‘Gardening for Geeks’: Join video chat Thursday

Despite its irreverent title, there’s much sense to Christy Wilhelmi’s charming new book, “Gardening for Geeks: DIY Tests, Gadgets and Techniques That Utilize Microbiology, Mathematics and Ecology to Exponentially Maximize the Yield of Your Garden.”

As someone who grows most of her own food, Wilhelmi knows that aphids will attack your Swiss chard. Or that beloved pets will dig up your veggies -- by the roots. And because some of us buy plant packs, not heirloom seeds, she can give advice on how to pick the best ones.

Join me and other readers as we talk through spring gardening solutions with Wilhelmi at 11 a.m. Thursday during a live video chat. We’ll discuss her book, share organic gardening strategies and pitch other garden-geek questions her way.

As I discovered, “Gardening for Geeks” is more than just facts and graphs. Wilhelmi lays out, step by step, the process of growing and harvesting your own food, weighing in on pesticides, GMOs and store-bought potting soil along the way.

As a gardener, I enjoyed her down-to-earth style and sense of humor. In some ways -- especially in the detailed chapter on plants -- the book reads like an abridged version of the Sunset Western Garden Book. I laughed out loud at her tip for gardening with toddlers: “They like to dig tunnels to drive rubber duckies through to the other side. If this makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you might want to create a special garden just for the kids.”


I was inspired to learn more about keyhole gardens and how to build an eight-plant tomato crib with concrete wire mesh. I also loved her inclusion of the recipe for perfect pesto (the best reason to grow basil?).

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