foolproof planting

Foolproof Planting: A Review

Foolproof Planting

How to successfully start and propagate more than 250 vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs.

By Anne Moyer Halpin and Rodale Press

Here at last, in one easy-to-use volume, is all the information you need to begin cultivating your favorite plants, whether they are flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs, trees, or shrubs.

The secret to raising healthy, beautiful plants is knowing how to get them off to the right start.

Foolproof Planting, illustrated with clear and detailed drawings, tells you exactly what you need to know about plant growing, explains gardening terms and techniques, and includes an encyclopedia with over 250 individual plant listings to help get the results you want in your garden or yard.

Part 1, Basic Techniques

This section of Foolproof Planting gives you complete background information about all aspects of plant growth.

Chapter One, “Starting Plants from Seeds” could be a stand-alone book – it is that comprehensive. You have access to all the information you’ll ever need about planting from seed. Each section, beginning with what seeds are and how they are produced right through to caring for your transplants is clearly explained, with accompanying drawings. Nothing is left out.

Chapter 2, “Vegetative Methods of Propagation” describes the methods you can use to propagate plants that are hard to grow from seeds. It covers cuttings, layering, budding, grafting and different types of division. The accompanying drawings illustrate each technique very clearly.

The third chapter in Basic Techniques, “Plants from the Nursery” gives the reader guidelines for choosing the healthiest specimens. Detailed information for transplanting any kind of container grown nursery plant completes this section.

Part 2, The Planting Guide

With over 250 individual plant listings in this section of Foolproof Planting, Anne Halpin gives specific information and growing tips for each plant.

It’s easy to find any plant you may want to cultivate, since this part lists annuals, perennials, ground covers and grasses, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts and trees and shrubs – each alphabetically within its own section. The entries are listed by common name first, then by their botanical name.

Every one of the 250 plants listed here has information about where to plant, when to plant, the spacing between plants, planting depth, best ways to propagate and general planting tips. This part completes with a hardiness zone map of North America, and a complete index.

I come back to this book over and over – both for its plant descriptions and propagation methods. Although photos or drawings of the plants listed in the plant encyclopedia would have been nice, it’s easy enough to find photos elsewhere.

Foolproof Planting is definitely a book I would recommend as a reference for both novice gardeners, and for those wanting to expand their knowledge.


Leave a Comment: