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About Matt Mattus
While most folks know me as a horticultural authority, the truth is my lifelong love of all plants began with raising vegetables. If you follow my blog Growing with Plants, you know that while i grow and collect many types of plants, vegetables are a passion as they have a deep connection to our past, and to our kitchens.
I love to cook (and to eat).
In this book you learn things regardless of your gardening experience. First of all, it's personal so I share some of the varieties which I and my peers believe are currently the best available to raise from seed, but I go deeper. I myself love great gardening books. I most enjoy books that I can read again and again, in season and offseason. There are books that I buy but for one reason or another they just look nice but end up in the bookcase.
My blog readers already know that I deep-dive into some topics. I take the time to sow and grow my own Belgian Endive not because I am saving money, but because home-grown ones are so incredibly crispy and fresh that no market can compare. In many ways, this book is about luxuries like this. Most of us understand the benefits of a freshly picked heirloom tomato in-season, but how many of us have treated yourself to a freshly picked and steamed heirloom Italian purple artichoke?
I also share the newest cultural practices and advice usually only offered to commercial farmers and nurseries as well as facts about soil fertility for each crop, as it is often different (both organic and inorganic methods are shared as each has a benefit). Lastly, if you start your own seeds I offer the ideal temperature range for germinating seeds, whether they need light, a temperature shift at night and the ideal time to plant them.
As with our favorite cookbook, this book should be useful to a broad audience. My wish is that it should eventually end up being torn, filthy and dogeared. I hope this is how the book will live in your home! Use it, learn from it, be inspired by it.
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This gorgeously illustrated book by Matt Mattus is based on decades of first-hand experience in his own garden and greenhouse made popular on his blog Growing with Plants. Every variety or species presented is one that he has personally trialed and grown. Mattus sets you up for success by providing everything you need to know about starting seeds, soil, sowing, hardening off, to transplanting, and growing on. Then, in the following chapters, you'll find tips for growing over 100 different annuals from seed and many summer bulbs, vines like wisteria and even blooming shrubs like lilacs. Every flower includes detailed information based on his hands-on experience, going beyond the information typically available on the seed packet or a nursery tag.
Learn details and cultural facts that will help you grow better flowers while introducing you to many more. You’ll find tips for topics like how to grow challenging annual poppies and biennials from seedand forcing flowers for winter blooms. Just a small selection of the flowers covered: heirloom and exhibition chrysanthemums, larkspurs and annual poppies, delphiniums, peonies, lilacs and wisteria. Bulbs include spring and summer bulbs such as anemone, ranunculus, tulips, lilies, gladiolus, and cut flower dahlias, while winter indoor bulbs cover every aspect of forcing bulbs indoors like narcissus, amaryllis, South African bulbs--and even how to force Lily of the Valley.
In short, there is nothing ordinary about this book—it is unlike any other cut flower book you will find.
Prepare to encounter new varieties of common plant species, learn their history and benefits, and, most of all, identify fascinating new edibles to grow in your own gardens. Written by gardening expert Matt Mattus, Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening offers a wealth of new and exciting opportunities, alongside beautiful photography, lore, insight, and humor that can only come from someone who has grown each vegetable himself and truly loves gardening.
More than 200 varieties of vegetables and herbs from the 50 most popular groups are featured in hands-on profiles that tell you how, where, and why to grow each one.
Take artichokes for example: They are far from the most common edibles home growers choose, but when and if you choose to grow artichokes, you'll be fortunate to find more than one seed option, even at the better nurseries. In truth, there are nearly a dozen varieties of artichoke that are suitable for home growing in just about any climate, and each has its own unique benefits and characteristics. In Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening, you will find 10 types of artichoke described in through, loving detail—along with helpful tips on where and how to acquire seeds for each. And artichokes are just one item in this field-tested garden basket. Other popular and fascinating vegetables include: celtuce, Asian greens, cowpeas, carrots and parsnips, potatoes, parsley, and of course the tomato—you'll find over two dozen varieties discussed.
If you are one of the more than 800,000 folks per year who has begun growing vegetables at home, Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening is the reference you need to pursue this rewarding activity to a whole new level of excellence, satisfaction, and success.