"I usually find something negative to say about every book (along with lots of positives), but Herrick Kimball's The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners is an exception. This is self-publishing at its best—quirky but polished."

—Anna Hess
The Walden Effect

The Planet Whizbang
Idea Book For Gardeners

Thanks to E.P. Roe, the most acclaimed berry-man of the 1800's, for his excellent contributions to  The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners.


(chapter titles are in red, and explanations follow)


How to Make & Use Solar Pyramids
My solar pyramids are a poor man's version of Leandre Piosson's remarkable Solar Cones. They are the most amazing garden 
cloche idea you have ever seen. 

How to Make a Whizbang T-Post Trellis Span
I developed this garden trellis idea over the course of several growing seasons. It is inexpensive, versatile, strong, movable, 
and will last for many years. I don't think you'll find a more intelligent trellis for gardening than this.

No More Tomato Cages
Many people consider a tomato cage to be the ideal support for growing indeterminate tomatoes. But tomato cages have their drawbacks. My idea for easily trellising indeterminate tomatoes has none of the drawbacks of a tomato cage.

How to String-Trellis Tomatoes
String-trellising tomatoes is something of a horticultural art. I reduce the art to a simple system in this chapter. It's fun to string trellis a few indeterminate tomato varieties 
(but this idea is not meant for growing a lot of tomatoes).

How to Make a Whizbang T-Post Hops Pole
If you want to grow hops (and you should give them a try), there is no need to invest a lot of money in a hops pole. My simple T-post hops pole will do the job very nicely.

Bush-Planting Raspberries
Most people plant bramble fruits in rows, like a hedge. But E.P. Roe, the most famous berryman of the 1800's, advocated bush-planting of raspberries. His idea makes a lot of sense. This chapter explains the concept.

How to Make Your Own Forever Plant Tags
If you want simple, no-fade, forever plant tags for your vegetables, flowers, herbs, bushes and fruit trees, this 
chapter will tell you how to make them yourself.

How to Make Whizbang T-Post Platforms
Let's say you want to mount a mailbox, bird feeder, 
birdbath, or even a big flat rock on top of an inexpensive metal T-post. Now that's a creative challenge! But it's 
actually really easy to do with a bit of scrap wood and 
the idea I explain in this chapter.

How to Make a Whizbang T-Post Grape Trellis
Forget about expensive wood posts, braces, guy wires and 
all of that when it comes to making a strong, long-lasting grape trellis. The simple little homemade invention I 
present in this chapter will allow you to quickly and easily erect a most excellent freestanding grape trellis. Now 
there is no excuse not to grow your own grapes.

Homemade Seed Envelopes
These clever and useful envelopes can be folded out of 
a sheet of standard 8.5" x 11" paper. You can turn your
 junk mail into seed envelopes. If you save or
share seeds, you'll like this idea a lot.

How to Make a Whizbang 
Wood & Wire Garden Tote
This tote is my Whizbang version of the expensive garden hods sold in different catalogs. I like to think my totes are more practical. I've been using them on my homestead for several years. NOTE: This 4-page chapter is now available as a pdf download that can be purchased for only $1.50. Click Here for details.

A Primer on Gardening in Tires
I've had a lot of experience gardening in tires. This 
chapter tells my story and provides some practical 
advice on the subject.

How to Make Whizbang Tire Sidewall Cloches
This is an inexpensive cloche idea I developed years ago. 
I use it primarily to get squashes off to a great start.

How to Grow Strawberries 
of The Largest & Finest Quality
This chapter is an excerpt from E.P. Roe's 1880 classic, 
The Home Acre. Roe was an undisputed master when 
it came to growing strawberries, and this chapter explains 
his "single-plant system." I have edited the old text for 
clarity and brevity, without sacrificing Roe's wisdom and 
endearing style of prose.  

Summer Setting of New Strawberry Plants
Most people plant strawberries in the spring, for a harvest 
the following year. In this short excerpt E.P. Roe explains how to establish a strawberry bed in summer (or even 
early fall), with rooted runners from your own plants, 
so you can have a crop of berries the next spring. 

How to Grow Your Own Hugelberries
You've never heard of hugelberries before. That's because 
I "invented" them. This chapter explains what 
hugelberries are and tells how to grow some for yourself.

How to Make Your Own Whizbang Shoulder Yoke
I set out several years ago to develop a shoulder yoke 
design, along the lines of a traditional shoulder yoke, that could be made with common pine boards for less than $25. 
I went through a lot of wood and a lot of time coming up 
with this simple, but very effective, low-tech tool design.

