If you lament that tomatoes don't taste as good as you remember, Dr. Male suggests you are growing the wrong tomatoes. Somehow she has culled down the thousands of tomato varieties she has grown over the years to her top 100 for home gardeners. This book is for the tomato loving gardener who takes great pride in growing the most flavorful tomatoes on the block.
I broke the binding on my first copy of this book from the gurus of organic gardening, Rodale Press. Not that my garden was full of pests, mind you. I just wanted to identify those that I had. The front part of the book goes plant by plant (flowers and vegetables) and tells you what the plants need to thrive and then what problems you might encounter. The problems are listed by the symptom you might be having, like "Leaves mottled and ruffled." or "Blossoms brown and limp.", with the corresponding organic control. I wish there were photos in this section instead, but photos in the Symptom Guide in the back of the book, almost make up for it. There is also a very useful section on organic pesticides and how to use them.
This is an amazing piece of work. If you enjoy saving seeds or just want to learn about different varieties of vegetables and their relationships, you'll find this an invaluable reference. Ashfood sorts through 160 different vegetable crops and provide instruction on isolation distances, cross pollination problems, how the flowers are pollinated and techniques for hand-pollinating, harvesting, drying and storing seeds. You'll soon find yourself a seed saving junkie.
This is the kind of bottom line practical information that every gardener looks for. New gardeners will take the fast track to learning about staking, deadheading and divisions. Experienced gardeners will be treated to the inside track on expanding your gardens bloom season through creative pruning.