At Last – You can order!

$28.95.  A flat rate of $8.95 for shipping within the US.
International shipping is much higher.  Email me for pricing if you are outside the US.

The size is 8.5 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide. It's 3/4 of an inch thick. 285 pages, 19 of which are color.

The size is 8.5 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide. It’s 3/4 of an inch thick. 285 pages, 19 of which are color.

Are you an organic gardener or want-to-be gardener that’s tired of wondering what you’re doing wrong and what you should be doing?  Are  you sick and tired of a lot of complicated information and too much to buy?

Or maybe you’re a long-time reader of TMG and just want the information in one place that gives you a good foundation to success in the garden.

Sandra, a reader of TMG, has written to me several times and told me, “One of the things that sets you apart is that you know the difference between tried and true advice as opposed to the stuff we read in those ‘generic’ learn-to-garden books.”

Organic Gardening – Cutting Through the Hype to the 3 Keys to Successful Gardening does just that. It cuts through the hype of 4 popular things you don’t have to fuss with unless you want to. And then it gives you the details on the 3 simple keys to successful gardening. It gives you tried and true advice and the easy way to be successful with organic gardening.

It’s the information you need, packaged in a size you can easily carry with you.

Order now to make absolutely sure you get your copy.

I want you to be successful and there’s no reason you can’t be.  The choice is yours!

A few of the many questions the book answers:

  • What’s possible with only 10 to 30 minute intervals almost all year long – p.13
  • How to learn more by buying less – p.14
  • How watering can keep your plants from being successful – p.23-24
  • Why watering once a week is not the best idea – p.24
  •  3 things to do to keep your losses in drought minimal – p.25
  • Proof that you can garden without watering – p.26-29
  • 2 Big advantages to gardening without water – p.32
  • What’s the real cause of plants wilting? – p.35-36
  • Why watering is most often not the answer when plants wilt – p.36
  • 3 strategies that allow plants to better deal with any stress, including heat and drought – p.39
  • Do you really need to frame your raised beds? – p.47-48
  • Disadvantages of framed raised beds – 51-52
  • Do you need a compost pile to get compost? Section IV, Chapters 4 and 5
  • Do you need a soil test?  And if you choose to have one, where to get a really good one. Section V
  • Why air circulation is important underground as well as above ground – p.82
  • Why you only have to prepare the soil once – p. 82-84
  • The best time to prepare soil – p.89
  • 8 steps to proper soil preparation – p. 92-97
  • Can you leave tree roots in the garden? – p.97
  • Why repeated hoeing and plowing/discing is bad for your soil – p. 100-101
  • Should you use municipal compost – p. 110-111
  • Manure has been used for farming and gardening for centuries; so why do you have to hesitate now? – p.121-125
  • Should you always take the State Extension Offices’ word for things? – p.126
  • Should you incorporate various organic material into the soil or leave it on top of the soil? – p.130-132
  • 13 benefits of cover cr0ps – p.134-135
  • How poor farming practices (not using the 3 keys to successful gardening) caused millions of acres of farmland to become useless – p.148
  • 19 advantages of covering the soil – p.151
  • Should you use straw or hay as mulch – p. 158-159
  • What is the mulch that will give you greater soil better and faster than any other? – p.162
  • Will pine needles change your soil’s pH? – p.167
  • When NOT to use grass clippings as mulch – p. 173
  • Should you be concerned about termites in wood chips? – p.179-180
  • How to get the most out of mulching – p.188-197
  • 9 reasons to mulch your garden paths – p.214-217
  • Will having bare soil (not using mulch) stop rodents like voles? – p.220-223

All content including photos is copyright by All Rights Reserved.


  • I tried to order just now and after I’d filled in all the information and tried to click on review and continue, it hung up and kept telling me I’d “already signed in with this information”?

    I will try again later!

  • What a wonderful way to begin the day! Great news to see that the book is here!
    Theresa, Congratulations!!!!

