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111.

SITE ASSESSMENT FOR BETTER GARDENS AND LANDSCAPES

Charles P. Mazza
Paperback

Price: $19.90

Ever wonder why some gardens and landscapes look dazzling year after year, while others decline? Or why does a planting look great at one location while the same plant looks skimpy and unattractive ne…

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Ever wonder why some gardens and landscapes look dazzling year after year, while others decline? Or why does a planting look great at one location while the same plant looks skimpy and unattractive nearby? The characteristics of the site determine whether a plant will thrive. Site Assessment for Better Gardens and Landscapes describes how to evaluate site characteristics that are important to plants.

Intended for novice gardeners, experienced gardeners, and landscape professionals, the 81-page spiral-bound book includes 50+ color photos, a glossary, an index, and references and web sites for further information. Through 30+ hands-on activities, soil type, drainage, sunlight, compaction, slopes, minimum and maximum temperatures, wind, existing plants, wildlife and more are evaluated. When you've gotten to know your property using this book, you'll have:

  • A site sketch with information useful in preparing a landscape design.
  • A notebook with information collected during the assessment.
  • An inventory of existing plants including how they fit into future plans.
  • A checklist of important site characteristics.
  • A draft landscape design with a prioritized to-do list.
Completing a comprehensive site assessment should be the first step when you purchase a property, make changes to a landscape, or expand a garden or landscape into a new area of your property. The assessment can be done in a few weeks or over a longer time. Site assessment saves time and money, helps avoid future problems, and results in an easy-to-care-for, sustainable garden or landscape.


112.

EDIBLE MUSHROOMS: SAFE TO PICK, GOOD TO EAT

B. Forsberg & S. Lindberg
Paperback

Price: $16.95

Wandering the woods in search of mushrooms is one of life's great pleasures. But be careful to pick the right ones! With Edible Mushrooms in your backpack, you'll know to pick only the safest, most de…

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Wandering the woods in search of mushrooms is one of life's great pleasures. But be careful to pick the right ones! With Edible Mushrooms in your backpack, you'll know to pick only the safest, most delicious chanterelles, truffles, morels, and more. Author Barbro Forsberg presents 40 edible species and reveals how, when and where to find them-knowledge gained over the course of four decades spent mushrooming in the woods.

Discover such aspects of mushrooming as:

  • Characteristics of edible mushrooms, per species
  • Cooking, cleaning and drying the day's bounty
  • Edible, inedible or toxic? Photographs and descriptions for what to pick and what to avoid
  • Poisonous varieties and how to recognize them
All content has been verified by a professional mycologist. Plus, nature and educational photographs illustrate how mushrooms grow, the environments where you can expect to find them, and the ways in which the same species may vary from one sample to the next. So whether you're an experienced mushroom hunter or a novice to the art, with Edible Mushrooms you can confidently recognize, pick and eat the tastiest wild mushrooms.


113.

APPLES OF NORTH AMERICA

Tom Burford
Hardcover

Price: $29.95

Beyond the polished and predictable grocery store display of Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, a veritable treasure trove of beautiful and uniquely flavored North American varieties awaits the cu…

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Beyond the polished and predictable grocery store display of Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, a veritable treasure trove of beautiful and uniquely flavored North American varieties awaits the curious. Up for discovery is a fruit with striking watermelon-colored flesh; a prized cider maker with a rough, russet texture and deep historical roots; an apple that tastes "tart as an unripe persimmon"; and the lost-and-found plight of countless more. Names like Smokehouse and Wolf River even evoke other times and places. These fascinating, unfamiliar apples are poised to become new favorites and banish our apple tunnel vision forever.

There is no better person to bring you into this world than Tom Burford: apple enthusiast, propagator, and savior. His stories of this rich apple culture span generations (the Burford family has produced fruit in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia since 1715) and follow the apple's waves of popularity in America. The book is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. As the view broadens to the orchard, you will find information on planting, pruning, grafting and more. The exploration of the apple culminates with an overview of the fruit's transformative capabilities when pressed, fermented, cooked or dried.

