Featured Books for April:

 

Straw Bale Gardens
by Joel Karsten

 

You’ll find a bumper crop of vegetable gardening books on the shelves today, but it is a very rare title that actually contains new information. Straw Bale Gardens teaches gardening in a way that isn’t only new but is thoroughly innovative and revolutionary to home gardening. It solves every impediment today’s home gardeners face: bad soil, weeds, a short growing season, watering problems, limited garden space, and even physical difficulty working at ground level. Developed and pioneered by author and garden expert Joel Karsten, straw bale gardens create their own growing medium and heat source so you can get an earlier start. It couldn’t be simpler or more effective: all you need is a few bales of straw, some fertilizer, and some seeds or plants, and you can create a weedless vegetable garden anywhere—even in your driveway.

Karsten’s step-by-step guide offers all the information you need to make your own straw bale garden today. In this lushly photographed volume, Karsten shares all of the secrets he has developed over years of teaching eager students the miracle of straw bale gardening. You’ll learn how to locate and choose straw bales, then how to condition and plant them for the earliest possible start. You’ll master Karsten’s methods for combating plant pests and maximizing space by applying the principles of vertical gardening to his straw bales. Whether it’s seedlings or seeds, veggies or flowers, there is practically no limit to the plant varieties that will prosper in a straw bale garden—and with Karsten’s breakthrough gardening guide, you can do it all yourself.

 

 

Midwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening
by Katie Elzer-Peters

 

Plant, Grow, and Harvest the Best Edibles - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota & Wisconsin

If you’re interested in growing your own fruits and vegetables, you’ve joined the ranks of a blossoming group of DIY gardeners who place a premium on the idea of self-reliance. But like any other kind of gardening, growing edibles is not a one-size-fits-all pursuit: in order to be successful, you’ll need to know not only which plants grow well in your state or region, but also how to grow them with careful methods and a schedule that caters specifically to your local microclimate. Fortunately for you, Midwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening is written exclusively for gardeners who want to grow edibles in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Author Katie Elzer-Peters, the master gardener responsible for our bestselling Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening (2012), equips you with all the information you need to design your edible garden, tend the soil, maintain your plants throughout their life cycles, and—most importantly—harvest the delicious foods they produce. So whether you live in the Badlands, the Dells, the Quad Cities, or anywhere else in the Midwestern United States, you’ll discover the best fruit and vegetable plants for your garden in this beautiful step-by-step how-to guide ... and they’ll be on your table before you know it.