Vegetable gardeners in the Rocky Mountain states will find gardening can be a little easier and a lot more enjoyable with a new book from Cool Springs Press.
If you garden anywhere in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah or Wyoming, you have to get your hands on a copy of Guide to Rocky Mountain Vegetable Growing by Robert Gough & Cheryl Moore-Gough.
But that’s only if you want to have a successful vegetable garden this season.
My brand-new review copy of the book is already marked up, dog-eared and broken in.
Whether you’re an experienced vegetable gardener or you’re just getting ready to take your first tentative steps toward the garden bed, the Goughs have some advice for you. They wrote this book because it’s the resource they wanted to have when they first started gardening in such a challenging region.
I like their attitude when they write, “Don’t be intimidated by gardening in the Rocky Mountains; it’s fun and very rewarding!” I couldn’t agree more and understand it from a Coloradan’s viewpoint, too.
Dr. Bob, as he likes to be called, has a doctorate in botany and is associate dean for academic programs and professor of horticulture at Montana State University. He’s written over a dozen gardening books, extension service publications and articles for well-known gardening magazines. In fact, I first read some of Dr. Bob’s writing in Zone 4 Magazine.
Cheryl is also a talented gardener and grower. She has an advanced degree in horticulture and teaches at Montana State University. She also hosts a radio program, appears on public television and does her share of writing, too.
Together they have written three books on Rocky Mountain gardening.
Here’s what I like most about their newest book: It’s easy to read and loaded with practical information.
In the section simply called “The Vegetables,” they cover at least 45 different veggies with recommended varieties, how to sow them, how to grow them, how to harvest them and how to store them.
But what I think is the most valuable part of this section is the “What Happened Here?” information. After all, isn’t that what we want to know after our gardening efforts fail to live up to our expectations?
“What Happened Here?” is in a Q&A-like format, with a statement about what went wrong, an answer of why it happened and what to do about it.
These statements can almost be read like some disappointed gardener whining about her garden: My kale is growing too slowly…My lettuce didn’t form heads…I get too few good ears of corn…My tomato plants’ blossoms drop off before producing any fruit…(actually that’s something I’ve whined about many times.)
The Guide to Rocky Mountain Vegetable Gardening is complete from getting the lay of the land, to planning the garden, starting seeds, fighting weeds and cheating time by extending the season.
There’s almost 100 years of gardening experience held between the covers of this book. I don’t know any vegetable gardener around here who wouldn’t benefit from perusing its pages, especially as this year’s vegetable growing season is just getting started.
Knowing how to diagnose problems with transplants is worth the book’s $19.95 price tag alone.
I’d love to hear your comments about the book, so please let me know if you like it as much as I do.