Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Before laying spade to the first row of soil or planting that first bulb, most gardeners hear plenty of advice—wanted or not—from a variety of sources. As horticulturist Gillman and master gardener Maynard point out in this fun-to-read guide, such words of gardening wisdom can tender good advice, debatable advice, or advice that’s just wrong. Covering subjects ranging from soil and water to lawn care, they explain each piece of advice before going into what will happen if you follow it; they then explain how to do each practice under discussion and offer their bottom-line opinion or recommendation (“the real dirt”) on the gardening practice. For example, the age-old counsel to water deeply and infrequently to encourage good root systems is good advice because such a method of watering allows plants to establish the deep, healthy root systems they need. Conversely, the authors point out that the advice to provide plenty of water to a lawn, especially in the heat of the summer, is just plain wrong, for overwatering plants causes their roots to suffocate. Although plenty of gardeners are likely to disagree with the authors’ advice, Gillman and Maynard’s entertaining guide to the scientific reasons behind each practice makes this a valuable guide for a gardener to have on the shelf next to the seed catalogues. (Jan.)