  • Can’t wait to get my copy! So very glad I found you and your site.

    Green blessings!


  • Betty, I just sent you an email. So sorry you had the trouble.
    You can send money to me via (Just click on send money and follow the instructions.)
    You will be sending money using my email address
    Books are 24.95 and shipping is a flat rate of 6.95. One book 24.95 + 6.95 = 31.90; Two books $49.90 + 6.95 = 56.85; and so forth. The one time flat rate of 6.95 is the same for you no matter how many books you order.
    You’re in Tennessee so you don’t have to be concerned about the Va. 5.3% sales tax.
    Thanks for letting me know!

    Aparna – Thank you! So glad you ordered. Can hardly wait to learn how you enjoy the book. Thanks for your order.

    I’m so glad to have you reading TMG, Gail. Miss hearing from you more. Wonder how the herbal medicine classes are going? If you have time, let me know. Thanks so much for your order. I think you’ll really enjoy the book.


  • Just ordered my autographed copy! I can’t wait to get it! This will be a treasure that I pass on to my children. I will buy another in some time to have 2 copies on hand – just in case 🙂 Congratulations Theresa!!!

  • Just ordered my copy, and had a question: How do you keep your hands and nails looking so nice???? Are you wearing gloves in the garden?

  • Thank you Monica!

    I hope your girls will develop an interest in gardening too Bearfoot Mama. Thanks for your order.

    Kate, I couldn’t help but smile when I read your comment. Alice – a reader out west – sent me an email the other day asking me the same thing.

    I’m one of those folks whose skin holds onto dirt and regular washing and scrubbing will not get rid of it. For many years I didn’t wear gloves in the garden.

    When we lived at our previous  place (with clay soil) — all I would have to do is get near the soil with bare hands and it would get into my skin and not come out.  When I had a meeting to go to I was so embarrassed because as I’m sure you probably know – folks who are not gardeners tend to think you’re “dirty” when they look at your hands. They don’t realize that it just won’t come out.  So I was always uncomfortable because I knew what those folks thought.

    I wrote a post giving 9 other great reasons to wear gloves.

    I try to keep my gloves handy in my basket,( but every once in while I get out there and get to working around without them.  When I get inside, wash up, and then get with Bill —- one look and he says, “Where were your gloves?”

    For those times I am very fortunate to have hand scrub that was made by friend and reader (Bearfoot Mama) that will remove at least 99.9% of the ground in dirt from my hands AND leave them soft, moisturized and with a slight scent of orange! That is really saying something since my skin holds the dirt so well that I’ve even resorted to soaking my finger tips in bleach – which is not good!
    You might enjoy reading this post that addresses this topic even more.

    I certainly appreciate your noticing my clean hands Kate. I’m delighted that I didn’t have to cover them to take the picture. Some pictures on TMG show them not as clean as does the picture with the book.


  • Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishment, Theresa! I’m so thrilled for you. I’ll be waiting by the mailbox anticipating the arrival of your book!

  • I just ordered mine, right on time for the gardening season. How wonderful to follow you through this process and now to see the result of your labors. You must be so pleased. For me, it’s such a thrill to actually know the author and have all your most important words together in one place for reference.

  • Thanks Sandra. You made this book much better because of your input when I first started formulating the structure of the book! Can hardly wait to hear how you like it.

  • Received my copy yesterday (March 5). Very easy and quick read. Read first 42 pages as soon as I opened it, then had to go eat.

    Question- I have had framed raised beds for 4 years. I did not loosen soil under them, just cleared the area of all vegetation and built my beds. Beds are 12″ to 16″ tall.

    Would it be a good idea to clear the bed of my soil mix that I put in there, fork it down another 10″s or so, then refill with my mix?

    I am retired so I could do it and only take maybe one bed a week until done. Your thoughts, please. Loved the section on watering. I can see how this could be heart-wrenching.

