The Author's


From Container to Kitchen by D. J. Herda
Reviewed by
Don Bacue, Executive Editor, International Features Syndicate

   I have been a garden writer for many years.  As such, I have read and reviewed far more books on the subject of gardening than I care to admit.  None, however, was more deserving of five stars than this one from seasoned author D. J. Herda.


Herda, himself a master gardener, has been growing fruits and vegetables (and herbs and ornamentals and grains and flowers) organically since before it was popular to do so.  Long before.  So, it only makes sense that his latest gardening-book venture would be heavily laced with green growing tips, suggestions, and lots of emphasis on an organic approach to growth.


Not that the author is adamant about using any other technique in a pinch.  If you need an inorganic fungicide to save the life of a favorite plant, he's all for it, provided you use the chemical safely and responsibly.  But first, he'd rather you try a less invasive, more planet-friendly approach.  In fact, his two chapters on (a) bugs and (b) fungus, bacteria, and other diseases are an encyclopedic marvel of alternative approaches to handling your plants' most stubborn problems safely and unobtrusively.


As if that weren't worth the price of admission in itself, each chapter concludes with a section called "Recipes for Success" that highlights a particular fruit or vegetable that is especially conducive to growing in a pot--complete information about habits, planting tips, growing problems, yields, health benefits, and savings for a typical family of four by growing your own instead of buying it at the supermarket.


Is From Container to Kitchen the best all-around gardening book I have ever reviewed?  Quite possibly so.  But then, from a gardener with the history, background, experience, and integrity of Herda, I would have expected nothing less.  Highly recommended.  Even if you thought you hated gardening!


From Container to Kitchen

by D. J. Herda

New Society Publishers

Paperback, $19.95

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

From Container to Kitchen

Reviewed by Tina Wilson


In a few days I’ll be going from a yard in which I have been able to grow whatever I want, whenever I want, and however much I want for the last ten years… to a rented property in which I have been told that anything that I plant into the ground at this temporary  home will become the property of the owners of the rental. I do understand the stance of the owners of the property… truly I do.

…But gardening I must be allowed to do! I love to garden! I long to garden! I love greenery, I love flowers in bloom, I love fresh vegetables…you get the picture… Love it! Love it! Love it!

So, how am I going to solve this temporary problem while I’m  looking for a permanent residence, and a yard in which I can dig, plant, create gardens, and nurture plants to my heart’s content?

From Container to Kitchen: Growing Fruits and Vegetables In Pots by D. J. Herda (New Society Publishers 2010) to the rescue!

I suddenly find myself in the shoes of many folks that long to garden, but whom  find themselves in the “no yard” garden zone. Not that the property we’ll be staying at does not have a yard, in fact it has an entire acre of yard…I just can’t dig in it.

So, I’ll be utilizing as many of the wonderful tried and true tips from D.J.’s book as I possibly can. Believe me, I have a feeling this book came along at the perfect time for me, and for an avid gardener that has a severe itch to get out in the yard and dig in the dirt, this book is going to be my life saver while we search for a permanent home with a  yard to be able to garden in.

Container gardening to the rescue!

D. J. shares so many wonderful tips on how to grow everything from lettuces, to tomatoes, to dwarf apples, to cucumbers, celery, strawberries, and more in containers.

You’ll read tips on how much water you should give each variety of plant, how to tell when your plants need water, when to transplant certain varieties into larger containers, what types of pests to look out for, how long it takes for the plant to be “harvest ready”, what the average annual savings are per year by growing various plants on your own, and more.

You’ll receive tips on the best types of containers to grow your plants in, the best type of soil, how to create your own potting mixes, how to create your own fungicides to prevent plant disease, and how and when to harvest the fruits of your labors.

For those who find themselves in the “no yard” zone, but with a deep desire to garden and grow your own food…this book is a “must have!



From Container to Kitchen

Reviewed by Pamela Robinson


This review is from: From Container to Kitchen: Growing Fruits and Vegetables in Pots (Paperback)

Even homeowners with a decent amount of room for a garden can appreciate the good advice in "From Container to Kitchen: Growing Fruits and Vegetables in Pots." After all, poor soil or the need to use the yard in a different way can get in the way.  And for those lacking adequate space, containers can be the perfect solution to high bills for poor-quality vegetables and fruits from the supermarket.

Author D. J. Herda starts with the basics of picking the right container for size and location, and then, in succeeding chapters, shows how to overcome a variety of obstacles, such as meeting the correct soil balance and combating bugs, to raising specific foods, from tomatoes to peppers to broccoli to dwarf figs.  Each highlighted fruit or vegetable includes information about growing seasons, time to maturation, diseases and likely bugs, health benefits and estimated cost savings by growing your own.

His writing is clear and direct, organized to make reference easier, and illustrated primarily by black and white photos, with a handful of color images.