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Trowel and Error: Over 700 Organic Remedies, Shortcuts, and Tips for the Gardener

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Ever since she was old enough to help her grandmother in the garden, Sharon Lovejoy has spent her life working with plants--and along the way, through "trowel and error," she's accumulated hundreds and hundreds of remedies, tips, short-cuts, and cure-alls. Now Ms. Lovejoy--author of Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and the award-winning Sunflower Houses--does for the gar Ever since she was old enough to help her grandmother in the garden, Sharon Lovejoy has spent her life working with plants--and along the way, through "trowel and error," she's accumulated hundreds and hundreds of remedies, tips, short-cuts, and cure-alls. Now Ms. Lovejoy--author of Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and the award-winning Sunflower Houses--does for the garden what Heloise or the Queen of Clean does for the household. Trowel and Error collects all of her homespun garden advice into an inviting, environmentally friendly, whimsically illustrated yet dead-on helpful book that will benefit every gardener, beginner or experienced. Cure plant viruses with spoiled milk. Steep a natural and effective insecticide out of fresh basil. Place flat stones under squash or melons to hasten ripening. Recycle an old apple corer as the perfect dibber for muscari and other small bulbs. Start rosemary cuttings in a green glass bottle. Sprinkle baby powder over seedlings to discourage rabbits. Crush a garlic clove and apply it to your skin as an insect repellent. From urging the reader to take an occasional shower with the houseplants to giving all-natural gardenside first aid, Trowel and Error is a direct line to the kind of practical wisdom that comes only after a lifetime of experience. The book is indexed by problem, plant, pest, and solution, and includes a list of tools and common household items--borax, cornmeal, vinegar--that completes the gardener's arsenal.


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Ever since she was old enough to help her grandmother in the garden, Sharon Lovejoy has spent her life working with plants--and along the way, through "trowel and error," she's accumulated hundreds and hundreds of remedies, tips, short-cuts, and cure-alls. Now Ms. Lovejoy--author of Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and the award-winning Sunflower Houses--does for the gar Ever since she was old enough to help her grandmother in the garden, Sharon Lovejoy has spent her life working with plants--and along the way, through "trowel and error," she's accumulated hundreds and hundreds of remedies, tips, short-cuts, and cure-alls. Now Ms. Lovejoy--author of Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots and the award-winning Sunflower Houses--does for the garden what Heloise or the Queen of Clean does for the household. Trowel and Error collects all of her homespun garden advice into an inviting, environmentally friendly, whimsically illustrated yet dead-on helpful book that will benefit every gardener, beginner or experienced. Cure plant viruses with spoiled milk. Steep a natural and effective insecticide out of fresh basil. Place flat stones under squash or melons to hasten ripening. Recycle an old apple corer as the perfect dibber for muscari and other small bulbs. Start rosemary cuttings in a green glass bottle. Sprinkle baby powder over seedlings to discourage rabbits. Crush a garlic clove and apply it to your skin as an insect repellent. From urging the reader to take an occasional shower with the houseplants to giving all-natural gardenside first aid, Trowel and Error is a direct line to the kind of practical wisdom that comes only after a lifetime of experience. The book is indexed by problem, plant, pest, and solution, and includes a list of tools and common household items--borax, cornmeal, vinegar--that completes the gardener's arsenal.

30 review for Trowel and Error: Over 700 Organic Remedies, Shortcuts, and Tips for the Gardener

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meconopsis Lingholm

    I was drawn to (ha) the cute illustrations, but it was full of good advice too. not a british book so I am surprised the library carried it, I will look for my own copy from ebay (this whole trying to save money by using the library is an epic failure)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Excellent, creative, resourceful and inventive ideas and prescriptions; lots of great info, knowledge, insight, wisdom, and experience; clever witticisms; and the cutest illustrations! I love the simple, cheap, do-it-yourself approach. Some of the remedies for pests made me a little uneasy, as I would always prefer to prevent and/or remove "pests" without harming them. That being said, Lovejoy offers solutions for prevention, e.g. by attracting beneficial allies and maintaining a healthy, robust Excellent, creative, resourceful and inventive ideas and prescriptions; lots of great info, knowledge, insight, wisdom, and experience; clever witticisms; and the cutest illustrations! I love the simple, cheap, do-it-yourself approach. Some of the remedies for pests made me a little uneasy, as I would always prefer to prevent and/or remove "pests" without harming them. That being said, Lovejoy offers solutions for prevention, e.g. by attracting beneficial allies and maintaining a healthy, robust garden, and emphasizes their importance. She also highlights more humane treatment techniques when applicable. Still, the tone and enthusiasm of luring pests to their "last supper" or "bitter end," and the easy methods such as dropping them into soapy water to kill them, are a little unsettling. But then, I haven't done much gardening; maybe if I had I'd be just as eager to get rid of those suckers! My current hope (subject to change, of course!) is that resilient, healthy ecosystem gardens will require minimal human maintenance, including pest control, and produce diverse abundance - even if not always as expected or intended - for the flexible (lazy?) gardener. The beauty of Lovejoy's book is that it can be adapted to fit any gardener's preferred level of engagement - you can use as few or as many of her wonderful ideas as you please. :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bookwormlbm

