Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Carolinas Gardener's Handbook

I have used author Toby Bost's North Carolina Gardener's Guide for years, both editions, to plan and choose plants for particular spots in the garden, and then to learn how to care for them once they're planted.  I love it and have given it as a gift from time to time.

The recently released Carolinas Gardener's Handbook, is co-authored by Toby Bost and gardening expert Bob Polomski, and has the best of Bost's previous Carolina gardening books combined with that of Polomski's popular "when to do what" guide, Month by Month Gardening in the Carolinas.  It's a good combination and a great deal for Carolina gardeners.

Like the North Carolina Gardener's Guide, the Carolinas Gardener's Handbook includes plant profiles which will fill you in on how to grow threadleaf coreopsis, hardy hibiscus, muskmelon, pawpaw, cross vine, or hundreds of others, and why you might want to.

Separate sections for annuals, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, trees, grasses, ground covers, vines, roses and edibles, highlight tried and true plants that are sure to grow well here.  Many of these you will have seen in landscapes across the Carolinas and in your neighbor's yard.  If you're new to the Carolinas, or just new to gardening, this book will help you put a plant with a name so you know how to ask for it at the nursery.

Once your plants are in the ground, you can refer to the book for cultivation tips, and check those handy month by month suggestions at the end of each section so you know when to do what in the garden; prune, divide, or fertilize at just the right time.  A September suggestion: "Plant beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, radishes, spinach, and turnips for fall harvest."  And,  "Fall is the driest season in the Carolinas.  Keep new plantings watered so that plants go into their winter dormancy healthy and happy."

The new Carolinas Gardener's Handbook promises to be "All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant and Maintain a Carolinas Garden," and it delivers.  If you're a Carolina gardener, or want to be one, you can't go wrong with this book.  Buy a copy from Cool Springs Press, or at your favorite bookstore.

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My only compensation for this review was a copy of the book.