  • Glad you received your book Mike, and delighted to know that you got started on reading it immediately! Taking that kind of action really speeds up success – as I’m sure you know.

    You will benefit GREATLY by doing exactly as you proposed: taking your soil out, setting it aside, and then loosening the earth itself another 10 inches or more. While you are doing this – take it one step further and mix in as much organic materials as you can with the loosened earth and put the rest on top of the newly loosened earth. Then put your soil mix back. (You never need do this again, but this can make a big difference in your results when you first prepare your soil properly. Yes, we will consider this your first real soil preparation.)

    It will take a while for the organic materials (like straw, leaves, etc) to break down. The warmer the temperatures the more quickly it will break down. Let’s say you do one bed next week. I would venture to guess that you would be perfectly safe to plant warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplant, etc. by May — weather allowing.

    The main thing is to give the soil microbes enough time to break down the organic materials to the point that they are not using all the nitrogen in your soil to break down the material and thus, taking it away from your plants.

    You read a lot about that, but there have been times in the past that I have planted within a week or so of initial soil preparation and had absolutely excellent results. Of course, I had about 6 to 10 inches of real earth on top of those organic materials. My soil has always seemed to have enough nitrogen in it to accommodate both breakdown of organic material and plant growth.

    A good way to test, is to take one bed and plant earlier than you think you should. Be prepared to lose a plant or two just in case. It’s worth the price of a plant to learn how far you can “push” your soil, and will tell you a lot about how it’s doing.

    I think you will also find that the beds you “re-do” this way will hold a lot of water. They will still drain well, but hold extra water for when it’s needed. It may work so well for you in this regard, that you may end up digging a deep hole each year in each bed, placing lot of organic materials in in, filling it over with soil and giving it time to decay before planting. This is sooooo helpful during years of drought.

    If my memory serves me correctly, Sandra (friend and reader) has raised beds and over a period of two years (after reading TMG) she has “redone” all her beds except one I think. I hope she will see your post and add her input, because I think it would be invaluable to you. From what she has told me, it has made a BIG difference in how much her beds produce.

    It is so rewarding to see that you, after only 42 or more pages have been quick to take action and formulate a plan to make your garden better. It really makes all the time and effort I spent writing the book seem worthwhile.

    I know you are going to be very successful and I will look forward to hearing of your progress. If you need more help, please let me know.

  • I DID Theresa, and it has made a big difference. My yields tripled. Mike, I did exactly what Theresa describes above. Now I just have to keep piling on the organic matter. I also had no problem planting within days of adding organic stuff. It’s definitely worth it.

  • “If you need more help, please let me know” – Come help me “re-do” my 12 beds. Bill is invited too!!! Thanks for answering me so quickly. MIKE

  • Well, what an interesting little thread this has become. It has never occurred to me to redo my raised beds, done like Mike’s – cleared, filled and then just topped off with organic material and more soil as it settles. To be honest, I don’t think this is the year I will start remediating them – but my husband retires this year, so it might be a fall chore for him.

    Not sure I would be able to dig down 10″ – we sit pretty much on a solid rock slab with about 6″ of topsoil on it. Makes it great for the chicken coop (predators can’t dig under the walls, but it does make it a challenge to garden sometimes. Or maybe I can just make the raised beds taller.

    I will have to pay attention and see if my “deep” beds (about 24″) produce better than the “shallow beds” that are only 12″.

  • Kate, when you are seeing if your “deep” beds (about 24″) produce better than your “shallow beds” that are only 12 ” – just make a mental note that your framed raised beds at 12 or 24 inches will perform differently than deeply prepared soil (ground).

    If you ever find piece of ground on your property that doesn’t have solid rock slab under it, try the deep soil preparation there, even if only a small bed.

    In most cases deeply prepared and improved (lots of organic matter) soil outperforms anything you buy to put into a framed raised bed.

