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Decoding Gardening Advice: The Science Behind the 100 Most Common Recommendations

By Jeff Gillman and Meleah Maynard

This slim, precisely organized handbook is good for a cover to cover read or as a handy reference guide to dip into as needed.

San Francisco Chronicle

Tilling is the best way to prepare a garden for planting. Gardens should always be mulched. Only divide perennials in summer. Never water plants in direct sunlight. Everyone seems to have advice for gardeners. But how much of this advice is good advice?

Covering more than 100 universal gardening "dos and don'ts," Decoding Gardening Advice is the first book to provide gardeners with the real answers. Jeff Gillman, the bestselling author of The Truth About Garden Remedies, and Meleah Maynard back up every good recommendation with sound horticultural and botanical science. Decoding Gardening Advice is the first and only hard-hitting, evidence-based book that every gardener needs for definitive advice on everything from bulbs, annuals, and perennials to edibles, trees, and soil care.

Media reviews

"If you've ever questioned a commonly repeated gardening tip and considered submitting it to Mythbusters for analysis, don't bother. Just buy this book."

—Tim Tune, Dallas Morning News

"A well-researched, indispensable resource that belongs on every gardening shelf."


"Gillman and Maynard's fun-to-read, entertaining guide to the scientific reasons behind each practice makes this a valuable guide for gardeners."

Publishers Weekly

"This easy-to-read paperback is kind of like a Consumer Reports rundown on garden tips."

Harrisburg Patriot-News

"Looks at more than 100 of the so called dos and don'ts of gardening, and backs up their recommendations with hands-on research."

Halifax Chronicle Herald

"Gillman's and Maynard's responses show that the authors have done the research and also have personal garden experience."

Heartland Gardening

"A handy reference for gardeners to be familiar with."

Juneau Empire

"Bogus information spreads like wildfire, especially with the advent of the internet. This handy book gives you the straight scoop on what's good, what's bad and what's iffy in the world of gardening."

—Renee Struthers-Hogge, East Oregonian

"What a fabulous resource and reference tool — filled with absolutely reliable and reasonable information organized in a useful way."

—Sherry Byrne, owner, Sherry's Urban Gardening

"A fascinating, entertaining, and useful book, written in a format that makes for quick reference."

—Mary-Liz Shaw, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Filled with simplified explanations based on current science, this slim, precisely organized handbook is good for a cover to cover read or as a handy reference guide to dip into as needed."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Helpful for novice and experienced gardeners alike, the practical advice here is backed up with interesting popular science and delivered in an engaging format."

—Jenny Contakos, Library Journal

"This is a nuts-and-bolts book full of practical advice."

Winston-Salem Journal

"A good book for beginning gardeners because much of the material covered is basic, but even experienced gardeners could learn a few tricks."

Country Gardens

"If every gardener could get a copy of this book it would save them a considerable amount of grief, frustration, failure, wasted effort, and money for more classes and books."

All the Dirt on Gardening

"Veteran gardeners and newly inspired green thumbs alike will learn to question what they're told before they create the vegetable garden, orchard, or suburban lawn of their dreams."

—Courtney Sorrell, ForeWord

"A welcome voice of reason amid a growing babble of self-appointed, uninformed gardening 'experts.'"

—Susan Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

About the authors

Jeff Gillman

Jeff Gillman loathes advice that is given without concern for the consequences. He wrote a tell-all book after hearing self-proclaimed experts spouting things such as feeding syrup to plants, and lectures on a variety of topics including homebrewed remedies and organic pesticides.

Read more about Jeff Gillman

Meleah Maynard

Meleah Maynard is a journalist, editor, speaker, and master gardener. Her articles, essays, and columns have appeared in regional and national magazines and newspapers, including Northern Gardener, Garden, Deck & Landscape, Southwest Journal, Gardening How-To, History Channel and Midwest Home.

Read more about Meleah Maynard

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