    Love this book! The tips and gardening advice are tried and true. Just as with other Sharon Lovejoy books, illustrations easily lend themselves to the reader no matter the age, looking forward to following the guidelines given and the anticipation of seeing the "fruit" of the planting & nurturing of the seeds. I highly recommend any book by Sharon Lovejoy!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Getting ready for spring. Starting to prep for the garden and getting thinking about it. A nice wonderful book of ideas and ways to do things in the garden. I tell you what though, Sharon Lovejoy is a cold blooded killer for pests and varmints that hinder the garden, she don't take no crap from harmful bugs thats for sure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Raynjulie1048

    This book has some great gardening tips that include home made organic solutions for garden pests which I was looking for. The illustrations are whimsical and fun-if you have read any of Susan Branch's books you will recognize the style. This book was easy to read and helpful as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This was a nice book, chocked full of great gardening helps and ideas. It doesn't cover anything on vegetables, so if you're looking for that, look elsewhere. For general plants, it had lots of helpful hints and information.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    maybe i would have liked this more if i hadn't just read the well-written 'you grow girl' which shares many of the same tips and tricks. i appreciated the plentiful chapter about how to make your own pest control and fertilizers using household ingredients. 'you grow girl' hinted at this but didn't give exact recipes or application instructions. i get the feeling that this author's garden is a total junkyard, but that she tends to it with unsurpassed attention to detail. i appreciated the tips i maybe i would have liked this more if i hadn't just read the well-written 'you grow girl' which shares many of the same tips and tricks. i appreciated the plentiful chapter about how to make your own pest control and fertilizers using household ingredients. 'you grow girl' hinted at this but didn't give exact recipes or application instructions. i get the feeling that this author's garden is a total junkyard, but that she tends to it with unsurpassed attention to detail. i appreciated the tips i got from here but just can't imagine spending every day in my yard pulling slugs from plants and throwing them into soapy water. i'm just not the type of gardener this book was written for. also, i hate the title. hate.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    This was an informational gardening book. A small one, and one that you can pick up, read a little, put down, and resume later on. There are some good hints, and I think for a person who gardens, it't the kind of book that you read and then mull over which of the tips would apply to your gardens. It's definitely a book that I'll keep and flip through pages whenever I'm trying to figure out what to do in a specific area of garden--a good source of ideas, yet not long or complicated.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Delighful & just fun! I loaned my copy to my dad and couldn't stand it I had to buy myself a new one which was a good thing because he enjoyed it so much he didn't want to return it anyway. Loads of information and ideas!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kalena

    I love this book!! This book is so thorough and the illustrations are downright adorable. What a great find (thank you, Cracker Barrel for stocking this gem)! Highly recommend for those who love gardening.

  11. 5 out of 5

    mia

    This is super cheesey. With lots of silly drawings and cheesey anecdotes. BUT it has tons of easy non-toxic solutions and ideas for gardening and planting. Houseplants, too - which is good since that is all I have.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mlg

    Terrific little book all about attracting beneficial insects and pollinators to your yard. It also has quite extensive coverage of non-chemical solutions for pest problems. For those who are trying to go fully organic, this book has some excellent advice in it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Doublezerodomino

    Wonderful! Great gift idea for friends who love gardening on any level, there's something for every garden lover here. Informative without being intimidating. I realize how much I still have to learn about the vastness of indoor and outdoor gardening. Complete with soil and fertilizer recipes. <3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kary Beck

    Great book. Full of short, fun ideas. It is a resource or just a lighthearted bathroom book of tidbits and ideas. My only criticism is that I felt lots of ideas were not workable in Wisconsin (example: gather seashells to use in your garden... it's a long way to ocean from my home!)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl S.

    Lots of nifty tricks, tips and ideas for those who love to garden naturally.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annh

    What an outstanding little book - full of all natural and effective potions and remedies for all manner of garden problems. Enjoyable to read bonus!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    What a great book. There are so many ideas for a "greener" way to garden. I can't wait until the snow is gone so I can get out there and use some of the ideas.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Some really neat ideas here. I may turn into a gardener yet...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book was full of simple, practical, thrifty, and Earth-friendly tips. I highly recommend it to all gardeners.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    I LOVED this book! The writing was personable, and the tips doable. Can't wait to implement a few tips into my gardening routine.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is one of the best "little" books with gardening tips that you can use today. This book has helped save plants, rid plants of mildew and saved hours of hard work from being lost.

  22. 5 out of 5

    crystal

    This is a fun little gardening tip book full of random helpful hints, such as a concoction(water, alcohol, and hot sauce) to get rid of pests on your plants.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    Very gppd consider buying a copy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth Baltimore

    Love this book and all of her easy potions, and DIY gardening ideas.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lillian

    hands down one of the best gardening books ever written... a must for every lazy gardener, organic gardener, begining gardener, ---you hear me???

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carillisa

    Good reference book to have around.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sally Brooks

    Excellent little book to have around if you are a gardener of any kind. Lots of helpful hints. I have ordered one for myself to keep as a reference guide.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie Fischer

    Ii would reccomend this book to any gardener for sound advise.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Kahn

    This was a present from one of my kids. It's a lovely book to browse filled with tips, stories and humor.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This was a cute little book. I think that is what I liked the most about it! Small in size, with cute illustrations on every page. I just didn't glean much information about gardening from it.

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