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Reviews of Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

Neutral rating
Book Profile
Author (1): Pauline Pears

Hardcopy edition:
Publish date: November 2002
Published by: Dorling Kindersley (DK Publishing)
List price: $40.00
ISBN Number: 0789489082



  Feedback History and Summary  
1 positive
No neutrals
1 negative


Negative rebecca101 On Feb 23, 2008, rebecca101 wrote:

I was not satisfied with this book. On the positive side, it is a very large, expensively produced, coffee-table type of book with lots of lovely photographs and illustrations. However, the information is so vague that there is little point in actually reading it. A lot of topics are covered (woody plants, flowers, lawns, fruit, herbs, vegetables, greenhouses, containers...), but there is essentially nothing in there beyond really obvious advice like match your plant to the site, or use compost not chemical fertilizers. There is a short (and unillustrated) A-Z list of vegetables and plant pests at the back, but other than that I don't understand why they called it an Encyclopedia. Rodale has published many other great garden books that I've enjoyed, but I wouldn't recommend this one.

Positive saintartaud On May 27, 2007, saintartaud wrote:

Since purchasing a house, I've been trying to learn more about organic gardening, thus reading a number of books to help get a handle on the concepts. I'm giving this book a positive rating with some criticisms and reservations.

As a general text on organic gardening techniques and principles, this is an excellent resource. The overviews on organic garden design, composting, pests and diseases, crop rotation, lawn care, etc. are extremely helpful. The back indexes on vegetables and general guidelines are indispensible. As someone still learning, I find myself often turning to this book for information and advice.

What this book lacks are the details on certain methods. For instance, they skimp on more specific information on building a compost pile, making compost tea, and or the double digging method. Rodale, of course, offers a number of titles that delve more deeply into such subjects (the composting book is quite detailed). The section on flower gardening could be thicker, but it seems that most organic gardening books are oriented towards fruit and vegetable gardening. Again, Rodale has plenty more books on the subject.

I'd recommend this to anyone who needs a very general go-to guide on organic gardening or is just starting out and wants to learn the ins-and-outs. There are other books that are more detailed, and more experienced gardeners will most likely want something more in-depth or specific.

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