Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by & illustrated by

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-14755-0
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

An aesthetically pleasing year-round guide to gardening; Lerner (Backyard Birds of Summer, 1996, etc.) takes a well-organized, sensible approach to growing. The first half of the book covers aspects of organic gardening, beginning with choosing a site, formulating a plan for preparing the ground, testing the soil, composting, and combating unwelcome pests. Sample spring and summer layouts are presented in diagrams of “Paul’s” garden and “Lori’s” garden, to demonstrate possibilities for gardens of differing sizes as well as the inclusion of cool and warm weather crops. The progress of each fictitious garden is then tracked through the months. The latter half of the book addresses monthly stages of gardening from March through October; frost charts and insets show how to identify seedlings, weeds, and pests, with instructions for what to plant when, from the first onion to the last pumpkin. Helpful tips sprout up in context, e.g., about using soap and human hair to discourage deer and placing powdered milk in a jar with seed packets to prolong their life span. The narrative, more useful as an overview than as a handbook, is laced with delicate watercolor illustrations that are as ornamental as they are instructive. A handsome atlas for the more intent diggers of dirt. (maps, charts, diagrams, index) (Nonfiction. 7-12)