This is the fourth and final post in the January 2015 edition of the
Crappy Old Book of the Month series. Previous posts on Crockett’s Victory Garden were
Crockett’s Victory Garden is arranged by month, beginning with March because “in all but a few favored sections of the South and Southwest, March is the beginning of the gardener’s year.” Each chapter begins with a checklist of monthly chores and general introduction to what’s happening in the garden that month. Then follow short and richly illustrated discussions of individual plants– including flowers, shrubs and fruit trees — needing attention during the month.
I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying for me than walking out into the garden in March, through the last few patches of snow, to plant the year’s first crop of peas.
LAST PATCH OF SNOW! Aurghhhh!!!!
Sorry. Crockett’s discussion of March pea planting is thorough and charming. He advises to not follow seed packet directions– “if you’re stingy with your peas they’ll be stingy with you” so plant them close together (above left, a lot of peas per linear pencil)– and elaborates on the “old country trick known as the ‘pea brush'”– dead sticks stuck into the middle of the row functioning more as a suggestion than a support (above right).
And so he goes through cabbage, fruit trees, irises, leeks, lettuce, peas, spinach and more in March.
Each chapter ends with answers to a handful of questions he’d gotten from the Victory Garden’s television audience and lastly, a relevant in-depth “how-to.” In March he explains why you should start seedling outdoors and then presents three simple and inexpensive ways to start and protect them: the cold frame, hot bed, and cloche.
I’m glad I chose Crockett’s Victory Garden as the first
Crappy Old Book of the Month. It’s been fun and instructive rummaging through its pages. After the Lost Summer, I could use a Victory Garden this year, how about you?