A must have gardening book. I've been gardening for 20+ years and was very impressed with the wealth of information in this book. It wasn't too scientific for the lay person and yet had enough 'new' information to keep me reading. Most plants fall into one of two categories, the ones we want to flower and the ones we want to keep from flowering. This book talks a lot about how temperature, day length and variety can be used to either promote or delay flowering. Sometimes a change of a couple of weeks in planting time is all it takes. Each crop or group of crops are discussed at length. Different varieites are suggested for different areas of the country, growing seasons etc.
As the authors state in the introduction: "We strongly believe that when you really understand the biology of your plants, you will be a far better gardener than if you were to follow the instructions in a book blindly without understanding the whys behind the hows." This unusual book gives a very readable introduction to the botany of vegetable plants, and offers extensive suggestions for how to work with nature rather than struggling against it. I really learned a lot from reading it, for example how day-length and temperature combine to trigger bolting in spinach plants, and how you need to water onions more frequently because of the different way their roots grow. There are chapters on seeds, plant structure, soil, fertilizing, and then a chapter on each type of plant: greens, cabbage, onions, root crops, tubers, legumes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and cucurbits. The authors are both biologists who are also veteran organic gardeners, and interesting anecdotes from their personal experiences are strewn throughout the book.