Monday, June 30, 2014

The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie Jeffery Book Review
The mix & match guide to companion planting Why sow seeds that arent happy sharing a bed when you can plan a harmonious garden instead? With its ingenious split-page, mix and match system, Good Companions offers an immediate guide to the friends and foes of the gardening world, ensuring you have all the tools you need to grow your most successful crop yet! How does companion planting work? Well, take just one well-known example squash, sweetcorn and beans. Together these three make a happy family: squash will shelter the beans roots, which in their turn will add beneficial nitrogen to the trios’ soil, while the strong-growing sweetcorn will support the beans as they grow. And there are dozens of other groups that are equally good for one another just flip the pages and match up the easy color coding to plant up the happiest plot you can imagine.

Book Details:
Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1607746336
ISBN-13: 978-1607746331
Retail Price: $17.99

About the Author:
JOSIE JEFFERY grew up with a companion planting chart pinned up permanently in the kitchen. She studied Horticulture and Garden Design at the University of Brighton, is the author of two gardening books, and runs a seedbomb business, SeedFreedom. Connect with Josie on Facebook and Youtube.

My Thoughts:

I have always wanted to learn about companion planting to enhance my garden. I enjoy gardening and I am always looking for natural ways to benefit my garden. I don’t want to use pesticides on our food. This year we added to beehives to our backyard to help with pollinating the garden. I have to know what foods and plants go together to keep them pollinating our garden.

Another thing I learned reading this book was that certain plants planted together enhance flavors. Maybe that is why some gardeners have such terrific tasting produce. Now I know their secret!
An Introduction to Companion Planting
How to Use this Book
Working In Harmony With Nature
Before You Start
Getting Started
Directory of Companion Plants

This book is different from most gardening books on the market due to the flip card system that is used. It’s a very unique approach in a gardening book and makes figuring out what companion plants go together in a user friendly manner.

This is a spiral bound book that lies flat when opened. The pages seem much heavy than average book.

The book starts out giving you a history of companion planting and how other cultures utilize companion planting. Then you will get a glimpse at different types of planting like monoculture, polyculture, permaculture, and biodynamic gardening. I was interesting to learn more about the differences.

If you’re interested in learning about companion plants and the benefits of planting certain plants together then you will enjoy this book. Not only are you going to learn what to plant together, all the benefits with nutrition, beneficial insects, improving your soil, and weed deterrent plants.

Something new that I learned was how the moon/lunar cycle affects plants in your garden. I was pretty intrigued by this concept. 

How does it work? 

The cards are cut into three strips on each page. The top strip is for supporting the above ground needs, such as attracting beneficial insects. The middle strip is attended for your main crop. The bottom strip is what supports below ground plants such as soil nutrients.
There is a dot system which has symbols is color coded to each benefit of the plants. The purpose is that you want as many of those dots to match up as possible. The more the dots the better the companion planting is for your main crop. I know it may sound complicated but really it is quite easy to use this book.
This flip system makes for a quick reference guide in planning your garden layout. My only complaint is that I wish it had a larger selection of plants.
Overall, this is an amazing book that I would recommend to any gardener. It would also make a nice gift for a gardener that you may know-you just may get to reap some of their fruits of labor and get a few delightful things from their garden.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from Blogging for Books- Waterbrook for free in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were not subject to editing from the publisher.

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