McGee & Stuckey's — The Bountiful Container

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Armed with McKee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container, frustrated apartment and condo dwellers can indulge their passion for growing edible things. If there is an available balcony, porch, front or back steps, The Bountiful Container explains how growing produce in containers can be easy and rewarding.

With few exceptions — such as corn and pumpkins — everything edible that's grown in a traditional garden can be raised in a container. And with only one exception — watering — container gardening is a whole lot easier. Beginning with the down-to-earth basics of soil, sun and water, fertilizer, seeds and propagation, The Bountiful Container is an extraordinarily complete, plant-by-plant guide.

Written by two seasoned container gardeners and writers, The Bountiful Container provides clear and easy directions to grow vegetables for every season:

The Bountiful Gardener includes information on planting 21 varieties of beans, including favas and haricots verts; peppers from sweet orange Valencias to fiery Thai Dragons (a scorcher at 60,000 Scoville units); dwarf eggplants; fingerling potatoes; 17 terrific tomatoes; lettuces; and Asian greens like bok choy, mizuna and Chinese kale.

You also can lean about growing herbs, including basils green and purple, exotic lemongrass, soothing chamomile, saffron crocus, and the essential culinary herbs such as parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and the many thymes.

And yes, fruits, too! You can learn to plant and grow in containers a wide variety of fruit like Meyer lemons, strawberries, gooseberries, figs, and even apples, peaches, and grapes. And edible flowers, like tart begonias, pepper nasturtiums, clove-spicy dianthus, and sweet daylilies, to add enchantment to meals.

McKee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container is a compendium of practical advice that includes detailed information on the types of containers to use, equipment needed, the right soil, when to plant which seeds and how best to deal with problems such as too much or too little sunlight.

The authors also explain more sophisticated techniques like succession planting, whereby ongoing seasonal planting takes place in the same container. This can yield a harvest of peas in early summer, tomatoes in late summer to early fall and kale that will grow into winter.

The Bountiful Container also includes mouth-watering recipes for harvested container crops. It is written for the beginner as well as for those with a background in gardening,and McGee and Stuckey's directions are comprehensive, clearly written and frequently inspiring.

So, what are you waiting for? Round up your favorite containers and start growing on your patio, balcony, porch, front or back steps!