This wonderful reference will encourage you to seek out new flavors and give the apple the respect it deserves. It may even inspire you to carve out the space for an orchard of your own.


114.

ATTRACTING WILDLIFE TO YOUR BACKYARD

Marcus Schneck
Paperback

Price: $19.99

There are many ways to attract birds and butterflies to your backyard … and a lot of them work, giving us all a chance to enjoy these beautiful, coveted creatures. But have you ever tried to tempt a t…

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There are many ways to attract birds and butterflies to your backyard … and a lot of them work, giving us all a chance to enjoy these beautiful, coveted creatures. But have you ever tried to tempt a turtle, lure a lizard, summon a snake, or coax a chipmunk to come and visit? The wonders of wildlife are not limited to flying specimens, as anyone with a true affection for fauna (as well as flora) will attest. This clever little book gets it, too. In Attracting Wildlife, longtime birding and wildlife author Marcus Schneck provides a charming blend of stylized illustrations, color photos, and helpful text offering fun, educational family activities for attracting your favorite critters to your property. Using a month-by-month approach, the book lays out project after project that you can complete whether you live on a small urban lot or sprawling piece of country acreage. So the next time you're going about planting tomatoes in May, you can add a simple toad sanctuary to the list and enjoy a summer's worth of serenades.


115.

IMPROVING YOUR SOIL

Keith Reid
Paperback

Price: $29.95

Intended for both small- and medium-size gardens, Improving Your Soil reveals the steps to take to achieve the perfect soil base in which to grow plants. With directions on amending poor soil, modifyi…

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Intended for both small- and medium-size gardens, Improving Your Soil reveals the steps to take to achieve the perfect soil base in which to grow plants. With directions on amending poor soil, modifying mediocre earth, aerating compacted topsoil and substrates, and testing pH levels, this book enables gardeners to nurture their plants and promote more abundant growth.

The features of good soil include proper structure and nutrients that encourage healthy plant growth. Soil in "good tilth" is loamy, nutrient-rich and friable, because it has an optimal mixture of sand, clay and organic matter that prevents severe compaction. Improving Your Soil shows gardeners how to improve the soil in their garden to encourage good seed bedding and a strong root system for proper nutrient disbursement throughout various soil depths.

Flower gardeners and vegetable gardeners will all benefit from the tips and methods in Improving Your Soil.

Topics include:

  • What your soil can tell you about how you need to manage it
  • Soil texture and structure: building soil tilth
  • Using amendments to correct soil problems, such as clay or sandy soil
  • Creating a good environment for plant growth in different situations
  • Providing the right amount of water for plants
  • The teeming microscopic world of soils
  • Building soil organic matter
  • Crop rotations
  • Types of compost and how to make good compost
  • Managing soils to minimize pest and disease problems
  • Feeding the plants: the nutrients they need, and how to get them there
  • Overcoming common nutrient deficiencies
  • Organic vs. mineral fertilizers.

The detailed information is complemented with line drawings, diagrams and illustrations that demonstrate various soil issues and how to resolve common problems. With information on remedying specific problems with particular plants, Improving Your Soil will be an often-consulted resource for all gardeners.


116.

RUSTIC GARDEN PROJECTS

Marianne Svard Haggvik
Hardcover

Price: $24.95

Would you like to learn to braid a plant support arrow, cast a flower vase in concrete, or set your own pedestal in stone? Rustic Garden Projects is filled with attractive ideas for making your garden…

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Would you like to learn to braid a plant support arrow, cast a flower vase in concrete, or set your own pedestal in stone? Rustic Garden Projects is filled with attractive ideas for making your garden homey, decorative and unique this gardening season. From the simple to the sophisticated, quick to time-consuming, follow these step-by-step instructions to build elegant, functional items for your garden and patio.

Discover such delightful do-it-yourself garden projects such as:

  • A swing for two
  • A small stone staircase
  • A lion head fountain
  • A decorative birdbath
  • Garden party vases
  • A Japanese-style trellis
  • Concrete votive holders
  • And so much more to craft, build and enjoy!

