on April 24, 2003
The Frugal Gardener is a great book of gardening strategy for those of us who want to (or have to) stay within a small budget. As it turns out, the frugal way is also the organic way, generally.
TFG is organized to guide you through long-range strategies that will save you money in both short-term and long-term investments. An early chapter deals with the bare bones tools that you will need to start with; how to spot quality that will last, how to maintain them, and different uses for each. Next we learn how to plan a garden based on regional climates, making heavy use of naturalizing perennials and native plants that need less maintenance, watering and/or care (and so fewer products to buy). If you like the quick gratification of annuals, there are quite a few tips here that will help you maximize their impact in your garden. A great emphasis is placed on soil health, how to get it and how to increase it, thus saving more money that would have had to be wasted on expensive fertilizers and replacement plants. Then there are the recipes for homemade bug sprays and remedies that can be concocted from common household items.
TFG explained gardening organically in a way that made it easy and sensible even for me when I was first trying to make compost and wean away from chemical sprays. There is a lot that can be done to fortify and protect your plants and trees that will benefit them and the environment, and surprise! It's cheaper than chemical solutions. My garden has been thriving ever since.
Frugal gardeners, don't be afraid to spend the money on this book! Even if you only use a few of the many tips packed within this book, you will more than make up the cost of buying it in the long run.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle
on May 25, 2001
For me, a complete novice at gardening, this was a wonderful choice as one of my first two gardening books. Before digging up my front yard, I bought a Gardening-101-type book and this book, The Frugal Gardener. As it mentions in this book, it truly IS best to be frugal right from the beginning. You save the most, get exactly what you want for your dollar, and have a good idea of how to get what you need without spending a fortune. Useful tips throughout. I'd find it interesting even if I wasn't planning out my own garden. I highly recommend.
on November 15, 2001
I'm another purchaser who first tried this book from the library and then knew in days that I needed my own copy. It offers many tips I was familiar with after years of gardening, yet hundreds I'd never heard of. Even if you are not simply looking for ways to garden on a budget, it offers many great gardening tips. Period.
There are plenty of good illustrations and the layout is appealing to the eye. It is well organized and enjoyable to read, not just to use as a resource. This book is money well spent toward your garden.
on June 13, 2000
I checked this book out from the library and decided I needed to buy a copy as a reference guide for the greatest gardening ideas I've seen. This book is loaded with practical advice that is easy to follow. It takes the perfectionist out of gardening and gives you the real dirt! Many money saving ideas are contained such as easy propogation and newspaper mulching, to name just two. I highly recommend this book!