by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth
Timber Press, December 2009
List Price: $24.95
If you’re wondering what’s tunneling into your apples, why your hydrangea won’t bloom, or what that fuzzy mold is that’s growing on your blackberries, this is the book for you. What’s Wrong With My Plant? incorporates an ingenious (and easy to use) flowchart system for diagnosing plant problems. The process for diagnosing plant problems with this book is very simple:
1. Determine which part of the plant is affected (blooms, fruits, stems and branches, etc.)
2. Flip to the coinciding chapter in part one of What’s Wrong With My Plant? and look for symptoms that are similar to what you’re seeing.
3. Answer the questions in the flow chart, which will lead you to a diagnosis.
4. Go to the page number provided to see a (very clear and helpful!) photo of the problem. If it matches what you’re seeing, you’re golden.
5. Flip to the page number provided in the flow chart to find an organic solution to your plant problem.
It really is that simple. I tested it out with a few problems I’ve had in my own garden, and, sure enough, the flowchart questions led me to the correct answer each and every time.
What I especially liked about this book was that the authors recognize that just because an option is “organic,” it doesn’t always mean it’s completely safe or fool-proof. When prescribing a treatment for your plant ailments, Deardorff and Wadsworth do a great job of informing their readers of the impact of that particular treatment. For instance, they note that pyrethrins are harmful to some mammals and kill ladybugs, and that neem should not be used near waterways. This is something that Jeff Gillman also accomplished in his book, The Truth About Organic Gardening, which I also highly recommend.
Any gardener would appreciate this book. It will definitely be put to good use for gardening seasons to come.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an advanced review copy of this book by the publisher with the understanding that the decision to review the book, and the contents of that review, were solely my own. This review encompasses my own opinion of the book, and has been influenced in no way by the publisher or the fact that they provided a copy for review.