Has anyone else noticed that vegetable gardening seems to be like some other things - a little knowledge is dangerous!
When I was blissfully ignorant I could grow anything with no problems, but as soon as I started learning more about soils, plants, etc. I started encountering more problems. Or is it that once you start learning you start experimenting? Who knows, but I'm still "dangerously" in love with gardening!!!!! (even though it's humbling to be outsmarted by a zucchini squash!!)
I don't know enough to speculate too much -- like the condition of your soils and how long you've been at it. Part of it might be experimentation -- trying to grow things that are harder than the usual stuff. Or trying to push the season.
Other factors could be soil and pest/disease build-up. Assuming you started with lawn and tilled it up or otherwise incorporated sod, this gives the soil a good start. But if you don't keep adding organic matter or growing cover crops, you can burn it out in a few years.
Also, many pests don't make themselves annoying the first couple of years. Then wham. They're all over the place wreaking havoc. Good rotation helps.
I loved Ms. Stout's book! I heard about it and ordered it through our library and devoured it! A few months later I was telling a friend about it, and the library had discarded the book. Talk about depressing. Since it was written so long ago, it is very hard to locate. I keep hoping the publisher will re-issue it, but haven't heard any news about it.
lupinelover, I got a copy on half.com at eBay - $4 plus shipping for a used hardcover copy in good condition - better price than what they were going for on eBay.
Funny you mentioned the library - I was thinking of donating my copy to our library when I'm done reading it a second time through, as they didn't have it in their catalog. Maybe I shouldn't; I'd be disappointed to turn around and discover they had discarded it.
When you are done with your copy, I would love it! Would you consider donating it to a friend? I will check out eBay, but I have gotten some really nasty viruses from their site in the past, so am reluctant to venture there again.