I have been trying my hand at organic gardening for a couple of years now and I am learning, quite quickly, that it is NOT easy! I am so glad that books like The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control are around to help poor souls like me who just don't have much of a green thumb!
There are 4 parts to this book. Part 1 deals with building a healthy garden so that you can grow healthy plants. This section deals with composting, cover crops, and applying healthy supplements such as seaweed spray. (I have never heard of seaweed spray! I am going to do some research on that!) It also covers topics such as choosing resistant strains of plants and planting at the right time of year. Even a week or two change in when you plant can help avoid certain pests. I do wish there was more information on heirloom plant varieties, it seems like the hybrid plants offer more resistance to disease and the fewer diseases, the fewer treatments necessary, however I love heirloom plants for their uniqueness.
The second section deals with Symptoms and Solutions and the third is Identifying Pests and Diseases. These are very informative sections that takes each individual plant and describes every possible problem you could have with it. You can search by plant type (begonia, carrots, etc) or disease type (fungal, viral, bug, etc) There are some not so pretty pictures to help you identify your garden pest. I discovered that the spooky looking critter on my grape leaves is a leaf hopper. Now, I just move on to the next section on how to get rid of him!
The last section is an extensive collection of how to get rid of your unwanted pest or disease. It includes biological controls, organic sprays and dusts, making your own homemade solutions, and planting things that repel other insects. This is a very thorough chapter and ends with a resource section that you can use to help find the ingredients that are mentioned in the book. Which is a great thing because none of the stores around here I have looked in carry diatomaceous earth and that seems to be a popular pest control method.
I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to grow an organic garden. It is not easy to do but this book will go a long way in making your garden more productive and help you spot issues early before they get out of control.
Disclaimer: I received one copy of this book in order to write my review. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.