On to my next book review. I figure I will write up one of these for each of the books I read which I think will benefit people to read.
This one is a how-to on growing over 100 perennial vegetables in a cool/cold temperate climate geared towards people who are mostly unfamiliar with growing perennial vegetables. Definitely useful to read for those who are just growing annuals and would like to move into growing perennials.
Crawford starts this book off by making a case for growing perennials by showing how they are less work, are better for the soil, and extend the harvest season. A nice little summary to get you into the mood for learning about perennials.
Next Crawford goes into talking about perennial plants in general and their different types, like trees, shrubs, bulbs, climbers, etc. Different planting beds, patterns and setting up perennial polycultures right up to forest gardens. He goes into each of these things briefly just to lay out the basics for those first getting started.
Before getting into the lists of plants, Crawford describes caring for perennials. He talks on planting nitrogen fixers and nutrient accumulators to keep the soil fertile and the role of mycorrhizal fungi. He mentions disease and pest control before going into plant propagation. Throughout he has lists and tables of relevant plants to preform these tasks. The propagation section is quit good with a decent information on different types of propagation strategies.
Now the book gets to it’s meat with the listing of the perennial vegetables. Each of the entries are listed in alphabetical order with nice colour photos. Each photo is followed by a description of the plant, it’s edible parts and hardiness zone. Then Crawford goes into how to cultivate the plant, harvest it and propagate it. Next he lists culinary uses and maintenance and potential problems.
These sections are all quite detailed and straight forward. Following the directions under each plant should allow anyone to grow that particular plant assuming the conditions are appropriate.
Overall this book is a great introduction to growing some perennial vegetables. This book doesn’t cover all perennials, but will get you on track and in the garden trying these plants out. Some of the plants covered in this book have marginal use for eating and won’t produce very much useful product, but some are also great. This book briefly covers some major topics, like forest gardening, which you can get other books with much more detail on once you get hooked on growing perennials.
Check this book out if you want a quick guide for getting into growing perennial vegetables.
Here is the link to Amazon where you can buy the book.