Book Review: Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

I have always loved gardening, from having a huge garden in our backyard as a kid, growing small plants on an apartment balcony and now growing a decent sized garden in my own backyard. Though I have had lot of experiences, both good and bad, in my years of gardening I am always on the lookout for books and guides that can add to my knowledge and give me more crops to grow and more things to try to expand my gardening to the next level. So when I saw this book on organic gardening, something I am trying to get into more and more, I was excited to see just what I would find within it’s pages.

This book gives a nice little introduction to organic gardening including the history of it and how it has evolved, or stayed the same, over the course of many years. From there it breaks down each section to cover things such as soil, fertilizing, how to choose and save seeds and what plants work best in what climate. This division of information certainly makes it easier to not only digest but find the exact piece of information that the reader is looking for.

I have to say of all of the information in this book the part that stood out to me as the best was the category on the plants themselves. This section covered not only the very basic information that can be found on seed packets but explained a lot more, like ideal conditions of growth, when and how to sow and harvest and included many popular vegetable and herb varieties along with those that are less common. This extra information about each plant will be really helpful to both newer gardeners and those who have been growing for years but may have never grown that particular plant before and want to know everything about it before trying it themselves.

That being said, without that section the book really isn’t anything special. Those who have been growing for years or most of their life will find very little new information in this book. It covers the basics and a bit beyond but I feel that it fell a bit short for well established gardeners. If you are a beginner gardener, whether trying for organic gardening or not, then this book is a good guide to getting starting and should give you a nice push to get growing things in your backyard. I would recommend this book to those with little gardening experience, however if you are a regular gardener I feel this book doesn’t offer much and there are many other books out there that would be more beneficial for you to read than this one.

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