Packed with detailed materials and hundreds of photographs and instructional illustrations, Rustic Garden Projects is the ultimate guide to get you started decorating your garden, your backyard, or even your city stoop. Plus, each project includes practical shopping lists, tips on which tools to use, and the plants and flowers that will pair best with your new creation. Don't spend tons of money and long drawn-out hours with landscaping companies … the answers you need are right here!


117.

FRESH FROM THE FIELD WEDDING FLOWERS

Lynn Byczynski
Paperback

Price: $40.00

Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers is a complete guide to using local flowers for weddings. It was created for the eco-conscious couple committed to having a greener wedding, the passionate gardener…

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Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers is a complete guide to using local flowers for weddings. It was created for the eco-conscious couple committed to having a greener wedding, the passionate gardener who wants to grow flowers for events, the floral designer who wishes to jump in on the locally grown trend, and the specialty cut flower farmer providing flowers for weddings. Beautifully illustrated with photographs from dozens of actual weddings, this book provides advice on where to find local flowers, what blooms are available in each season, how to stretch a floral budget, and what to expect when working with local flower farmers. Four detailed step-by-step photo essays walk you through the process of creating your own bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces and large arrangements using seasonal, local flowers. The accompanying CD has 75 minutes of video tutorials, in which designer Erin Benzakein teaches the basic mechanics and overall thought process that go into creating the flowers for an event.


118.

ORGANIC MUSHROOM FARMING AND MYCOREMEDIATION

Tradd Cotter
Paperback

Price: $39.95

What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on …

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What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides? Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural disaster? How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation so that growers stand a better chance of success?

For more than 20 years, mycologist Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills … whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.

The book guides readers through both indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills include:

  • Integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden
  • Building a “trenched raft” of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn
  • Producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4-by-4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns

For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter covers lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials.

Cotter also provides readers with insight into his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, “training” mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans.

“This book is much more than a cultivation guide. It is about healing the people and the planet, one mushroom and one cultivator at a time, reversing destructive cycles into creative forces,” writes Cotter in the introduction. “If we think with an opportunistic yet minimalistic approach, much like a mushroom, taking what it needs to survive and then returning resources to its ecosystem so they can be used by others, the future looks like somewhere I want to be.”


119.

THE URBAN GARDENER

Matt James
Hardcover

Price: $24.99

In The Urban Gardener, garden designer and lecturer Matt James provides an approachable, practical guide to making the most of an urban garden, including:

  • How to design an urban space … from balconies …

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In The Urban Gardener, garden designer and lecturer Matt James provides an approachable, practical guide to making the most of an urban garden, including:

  • How to design an urban space … from balconies and roof terraces to courtyards, basement areas and window ledges
  • 10 ways to improve your environment through sustainable gardening techniques
  • Creating a space for living, with areas for dining, playing and growing your own produce
  • Planting the urban garden: using plants to define space; to introduce color, form and texture; and to provide much-needed shade and privacy
  • Looking after the urban garden: planting techniques and timing, irrigation, drainage and weed control
  • 15 step-by-step projects, including creating a living green wall and installing a green roof
  • Directory of plants that will thrive in an urban environment


120.

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CULTIVATING MUSHROOMS

Stephen Russell
Paperback

Price: $24.95

With clear instructions and step-by-step photographs, this comprehensive guide shows you how to cultivate mushrooms in your own home, producing shiitakes, oysters, lion's manes, maitakes, and portabel…

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With clear instructions and step-by-step photographs, this comprehensive guide shows you how to cultivate mushrooms in your own home, producing shiitakes, oysters, lion's manes, maitakes, and portabellas for your kitchen or for a small business. Beginners will learn the best way to use a mushroom kit, as well as how to maintain the sterile procedures and controlled environment that cultivation requires. Novices and the more experienced will learn how to create grain spawn or sawdust spawn and how to use liquid cultures and fruiting chambers. Advanced readers will gain a thorough knowledge of how to work with large-scale grain spawn, agar, bag cultures, bulk substrates, and large fruiting chambers to produce mushrooms consistently and in greater quantity.

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