High-Yield Vegetable Gardening // by Colin McCrate & Brad Halin

//published 2015//

I’ve mentioned in the past my love for Storey Publishers (I even have a page dedicated to their books that I’ve reviewed).  They publish tons of unique and interesting books on all kinds of homesteading/DIY topics.  Their books are colorful and well-organized and full of practical, accessible advice.

High-Yield Vegetable Gardening, subtitled “Grow More of What You Want in the Space You Have” was one of my birthday scores from last year.  I really enjoy gardening, and I LOVE reading about gardening.  I own literally dozens of different books on a variety of gardening subtopics.  I was attracted to this book because it’s a bit “next level” – it’s really designed for people who already  have grasped the basics of vegetable gardening and are ready to start growing beyond what you are planning to eat fresh.

While I’m not ready to start selling veggies at a roadside stand or a farmers’ market (yet), I am working on growing more produce to preserve for our personal consumption throughout the year.  And even if I wasn’t wanting to expand our garden, High-Yield has a lot of practical tips for simply making your vegetable garden a healthier place to raise plants more easily.

The book roughly follows the stages of a garden through the season – starting with “Planning and Planting What You Need” and ending with “Timely Harvesting and Storage.”  In between, the authors cover the basics of things like soil amendment, crop rotation, irrigation systems, setting up a home nursery, using crop tunnels and greenhouses, organic fertilizing, and transplanting methods.  A lot of time is spent on seeding and growing seedlings, as this is the most financially efficient way to grow a large number of plants.

There are loads of charts that make it easy to reference back to information that has been covered in more depth throughout the chapter.  There’s also a great list of references in the back that not only lists tons of books, but also supplies recommended by the authors, useful apps, online access to record keeping charts, and places that will do soil analysis.

All in all, High-Yield is a great addition to my ever-growing collection of gardening books (and Storey publications), and one I definitely recommend if you already have some gardening basics under your belt and are interested in taking it up a notch.