Book Notes: Gardener’s Weather Bible

ImageThe Gardener’s Weather Bible: How to Predict and Prepare for Garden Success in Any Kind of Weather – Sally Roth, Rodale Press, 2003

Reviewed by Debra Knapke

Winter, what we had of it, is now a memory.  In an effort to figure out how to deal with a too early Spring that has temperatures spiking into the 80’s and 90’s, I went back to an older book on my bookshelf by Sally Roth.  The Gardener’s Weather Bible is a wonderful blend of understanding natural weather phenomena and what to do in the garden when rain, hail, wind, snow, and more, grace or threaten your garden.  The first half of the book is all about weather and how it is predictable if you know the signs, yet unpredictable because, well, it’s the weather!  As the old adage says: “if you don’t like the weather, wait a moment and it will change;” a sentiment Midwesterners are all too familiar with!

Various garden techniques and planting schemes are nestled into the sections on developing your weather-sense and nature-sense.  Learn how to identify cloud types and what they indicate.  For example: in cloudy weather divide and transplant perennials to reduce the transplant shock.  And, set out slug traps as slugs are much more active on a cloudy day than on a sunny one.  Discover how much snow equals 1” of water – hint: it depends on the type of snow.  Find out how you can predict whether or not frost will descend upon your garden in the spring and fall and save yourself some time and effort.

Every chapter combines the folklore your grandparents knew, with sound gardening advice.  After reading this book, you will be less reliant on the six o’clock news and more comfortable with planning your gardening tasks.

And, one last thought: “Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.”
― Kim Hubbard

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