Written with beginning gardeners in mind, Veg Out offers a welcoming guide to creating a vegetable garden for the first time. In simple down to earth language, author Heather Rodino walks readers through the steps of choosing a site, navigating seed catalogs, dealing with pests and harvesting the crops. Her goal is to streamline vegetable gardening so that new gardeners feel excited and empowered as they embark on their new challenge.

In Part I, Rodino considers the basics and provides information to aid readers in choosing a garden that best suits them. For example, she lays out the pros and cons of raised beds, in ground planting and container gardening. In a similar fashion, she compares tilling and digging. Other topics of interest include an explanation of cool and warm season crops, crop rotation and the importance of choosing vegetables from different plant families, and the possibility of balcony and indoor gardening. A section on common insect pests includes clear illustrations of each pest as well as a discussion about the plants affected, and non-chemical methods of control.

Over half of the book is devoted to 39 plant profiles of various vegetables and herbs from red-leaf amaranth to zucchini. Each profile includes a discussion of the uses of the plant, recommendations for outstanding varieties or cultivars, a picture of the crop, and a chart summarizing the information needed to cultivate it such as planting techniques, harvesting time, and soil, light, temperature, and water requirements.

Veg Out is a reader-friendly book with all the information a new gardener needs to get started planning and cultivating a vegetable garden. It is enlivened by all sorts of interesting facts about the various crops and enhanced by well chosen photographs. Throughout the book, the author shows her sensitivity to the environment and the importance of sustainable practices. Too bad that the print is tiny and hard on the eyes.

To buy Veg Out from Amazon, click here.

By Karen