  • Just thought I’d mention for the benefit of others reading: Some folks live in areas that have a lot of rock, but have spaces around that mass of rock that can be dug. Beautiful gardens can be crafted out of that type of ground. The ground that can be dug deeply and improved can be used for deep rooted crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cukes, squash, etc. The roots will go into the deeply prepared soil and also find their way around and even under the rock to a degree.

    With some imagination this situation would be ideal for beautiful perennial beds, or a combination of vegetables and perennials.

    Just something to think about.

  • I am on page 159–and I have been digging the past two days! I was already planning to continue making raised beds this year so now I’m even more motivated.

    I’ll report back at the end of the season!


  • Thanks for the update Betty. So glad you are up to page 159 and will be anxious to get another report at the end of the season (or before).

    If anyone wants to read a GREAT true life story – which just happens to be Betty’s story – read it here: She wrote it for (Betty lives in Tennessee, by the way.)

    If you don’t already have the life you want, this article might give you the courage – or at least the encouragement – to make some changes. It’s worth reading, I can tell you that!


  • Thanks for the link to Betty’s article, Theresa. It was a wonderful read! Very inspiring! I would love to be invited to one of her “Harvest Dinners.”

  • Finished the book in 3 days and I’m a slow reader. Really well put together. It flows easily from section to section. It’s what I needed to get the blood pumping again and get me out of these nasty winter doldrums. My lettuce seeds have germinated under lights. Let the fun begin. MIKE
    P.S. Nice website, Kate.

  • Spent this morning reading the book – really loved it, it feels like we are having a conversation, and now I just want to come to your house for the weekend (or really, have you come to my house for the weekend!!). Lots to think about – I think maybe I need one of those garden forks (I think there is a real name for them – broad forks?) But like Mike, I am inspired.

    Of biggest note, I clearly have not understood the concept of mulch. I have been putting a thin layer of straw – almost choked when you said 6 inches. So I think I am going to give it a try this year. Thinking I will put down a layer of leaves, and then the straw, and try to curb my need to till everything into clean straight rows of dirt… I already kicked the watering bug, i can do this too!!

  • Farming Bear – glad you checke out Betty’s article. There’s a lot of good example there for all of us!

    Mike and Kate – so glad you posted comments after reading the book! Thank you so much!

    Those forks are called broad forks Kate. I don’t have one, but I should.
    Your idea of a layer of leaves and then straw is excellent. I love what that approach does for the soil.

    I didn’t realize that you had kicked the watering bug! Congratulations! I know from what other readers tell me that watering can be addictive. I think you have a watering system in place? That will be really nice when and if you have severe drought, then you can water if need be. Knowing when to water is the key, as you know from the book.

    You’ll see too that heavier mulch will make a big difference in the amount of weeding you have to do.

    Am excited for you and hope you will let me know how things go as the season progresses.

  • The first year of our garden, I used a small pump to bring water up from my creek for the garden. It was a gas pump, and worked VERY well, but was loud and took some tending. The second year, I used our two rain barrels, and my husband hooked up the pump to a drip irrigation system he put in for me. By year three, the whole thing was kind of an ordeal, so I just…stopped.

    I still water the seedlings for a few days to make sure they get a good start, but other than that, we have been fine – but no droughts for the last three years either. We do routinely go 3-4 weeks without rain, and the plants seem to be fine.

    I did have one watering question / exception. Where I am using floating row covers on my raised beds, i am never really sure if enough rain gets through the covers (they are the extra light weight), or if I need to run out and pull them back when it rains, or be sure to give that bed some supplemental watering?

  • Thanks for the details Kate. And yes, I relate totally to how you feel with that kind of watering. It’s just something else to do and most of the time, the plants do fine (or better) without it.
    Regarding your question about floating row covers. I think the main thing to do is to watch. After a rain, go out and see how wet the soil is under the row covers. I don’t use the thin row covers often, but when I do I worry about exactly the same thing.
    However, I’ve never given them additional watering and things seems to work out just fine. I like the idea of pulling them back when it rains, but then of course, you may loose some of the protection, which is the reason you have them on.

