Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Wrong With My Plant? - A Book Review

What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?): A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies
by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

452 pages

Timber Press (December 2, 2009
List price:

I don't care how long you've been gardening, even if you do everything right, plants won't be healthy 100% of the time. Some new bug or spot eventually finds its way to your garden and then what?

You put your plant detective hat on and get to work at finding out just what the problem is. So the leaves are yellow and it's not fall. There are little green specks on the stems and leaves. And they're moving.

Thankfully, you don't have to be an entymologist with a degree in horticulture to figure this out, because David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth have done the work for you. Their collaboration to bring gardeners a simple method of diagnosing a plant's problems leaves this gardener grateful for the immense amount of labor that has gone into this book.

With easy-to-follow flow charts, you are taken through a series of identifications by both illustrations and photographs that eventually lead you to the problem and the solution. If a pesticide or fungicide is required, there's an organic remedy described.
They've also provided a list of resources for locating recommended products.

For years, we've wondered what the strange, pointy growths were on the leaves of some of our maple trees. I now know they're infected by bladder gall mites for which the solution is insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or Neem oil. It took me no more than five minutes to find this out, using the flow charts.

This is one reference book that no gardener's library should be without.


David Deardorff, Ph.D.
, is a plant pathologist and botanist who uses public speaking, writing, and photography to explain the science and beauty of the natural world. Naturalist Kathryn Wadsworth shares her love for gardening and the outdoors through writing and photography. Together, David and Kathryn (www.ddandkw.com) present classes and workshops with a focus on diagnosing and curing plant problems. They live and garden in Port Townsend, Washington.


The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.


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