starting and crossing - be still my heart! Even though I have some knowledge about these topics more information is always of interest. and if I don't win, I'll be looking these titles up on Amazon!

  5. These look like some great books! I have found that there is much more to seeds than just sticking them in the ground! And plant breeding is something I dream about, but it always feels like something that would be a bit intimidating to try. And who wouldn't want some fast results out of the vegetable garden?! Don't put me in the drawing, but thank you for joining in the meme!

  6. I love draws! Yoo-hoo! YOO-HOO!!!

    Hmmm... I think I'd like to be entered in the one for the plant breedin'. My peep #1 has done a bit of this with lilies but I don't think she really knows what she's doin'. Maybe she could use a little help?


  7. I am not vey successful with seed starting, although I did try "winter sowing" a few years ago and that worked pretty well for me. Oh, and I've been very successful growing seeds from my clivia plant. But direct sowing into the gound is hit and miss for me. "Starting Seeds" sounds like a book I could use! In fact all of these garden books would be very helpful. Thank you for offering the "Give Away Draw"!

  8. What a wonderful giveaway. I love the sound of the speedy vegetable grower.xxxx

  9. Thanks for the giveaway, Jennifer. I need so much help starting seeds, so that's the book I'd choose first!

  10. Hi Jennifer...How nice of you to give away some of the books! I have pretty good luck with seeds, so you don't need to enter me in your drawing, but I did want to tell you how thoughtful this is!

  11. Oh I need the Speedy Gardener!!! We have the shortest growing season here - from the first week of June to the last week of August is the frost free period... so hard to get veggies to mature!

    Thanks for the giveaway! (ps I bought some of the books you offered during your last giveaway - thanks for the reviews!!)

  12. I, too, would love to win The Speedy Gardener. How thoughtful of you to share your bounty. Just like a gardener. :) cannedam - gmail

  13. Hi Jen. I am with Christy. I really don't need any of the three, but want to say it is such a nice thing you do with these book reviews and giveaways.

  14. Great idea to spread the word about new books :)

  15. I would love to win the third book about speedy garden. I can't tell you how much I love my veggie garden so if I can make it more productive, I'd be thrilled!

  16. Hi Jennifer
    Thanks for a chance at winning a book! All three look great but Starting Seeds interests me the most. I'm sure I could be doing things better.
    They are predicting temps of 15C starting on the weekend and continuing for awhile (yay!) but with showers. Warm with rain is better than cold with rain.
    Have had a good albeit wet day.

  17. All three sound interesting...I ma just experimenting with sprouts and micro greens.

  18. All 3 books look interesting and like you, I receive a number of gardening books to review. I usually donate the ones I don't want for my library to my horticultural society for door prizes.

  19. I'd like to have some of these books, especially 'Vegetable garden'.
    Looks interesting!

  20. "Seed Starting" sounds like just the book I need. My indoor seed flats are looking pretty puny, and I'm wondering just what I did wrong this year:)

  21. I just borrowed the seed starting book from the library...it's fabulous and would be a great resource to have in any gardener's collection. Highly recommended! The other titles look fantastic as well.

    ~Sheryl @ Flowery Prose


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