Decoding Gardening Advice by Jeff Gillman and Meleah Maynard

Advice – it comes from friends, family, and from the stranger at the coffee shop, or at the garden shop where you are looking at plants, and among that free advice are some gems and some duds, the fun part is always been to figure out which are which by trial and error.

I remember asking “why” as a child and teenager when my mother would show me the proper way to do something, and the answer often was, because that is how I was taught and it works.  The how and why it worked were often left unanswered, as if it would just happen by magic.

Life has moved on and I still find myself often asking questions on “why” should we do this or that, and what makes that works so when Decoding Gardening Advice, The Science behind the 100 most common recommendations crossed my desk, I devoured it, then read it again, then thought about it and went back for a third reading. This book is done in seven sections, covering everything from soil and water to vegetables and fruit along with more basic sections that the average home owner would find useful in lawn care. This is an information-heavy book, with very few photos or charts.

Each chapter has a listed section on, Good Advice, Advice that’s debatable and Advice that’s just wrong.  The perk of this should be clear, its perfect for someone like my hubby who does not want to read the whole book or chapter, he just wants the answer and to go.

Where for me, I like that it takes the “idea” and then breaks it down into the basic science and explains why it would or would not work or in many cases, why it would work to a point, but I wish they had provided a bit more information in regards to where the science source came from.

I really enjoyed the fact that this book did not try to make everything black and white, yes or no answers. As gardeners we know there is wiggle room in many things, and the authors of this book understand this and addressed it in a way I really liked.

If they were dealing with a debatable idea, they not only shared the science behind it but they went one step further and would share how to take that idea and give an even better way to do it.

I have to admit that I don’t think that the authors are quite as eco-friendly as I would prefer for my own lifestyle choices but they give their reasons in a clear manner.

Highly recommend this book for new gardeners, the advice given by friends, family and online can be overwhelming, this book will help you save time and money in figuring out what advice to put to use in your garden.

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5 Responses to Decoding Gardening Advice by Jeff Gillman and Meleah Maynard

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    I DO like the way you think FarmGal!
    You wouldn’t think that asking such a small question could land you in so much trouble, would you? (Oh but it sure has, and MANY times, in the decades since my Grampa taught me so; )

    • If I have a nickel for every time my mother or father told me “because I said so” I would abe to afford a ATV just for fun, of course to be far, I had one of those as a child too..

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        No, I meant that he taught me to always think and, if it didn’t make sense, then to ask “Why?”. None of the adults in my young life ever said “Because I told you so!” I’d guess, because they explained as they went along, it just made sense and questions were just a part of learning… (Matter of fact – Mom always said “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask” ; )

      • Oh, read that backwards 🙂

        I was raised more on the “think before you speak” and assume that everyone is full of it, until proven otherwise.. we were not raised to trust easily, but we were raised to handle come what may..

  2. Jen says:

    I’ve used this book numerous times for different gardening issues. Its very helpful and makes sense to a normal person, which I like.

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