Circle Gardening
Growing Vegetables outside the Box
Gardening, Gardens
7 x 10, 388 pp.
85 color photos. 4 line art. 7 maps. 38 figures. 42 tables. 4 appendixes. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 01/29/2018
W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series
  flexbound (with flaps)
Price:        $36.00

978-1-62349-556-5

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Circle Gardening

Growing Vegetables outside the Box

Kenneth E. Spaeth Jr.

As more people become concerned with food safety as well as the environment, vegetable gardening offers an opportunity to grow produce at home. Not everyone has the time, money, or energy to take on the challenge of starting a vegetable garden, however. In Circle Gardening, Kenneth E. Spaeth Jr., a soil and ecosystem specialist, provides a fresh approach and thorough guide to vegetable gardening for all gardeners, experienced and beginner alike.

Through years of experimentation, Spaeth has found circle gardening, an ancient method “as old as agriculture,” to be not only an efficient but also an aesthetically pleasing way to grow plants. By arranging them in a concentrated circle rather than in rows, gardeners are able to conserve compost, fertilizer, and water. Depending on the number of vegetables planted, this design can save time and be less physically demanding. The rationale for planting your veggies in a circle is scientific, too—many plants clump together in nature and thrive in groups, and so planting in circles actually mimics natural plant distribution.

There are other questions that befuddle expert and beginner gardeners, too: What is the difference between organic and conventional gardening? Are there significant pros and cons to each? What makes up the soil in a garden? Spaeth provides clear answers to these complex questions. The book also includes quick vegetable guides in the back along with information on composting, calculating fertilizer rates, and gauging soil health.

KENNETH E. SPAETH JR., a plant-soil scientist with the USDA, is a well-published expert on water and soil conservation as well as an adjunct and honorary professor. He and his wife also operate a small dairy goat farm and have won ribbons for their cheeses at American Dairy Goat Association competitions.

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