Are some plants aphrodisiacs, or is that just a myth? Garden expert and plant detective Helen Yoest takes us on a romp through history, lore and ethnobotany to find out how 50 of these plants got their "hot" reputation - and what modern science has to say about it. Discover which common garden plants and favorite edibles have that "something extra," and why. Plants With Benefits is filled with lush photography, growing tips, and recipes for preparing teas, potions and tasty treats for your pleasurable use.
Want to do your part in helping your local pollinators flourish? Pollinator Friendly Gardening makes it easy. Are you interested in growing a naturally healthy garden? How about making sure your local environment helps bees, butterflies, and birds survive and thrive? If you are a beekeeper, are you looking for the ideal plants to keep your colony happy? Pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bees are under threat, and more and more gardeners want to do all they can to create a hospitable space for them. That's where Pollinator Friendly Gardening comes in. It identifies the most visible and beloved pollinators: bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as some more unlikely candidates such as ants, wasps, and beetles. It then explains the intriguing synergy between plants and pollinators. This vital information makes it a unique sourcebook to share the ways that anyone can make a yard a more friendly place for pollinators. Plant selection, hardscape choices, habitat building (both natural and manmade), and growing practices that give pollinators their best chance in the garden are all covered in detail. Plant lists organized by category, helpful tips, and expert spotlights make it a fun and easy book to read too.
Jessi Bloom, the bestselling author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens and an ecological landscape designer, and permaculture expert Dave Boehnlein explain the basic principles and ethics of permaculture, show the entire design process from land assessment to the completed master plan, and offer detailed information on the plants, water, waste, energy, shelter, food, animals, and structures that make up the garden.
For homeowners young and old looking for the easiest and most affordable way to grow the most vegetables, the Raised Row method shared in this breakthrough book is the new go-to choice. In the past decade, raised bed gardening has been wildly popular, but it requires buying wood or another material to build the raised beds, which quickly becomes expensive and labor intense. A raised row garden uses just soil and mulch, such as shredded leaves, to create raised growing rows and walking rows. This method is more budget-friendly and natural, and it’s just as effective for controlling weeds and seeing an impressive harvest your first year.
No need to keep buying the same vegetables you eat all the time. Regrow Your Veggies is an insightful guide that provides effective propagation techniques to recycle and regrow more than 20 popular vegetables right at home! Learn how to keep a source of fresh and healthy vegetables close by, from onions and sweet potatoes to pineapples and mangoes. Reduce waste, and understand how to prevent and solve issues involving pesky pests and pathogens. Get the most out of your favorite foods, and produce your own produce!
With Rosemary Gladstar's expert advice, anyone can make their own herbal remedies for common ailments, such as aloe lotion for poison ivy, dandelion-burdock tincture for sluggish digestion, and lavender-lemon balm tea for stress relief. Gladstar profiles 33 of the most common and versatile healing plants and then shows you exactly how to grow, harvest, prepare, and use them. Stock your home medicine chest with safe, all-natural, low-cost herbal preparations, and enjoy better health!
Historically, seed companies were generally small, often family-run businesses. Because they were regionally based, they could focus on varieties well-suited to the local environment. A Pacific Northwest company, for example, would specialize in different cultivars than a company based in the Southeast. However, the absorption of these small, independent seed businesses into large multinationals – combined with the advancement of biotechnology, resulting in hybrids and genetically modified seeds – has led to a serious loss of genetic diversity. The public is now at the mercy of the corporations who control the seeds.
In the past few years, gardeners have realized the inherent danger in this situation. A growing movement is striving to preserve and expand our stock of heritage and heirloom varieties through seed saving and sharing opportunities. Seed Libraries is a practical guide to saving seeds through community programs, including:
Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply. By empowering communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest, Seed Libraries is the first step toward reclaiming our self-reliance … while enhancing food security and ensuring that the future of food is healthy, vibrant, tasty and nutritious.
Now, more than ever, people across the country are turning toward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living, whether they’re urbanites or country folk. This large, fully illustrated book provides the entire family with the information they need to make the shift toward self-sufficient living.
Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions on how to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organic perspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers will learn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; can fruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactive and engaging “green” projects; harness natural wind and solar energy to cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maple syrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included are natural crafts readers can do with their children, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonal decorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid or just to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book a thorough resource and a great inspiration.
Ever wonder why some gardens and landscapes look dazzling year after year, while others decline? Or why does a planting look great at one location while the same plant looks skimpy and unattractive nearby? The characteristics of the site determine whether a plant will thrive. Site Assessment for Better Gardens and Landscapes describes how to evaluate site characteristics that are important to plants.
Intended for novice gardeners, experienced gardeners, and landscape professionals, the 81-page spiral-bound book includes 50+ color photos, a glossary, an index, and references and web sites for further information. Through 30+ hands-on activities, soil type, drainage, sunlight, compaction, slopes, minimum and maximum temperatures, wind, existing plants, wildlife and more are evaluated. When you've gotten to know your property using this book, you'll have:
Completing a comprehensive site assessment should be the first step when you purchase a property, make changes to a landscape, or expand a garden or landscape into a new area of your property. The assessment can be done in a few weeks or over a longer time. Site assessment saves time and money, helps avoid future problems, and results in an easy-to-care-for, sustainable garden or landscape.
Small-Space Vegetable Gardens explains the basics of growing a bounty of edibles in a minimal amount of space. Andrea Bellamy, author of the award-winning blog Heavy Petal, shares all the knowledge she’s gained from years of gardening small: how to find and assess a space, and how to plan and build a garden. Bellamy also highlights the top 60 edible plants and offers complete information on how to sow, grow and harvest them. This hardworking and enthusiastic guide teaches gardeners how to take advantage of the space they have—whether it’s a balcony, a patio, a plot in a community garden, or even a small yard—to create the food garden of their dreams.
Healthy soil means thriving plants. Yet untangling the soil food web and optimizing your soil health is beyond most gardeners, many of whom lack an in-depth knowledge of the soil ecosystem.
Soil Science for Gardeners is an accessible, science-based guide to understanding soil fertility and, in particular, the rhizosphere – the thin layer of liquid and soil surrounding plant roots, so vital to plant health.