How to Harvest & Use Wood Stove Biochar
If you have a wood stove, you have the ability to make your own remarkable soil amendment...biochar. In this chapter 
I tell you what biochar is and what's so special about it. 
More importantly, I explain my wood stove biochar-
making system. And I also tell you how I easily grind 
big chunks of homemade biochar into small, 
uniform granules to spread on my garden. 

Make Your Own Whizbang Pocket Cultivator
The Whizbang pocket cultivator is one of my favorite ideas
 in the book. I invented this tool three years ago and use it 
all the time. Anyone can make a Whizbang pocket cultivator in a few minutes, and I'll bet you will like yours as much as I like mine. Don't go to the garden without it!

The Planet Whizbang Garden Shed
It's not really a shed in the conventional sense, but it's a simple, convenient and useful little weatherproof storage place right in the garden.

Mark Albert's Caterpillar Cloche System
I came up with a hoop cloche system for the garden that I thought was pretty neat. But Mark Albert had a better idea. Fact is, Mark's caterpillar cloche idea is the best I've seen, and I think you'll agree when you see it.

Shocking Gastropods!
I present an unusual (but effective) method for 
keeping slugs at bay.
Grow Your Own Pyrethrum Insecticide
An 1895 farmer's almanac excerpt led me to a surprising discovery. And Liberty Hyde Bailey contributes some 
useful information on the subject.

Steve Lonsky's Amazing Siphon-Tube Rain Barrels
My friend, Steve Lonsky, has an ingenious rain-barrel 
water collection system. It borders on the miraculous.

Easy Carrots
I've developed a system for successfully getting carrots 
off to a good start, and I share it with you in this chapter.

Tri-Growing Carrots
I took my "easy carrots" growing system a step further and invented this tri-growing technique. It's a quirky gardening idea—but it works great. To see my YouTube movie about 
tri-growing carrots, CLICK HERE

Beautiful & Practical Goldenrod
Goldenrod is a beautiful weed, and it gets one page of 
praise in this book, primarily because goldenrod stems 
play an important role when tri-growing carrots.

How to Make & Use A 
Whizbang Garlic-Planting Template
This planting idea was first introduced to the world in
my 2003 book, Making Great Garlic Powder, and many readers commented on what a great idea it is. 

Complete Specifications For 
The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe
I introduced my Planet Whizbang wheel hoe (with  an oscillating stirrup blade) tothe world in the spring of 2009. Hundreds of these simple, solid, efficient wheel hoes have been made and the feedback had been overwhelmingly positive. This 8-page chapter is now available as a pdf download that can be purchased for only $3.75. Click Here to purchase. 

How to Find & Restore 
A Classic Old Garden Hoe
This chapter includes information on properly adjusting a hoe blade, making your own hoe handles, and sharpening the blade. I also discuss "The Ideal Gardener's File." Pat Gorham's hoe-handle-rub recipe is there too. And I provide plans for a "Downright Nice Whizbang Garden-Hoe Hanger."

My Father's Hoe
The great horticulturist and prolific agrarian author, 
Liberty Hyde Bailey, wrote an essay about his father's 
hoe. I think it may well be the best thing Bailey ever 
wrote. There are ideas worth pondering in this 
instructional and inspirational old recollection.

How To Steam-Fryalize Compost
A little steam-fryalized compost is a useful thing for a gardener to have on hand. I tell how I steam-fryalize compost on my milk-can rocket stove, and provide specifications so you can make yourself a a retro-stylish milk-can rocket stove of your own (it puts all those other rocket stoves to shame).

An Introduction to Soil Remineralization
Intelligent remineralization of garden soil is the newest frontier in the quest to grow not just food, but food that is truly wholesome (nutrient dense). This subject has been 
neglected by the compost-will-solve-all-soil-problems organic movement. This chapter introduces you to the subject and directs you to good sources of further information.
An Introduction To 
Brix & Brix Testing
You can test the Brix level in the juices of the food you 
grow with an inexpensive refractometer. What is Brix 
and why would you want to test for it? 
This chapter answers those questions.

The Old Excerpts
In addition to the contents listed above, The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners has 60 excerpts from my collection of pre-1900 farm almanacs and agricultural journals. Some of the excerpts provide  historical perspective that gardeners will find interesting, while others offer useful insights. Information in the excerpts ranges from growing horseradish to keeping winter squashes.
You won't find a lot of blank space in this book. Whenever I had some extra room I filled it with quotes that offer advice, inspiration, or a bit of humor. Most of the quotes are from the "old gardeners" of days gone by.

Most how-to books have a Resources chapter at the end. This book has something better. On the last page of the book you will find out how to access the hidden online Resources web site I've put together for readers of the book. The Resources web site has lotsof additional information, links and photos.

to order a copy of 
The Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners.