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Great Garden Formulas
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Most gardeners know that compost is good for their soil and have heard, at least vaguely, that a mixture containing baking soda is good for roses. But who knew that you could make fertilizer from soaking weeds in water? The editors have collected ideas from organic gardeners all over the country that will help even experienced gardeners improve their soil, fertilize their plants, reduce weeds and pests, and even concoct a soothing hand cream to use when the work is done. Grouped thematically by chapter, these formulas employ either natural ingredients or simple chemicals such as Epsom salts, and most are easy to make and use. The word formula is used in its broadest sense, as there are suggestions for attracting butterflies and for making a wildflower meadow as well as creating fertilizer from Swiss chard or herbal candles. A source list for products and services ends the book. This will be a great source for crafters as well as for creative garden experimenters.ÄMolly Newling, Piscataway P.L., NJ

Gardening books don't come more hands-on than this thorough guide for organic gardeners, which offers practical information provided by real gardeners from all over the country. For every gardening situation, there is a natural solution. An easy Swiss chard cocktail will add zest to plants, while rhubarb spray will put a rout to fungal diseases, aphids and June bugs. Included also are innovative death traps for slugs (burlap laid on the beds or upside-down clay-pot traps lining a raised bed) for gardeners tired of the beer-in-the-saucer treatment, as well as deer deterrents (e.g., a fish emulsion and soap spray) and squirrel solutions (cayenne pepper spray). Slightly more complex are instructions for making herbal remedies and homespun crafts. It's all rounded out nicely with planting guides for various garden designs, sources for materials and information, zone maps, a metric conversion table and an intriguing reading list. (July)

"You can always tell a book that is written by real gardeners, and Great Garden Formulas is the real thing: Lots of hands-on, hard-working gardeners share their formulas for everything frin fertilizers to pest repellents to luxurious herbal cosmetics. This is a classic Rodale book: It's full of solid informatino that can go right to work for you, and it's downright fun to read--a gardener's page-turner in every way!" --Sally Jean Cunningham, Master Gardener and author of Great Garden Companions "Yes! Great Garden Formulas is a great collectio of great formulas! I see several I have tried successfully and several more I'll try next season." --Jim Duke, Economic Botanist, USDA (ret.), and author of The Green Pharmacy

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