Those of you who know me are probably surprised that I even picked up a book called Urban Gardening For Dummies, let alone decided to review it.
You see, I am as about as far away from an urban area as you can get. My house is surrounded by a forest. Deer sleep in my backyard. It’s a 30-mile drive just to get to any place that has shopping.
Not exactly urban.
But I am interested in gardening, and I still feel I am relatively “green” at this hobby, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to read Urban Gardening for Dummies by Paul Simon and Charlie Nardozzi, editors of the National Gardening Association.
Just check out the description:
Urban Gardening For Dummies helps you make the most of limited space through the use of proven small-space gardening techniques that allow gardeners to maximize yield while minimizing space.
- Covers square-foot gardening and vertical and layered gardening
- Includes guidance on working with container gardening, succession gardening, and companion gardening
- Offers guidance on pest management, irrigation and rain barrels, and small-space composting
And isn’t that exactly what I’ve been trying to do on my own property for the last three years? While I do have 3 acres of land, most of it is covered by trees, and some of it covered by a marsh. So I really only have a small space to work with. I also don’t want to have to build a fortress around a garden to keep the critters from eating it. Instead, I have two 4×4 gardening plots inside the fence where the dog spends her days, and if I can keep the dog out of the garden, it works okay.
A portion of the book is written for true urban dwellers who have to deal with things like the Heat Island Effect and air pollution. There is a chapter dedicated to community gardening and rooftop gardening. Yet even with those chapters, there is a lot of information that is good for anyone who is trying to garden in a small space.
For example, I found useful information on soil preparation, starting plants from seeds, and vertical gardening. There is also helpful info on managing pests without chemicals and advice on composting and rain barrels.
I feel somewhat confident with vegetable gardening (i.e. I can identify the plants and figure out how to grow them), but as a relative garden newbie, I know very little about annuals and perennials. I love that this book gives you great advice for how to plant containers of flowers that will thrive.
If there is one drawback to the book, it is that it doesn’t seem to talk much about gardening in colder weather (something we face in Minnesota). I would also have liked to have seen more examples of square foot gardening plots. These are really minor criticisms, though, in comparison to all the book has to offer.
Urban Gardening For Dummies is an excellent resource for city dwellers who are interested in raising their own food and beautifying their outdoor space with flowers. But it’s also a great resource for anyone looking to grow things in a small space. The authors do a fabulous job of making gardening accessible to everyone.
While Wiley Publishing did provide me with a review copy of this book, the opinions expressed here are 100 percent my own and were not edited by the publisher, author(s), or their affiliates. This post also contains affiliate links which help support this blog at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclosure policy for more information.