Apr 19, 2009

Trowel and Error

by Sharon Lovejoy

Unlike the other gardening books I've read, Trowel and Error is not full of instructions on how to design or cultivate a garden. Rather, it is crammed full of handy little tips on how to make gardening easier and more economical, like using common pantry items to whip up bug repellents and plant tonics or recycling household items into useful garden implements. There's even suggestions on how to decorate your garden with found items and worn-out garden tools. Some of the ideas were familiar to me- milk-jug cloches, flowers to attract beneficial insects. Others were entirely new -and exciting- like using infusions of willow to propagate plant cuttings, basil tea spray to fight cucumber beetles (which destroyed my cucumber and melon plants last year), aluminum foil to bounce light onto sun-loving tomatoes and peppers. That's only a few; the book contains "over 700 shortcuts, tips and remedies for the gardener." I'm ready now to roll up my sleeves and start concocting stuff in the kitchen to apply in the garden, hopefully with good results.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 206 pages, 2003


  1. Wow, that sounds interesting and I don't even garden much. One good tip is usually worth the price of the whole book too.

  2. Although I don't really garden, I do like gardening books. Can't resist one with a good pun, either.

  3. That sounds good! I have not done a lick of gardening, this year. I don't know what my problem is; I just don't feel like perusing the garden center and pulling weeds, this year. Maybe a fallow year is in order. LOL

  4. Black Sheep- The tips are invaluable. I am eager to try some out and see how they work for me. So far, reusing plastic water bottles and milk jugs for individual cloches has saved my flower seedlings from chewing critters!

    Bybee- I don't know if this would make good casual reading, as it's mostly just a collection of helpful hints. But interesting to see the many uses the author found for common throwaway objects.

    Bookfool- Gardening is lots of work. Sometimes I look out the window and just decide not to go out for there for the day...


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