An essential reference for gardeners of all skill levels, The Tui NZ Vegetable Garden is a practical, highly illustrated guide to planting and maintaining a vegetable garden.
Whether you aim to grow just a few tomatoes in pots on your balcony or enough food to feed a family, the information you need is here. From how and where to plant, to what kind of yield to expect from each plant variety, and tips on planting and harvesting to achieve the best results in your garden. Each vegetable and herb entry features ideas for turning produce into tasty meals, and a handy garden diary advises what needs to be done in the garden each month to ensure a flourishing vegetable patch.
This fully revised and updated edition of The Tui NZ Vegetable Garden includes:
- More than 75 vegetable and herb entries
- New recipes throughout
- A comprehensive and easy-to-follow regional planting and harvesting calender
- All the information you need to combat pests and diseases for a healthy and thriving garden.
With the prices of fresh bought vegetables and fruit getting higher and higher these days, I decided this Summer to actually give gardening a go. The idea of growing my own food has been rather appealing for quite some time, and I've made several attempts, all of which have failed miserably. This time I decided to arm myself with some good gardening books... one of which was Tui's "The NZ Vegetable Garden" by Rachel Vogan.
After running you through how to set up a garden (with brief sections on everything from different soils/mulches/composts/fertilisers, container gardening, worm farming, companion planting, crop rotation, watering, and a step-by-step guide on how to build a raised garden), this book moves into a section packed full of pretty much every type of vegetable you can grow here in New Zealand, many of which I've never even tried or heard of! Each vegetable section tells you of popular varieties of that vegetable, when and where the best times/places are to plant it, and how to care for and harvest your crop. There's even a recipe to try, along with further ideas on how to use it in cooking. So many tasty sounding ideas in there that it wasn't long before my stomach was rumbling and I was damn near drooling at the thought of all the yummy things I could make with my own homegrown veges! Really not sure whether I'll be keeping this book in the kitchen with the cookbooks, or with my gardening section.
Along with vegetables, The NZ Vegetable Garden also has a section on the more common herbs. Although each herb was covered in less detail than the vegetables, and had no recipes (which is a shame, as herbs can really make a recipe as much as the vegetables!), they still covered the basics: varieties, when and where to plant, how to harvest/maintain the plant, and ideas on what each herb goes well with in the kitchen. Also briefly covered in the book are some of the main problems you can come across as a gardener... plant diseases, weeds, and pesky insects, including a method of how to deal with each of them, usually with a Tui product. Last of all came the month by month gardening calender/diary, with room to write notes for each month. After the vegetable/herb sections, as a beginner gardener this was definitely my favourite part of the book! Soooo useful as a quick glance resource when you're trying to plan your next season's worth of vegetables, as I'm currently trying to do now for Winter. It even shows you which veges will grow better in which parts of NZ... apparently if you're right up the top of the North Island, there's no point in trying to grow Spinach or Swedes!
Overall, out of the many vegetable gardening books I've now browsed through, this is definitely one of my favourites, and one I will be keeping very handy as I learn my way through this fascinating new addiction I've started! So full of information, and laid out in a way that makes it very easy to find exactly what you're after very quickly, this book is ideal for a beginner gardener, or even someone more experienced who needs a refresher each season. Now I just need to get Tui's books on Fruit and Flower gardening so I can start my own potted orchard! I also loved the plastic cover it came with - makes it so much easier to keep it clean with dirty, damp hands. :)
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