Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ortho's Problem Solver

Occasionally, my husband and I go out for a date.  One of our favorite stops is Barnes and Noble.  He peruses the DIY manuals and I make myself comfortable in the gardening section.  I always end up with a dreamy pile to take home.  Sadly, my collection is invariably returned to the shelves.  Our frugal budget reduces my pile into a wish list.  But the combination of books and gardening is a powerful draw for me.

Last summer, a friend introduced me to Half-Price Books, and I was doubly delighted.  I had somewhere to drop off all the literary output my family of five creates, AND I get to turn my wishlist into reality.

I turned a large number of cast-offs into 3 horticultural resources.

More to come on the others later, but today I'm excited to recommend Ortho's Home Gardener Problem Solver.

What a resource!  This is a tremendous diagnostic tool.  Anything that can go wrong in the garden is listed here, with photos, descriptions and solutions.  You name it, they've covered it.  It would take many lifetimes of gardening to document this level of information.

But this book is not just about what can go wrong.  It is chocked full of diagrams and explanations of how to grow plants successfully.  The first section clearly explains plant biology in "How a Plant Grows".  The appendix has lists for everything from Houseplants that Root Easily to Low-Growing Trees Suitable for Planting Under Overhead Wires.  

The first part of the book is divided into sections according to plant material.  Covered thoroughly within are Houseplants, Lawns, Ground Covers, Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Fruit and Nut Trees, Vegetables, Berries and Grapes.

The second part of the book is divided according to problems.  Included are Soil, Cultural and Climate Problems, Plant Diseases, Insects, Weeds, Animal Pests, and Household Pests.

Plants, bugs and diseases can be looked up by either common or latin name.

Organic gardeners may not appreciate the chemical suggestions for solutions, but this is Ortho's resource, after all.  Besides, with all the preventative and diagnostic information packed in here, it has earned the right to sit on every gardener's bookshelf.


The Sage Butterfly said...

It is a great resource. You gave it a good review. Is Half-price books a web site? BTW...welcome to Blotanical!

Design to Grow said...

Thanks so much! Half Price Books does have a website (www.hpb.com), but they function primarily through their actual stores. I believe you can buy from them online, but I doubt you could sell to them that way. You won't get rich, but it's worth the trade-off. I'm still getting my feet wet in Blotanical, but I am impressed! Have you been with them long?

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