Between the darker, post-Daylight Savings Time days, and the first impending snowstorm of the season, I am definitely feeling the turn in the garden season tonight. As there is less and less to do in the garden outdoors, this is the time of year that I happily look forward to curing up indoors with a cup of hot cider and a stack of seed catalogs or a good garden book. I consider it a well-deserved change of pace, after racing to keep up with the garden all these months. It's a few weeks too early for seed catalogs yet, but I've already rounded out a pretty good reading list for the winter months ahead:
Gardening for Geeks (Adams Media)
If I'm going to be honest, this book had me at "geek." As a self-professed garden geek, I get excited over such nerdy things as the MPR weather blog and the monthly release of the Extension "Lawn & Garden News", so it would stand to reason that this should be right up my alley. But aside from the title, what peaked my interest most about this book is the focus on bio-intensive gardening. I'm anxious to see if I can apply some of these principles to my garden next year.
Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener (Timber Press)
This is a book that I picked up last spring, and I'm excited to finally have some time to dive into it this winter. While I have no immediate plans to start cross breeding my own tomatoes or zinnas, I am completely fascinated by it, both from the standpoint of selecting the best plants from which to save seeds, and also by my curiosity over what tomato characteristics are considered dominant or recessive. Maybe someday (when I have more free time and more garden space?), it might make for a fun garden experiment, but in the short term, it looks like it's full of information that will also be helpful for hand pollination for seed saving.
The Backyard Beekeeper (Quarry Books)
I've mentioned in passing that Mike and I have been seriously looking into getting bees next year, so I am likewise doing some serious homework this winter. This book is specifically geared towards keeping bees in a backyard setting (I've already learned about manipulating the flight patterns of the bees, to keep human-bee contact to a minimum!), but also covers the basics thoroughly, which is just what I need!
The Complete Chile Pepper Book (Timber Press)
I am finding myself more and more drawn to try a wider variety of heirloom peppers, and so I picked this book up for its nice overview on the different types of peppers and their best uses. I'm hoping that it will help me with the decision making process once the seed catalogs start to roll in. I'm also super excited to dig into the cooking and preserving sections - candied hot peppers are definitely happening!
There are two other books on my winter reading list that have yet to be released. The preview of The Wildlife-Friendly Garden (available in January from Storey Publishing) looks great, and I'm hoping that it will have some good ideas for creating a more bee-friendly backyard garden (and maybe some suggestions that will help me finally come to peace with the neighborhood squirrels). I also want to get my hands on a copy of The Easy Fruit Garden (available in February from Cedar Fort), especially since we are looking at expanding our backyard fruit gardening to include blueberries and a new fruit tree or two next year.
What's on your garden reading list this winter?
Labels: Good Garden Reads, resources, seasons