Organic Gardening in Cold Climates: Book Review

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I’ve been reading the 1991 edition of Organic Gardening in Cold Climates by Sandra Perrin, which I checked out of the library. (Since there is now a 2002 edition, some of my comments might not be appropriate.) First off, it might better be called Organic Vegetable Gardening–there wasn’t much about flowers except how to use them as companion plantings or beneficial insect attractors. And even though I am not the vegetable gardener in my household, I found most of the information fairly basic. You could learn almost as much just by reading the Johnny’s catalog, which, I suppose, is a credit to them. Most of the information seemed to apply to any organic vegetable garden, not just a cold climate one. And for someone like me, who thinks God is in the details, the information seemed too simplistic: first, do this; then, do this; then, do this.

Mind you, this would be a good book for someone who had never gardened before. Perrin’s explanations are clear and, when appropriate, opinionated. And I did learn a few things. I had never heard of barrel planting corn, for example, which apparently is not planting corn in a barrel, but in a circular shape. If you have been a faithful reader of

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

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