To accommodate today’s lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That’s exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.
When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, and intercropping, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water, and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.
There is a lot of information in this book that can be found in other gardening books, especially in the first third of the book. The garden plans are nice to look at and imagine the possibilities in relationship to my backyard area, but I wouldn’t say it was anything revolutionary. Newcomb shares information with readers about seeds versus seedlings and heirloom versus hybrid seeds that anyone that has planted a garden before is probably already familiar with.
However, in the middle to latter part of the book, I did learn new techniques for increasing the yield of a smaller garden and most importantly, pest control. I loved the diagrams for growing vertical melons and cucumbers. I can’t wait to try some of Newcomb’s recipes for deterring pests, especially gophers! But the best information for me was the crop stretching techniques she shared. I was already familiar with the idea of reseeding immediately after one plant was done, but was always a little leery because I didn’t know what to plant. Other gardening books encourage the practice, but warn against reseeding from the same family because it attracts pests that are drawn to certain families of vegetables. Newcomb suggests specific crops that do well after particular plants in a very user-friendly way.
Newcomb also explains very easy ways to compost that are a little different from other gardening books that I’ve read. I loved her barrel idea! It makes composting easy for anyone.
Overall, this is a great book for anyone new to gardening, but I think that any gardener can glean some useful information from this book. If you are looking to get the most bang for your garden space, check out The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.