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As a newbie to gardening, I was eager to read about the different ways to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. One way is to use containers to grow in instead of planting directly in the ground. Back to Basics Growing Series by Atlantic Publishing Group has a book in their series that covers this area. “The Complete guide to Growing Vegetables, Flowers, Fruits, and Herbs from Containers: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply” by Lizz Shepherd is dedicated to answering my questions about container gardening. As the author states in her introduction, “Before growing a new plant, reference this book to find the needed supplies and required growing conditions.” As with many of the Back to Basic books, this one also covers the “why” of the subject matter; thus, why should/would you garden in containers. Interspersed throughout the book is one of my favorite things, the case studies from individuals about their experiences in container gardening.
Certain plants will grow in certain areas of the United States. To find out what will grow well in your area, the author directs the reader to check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and also includes a copy of this map in the appendix. She explains why some plants will do well in containers while others are not particularly suited to it. Included are plants that require little maintenance, which is good for me since I am new to this. Along with the name of the plant (e.g. Surecrop strawberry), she also includes a description of the plant and a picture. For those who are more advanced, or perhaps more adventurous, there is also a section dedicated to plants that require a lot of maintenance, such as pumpkins.
I also learned that there is no particular “correct” container to garden from. You can use the traditional pots that you can find in your local garden center, or you can use an old shoe or empty margarine tub… you are only limited by your imagination.
The author covers many areas such as tools, how to prepare your soil and what is the correct soil to use, and, as the title states, growing herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers in containers. The book is broken down to be used easily as a reference guide when deciding what to plant, where to plant, what to plant in and more. It is not overwhelming and easy to understand and would be useful to the new gardener as well as a seasoned gardener.

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Having your own garden can be difficult if you live in an apartment or you just do not have a very big yard to use. With the rising cost of groceries, growing your own vegetables and fruit is becoming more popular. No longer will you have to run to the grocery store just to get a few tomatoes. The Complete Guide to Growing Vegetables, Flowers, Fruits, and Herbs From Containers is to help any newbie or veteran gardener learn how to plant in plastic, clay, concrete, wood, paper, glass, and even recycled and “art” planters.
Depending on your climate, you can leave your containers outside during the day and bring them inside at night, or just keep them inside your home, balcony, or deck. Just remember that some plants need light, so a UV light would be handy. In addition, a humidifier in the room helps too.
Throughout the book the author explains to the reader why you should garden in containers, why you should start growing plants, what are the best containers to use, what are the basic gardening tools, what is the right soil and amendments to use, and what type of seeds to use. You will also learn what types of herbs you can grow, what types of vegetables you can grow, what kinds of fruit you can grow in containers.
For the last few years I have been planting a few vegetables in my flowerbeds, so I was eager to read this book courtesy of Atlantic Publishing Group. I was not aware that there are so many fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can be grown all year long inside your house. With all the pests, lack of rain, and too many humid days during the summer, growing plants in containers looks like a better option.

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This is another book in the "Back to Basics" series and covers growing produce in containers; a perfect solution for those of us that live in cities, in apartments, or have shaded yards. There is nothing better than being able to go out and pick fresh veggies or herbs and use them immediately while preparing a meal. As well, flowers always brighten up any balcony or door step.
I've been container planting for many years and have varied experience with the results. Once one is able to find a way to contend with the heat (I'm in Texas,) the cold (I lived in the north) and predators (raccoons and insects) container gardening is a breeze. And, I believe this book will help you create a balance needed to have a bountiful supply.
Aside from giving the basics of why to have a container garden, Lizz Shepherd offers readers what to grow, choosing and preparing the containers, tools, and soil amendments. She continues to talk about starting with seeds or plants, planting herbs, veggies and fruits. As well, she talks about growing flowers in containers, and then the most important: maintaining the plants.
Reading through this book reminded me of some of the aspects I've forgotten about container planting so it was a good reminder. I immediately rectified an issue I had.
I truly believe this book is a godsend to those starting out container gardening. From what I can tell every aspect has been covered and I encourage you to consider this book if you are contemplating planting in containers. Two green thumbs on this one!

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