  • Hi Theresa.

    I finally got my book ordered this morning. Someone stole my credit card info and had a blast! It took a while to get that mess straightened out & get a new card issued. I finally got up my nerve to use the new card to order my book.

    I’m so excited & can’t wait until it arrives!

    I’ve gotten some more beds deeply dug with lots of organic material added. Much more to do.

    Now that I’ve broken the ice with the credit card I’m going to order some seed.

    Thanks again for all you’ve shared on this site. What a BLESSING you’ve been to all of us.


  • Hi Betty,
    I’ve missed hearing from you!
    So sorry to hear about your credit card. That is an awful experience!
    I’ll send you an email tonight. (Just got in from the garden.) Will bet your book off to you tomorrow!

  • Thank you, awesome gardener. I found you on your website, and I have learned a lot from you. I’m ordering three books today, one for me and two for presents. Thank goodness for you!

  • Happy holidays to you as well Anne!
    So glad you got your book and I can hardly wait to learn how you like it.
    I’ll be there with you in spirit as you read.
    Thanks for letting me know.

  • Hi I have ordered this book but as I am in Australia I tried to include postage but try as I might your site would not allow me to include postage please advise my next move I have paid via PayPal

  • John, I sent you an email. Check your spam folder if you have not gotten it. Let me know.

  • Hi Theresa
    Love your work and would like to order your book. I do need to pay by check though. Please advise where to send it. Thank you and looking forward to reading this book. Spring is coming !!!

  • I am trying to order the book for the second time. It keeps taking me to pay pal but never loads. I do not have a pay pal account. Is there another way for me to order and pay for the book?

    Thank you, so looking forward to learning more about my garden.

    Bonnie Plesco

  • Sorry you had problems with ordering Bonnie. I just sent you a personal email with solutions.
    Thanks for letting me know.

  • Hello Theresa, just found your site and have been going through the blog since an hour now. Very useful information. Thank you for sharing. Thinking of buying the book as well. After reading some comments above about loss ending up the soil under raised beds, I got very disappointed in my situation . We had raised beds for the last two years on th ground but this year we had to elevate them using cinder blocks because of a big tree root invasion. Meaning, the beds sit on top of cinder blocks with a gap between ground and the bed. We can’t cut the tree because it is our. Neighbors. IDo you think
    we stand a chance of growing anything this season?

  • Welcome to TMG Srikanth!
    Not sure what you meant by “—comments above about loss ending up the soil under raised beds.” Maybe you left some words out?

    It seems to me you would at least be able to cut the roots of the tree that are on your property. Do check into it, because that would help tremendously.

    If you could get those roots out of bed you would have a better chance of being more successful. If you don’t do anything the tree roots will continue to reach further into the beds.
    You’ll have to continue to take them out each year or two as they grow back, but if it’s a normal tree (rather than and invasive tree like Tree of Heaven) you should be ok.
    At our previous garden I had maples close to the garden. Every other year I’d have to take those root out, but it wasn’t that big a deal.

    I know what you’re going through and I agree that it can be very disappointing. But I still think you can grow some things and be successful.

    Check into taking those roots out. That will make a lot of difference.
    Keep me posted. I’m rooting for you.

  • I have tried to purchase the book and the form will not recognize my credit cards expiration date???

  • I’m sorry for your trouble Letitia. I’m sending you a special link via email that you can use.
    If it still doesn’t recognize your credit card’s expiration date, check to make sure they card has not
    been upgraded to a new date. I had that happen to me one time. I didn’t realize I was using the previous expiration
    date and the charge was denied until I got the updated one and used it.
    Thanks for letting me know.

  • My wife just ordered a copy for me. I’ve been gardening in the suburbs for years, and every season seems to bring new challenges. I’m excited about the book.

Leave a Comment