The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook is an organic based troubleshooting guide for garden support and pest protection by Susan Mulivhill. Released 27th April 2021 by Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint, it's 208 pages and is available in paperback, spiral-bound, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a practical and accessible guide, well arranged and sensibly realistic in its reach and scope. The author is clearly knowledgeable and experienced and that comes through in the text. The introduction does a good job of introducing and explaining some basic terms (what -is- organic gardening, what is integrated pest management, "bug" ID, a solid overview of good cultural practice and how to adapt and integrate it into the reader's particular situation, wildlife and diversity, and how to attract wildlife/birds for a robust and diverse biome. Although it's easy to understand for beginners, there's a lot of information here and even more advanced gardeners will find tips and good advice.
The following chapters include a gallery/bestiary of bugs which include the most common (and a few uncommon) bugs which gardeners in North America are likely to encounter. Profiles include photos of both the bugs (some with multiple photos of different life stages) and what the damage to plants typically looks like. The profiles also include taxonomy info (Latin name) as well as life cycle, range, and controls.
The book's third section is a well organized tutorial guide for different organic pest control treatments and a neat collection of DIY project tutorials. It's photographed clearly and in color throughout. The author has also included a resource/suppliers list, a rogue's gallery of bug-shots, and a cross-referenced index.
Five stars. Well written and useful. This would make an excellent choice for public or school library acquisition, allotment/community garden library, and home use. Although this book is slanted toward readers in North America, there are enough common garden pests here which will be quite familiar to gardeners on other continents.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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