Book Review : Veg Journal by Charles Dowding

This comprehensive manual from 'the UK's leading expert' on no-dig growing of organic crops is aimed at those with an allotment and plenty of time on their hands to invest the effort to make no-dig gardening work, or others who just want a couple of vegetable beds in their back garden. I say that because I've tried no-dig beds on my allotment at a time when I was still working, and just didn't have the time to build up the beds with compost and keep the edges weed and slug free. You can read more information about my attempt by clicking disadvantages of raised beds.

If you are just about to launch yourself on the choppy sea of your first vegetable beds, Charles Dowding's book is required reading and probably the only book you'll need to buy. It comprehensively covers a wide number of topics and formats. There's a chapter per month detailing jobs. There's also a tiny bit of note space... take my advice and use post it notes, moving them at the end of the year to a blank notebook so you can add new titbits in the journal for the following year.

Each month also includes several topics on everything from growing specific vegetables to tackling weeds and developing your no-dig project. How about working with the moon or companion planting? The book is highly practical, including plans for building raised beds or saving your own seeds. There's a comprehensive index at the back of the book so you can easily find any of the articles.

Some of the advice is backed up by solid evidence from the author's own experience in the form of charts. For example, there's a chart to compare produce from both dig and no-dig beds, showing the increase from the latter, as well as comparisons between crops grown with various bought and self produce growing mediums.

So the book is good value at the discounted price of £12.00 including p&p* (RRP £14.99), order directly from the publishers by calling 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG69. 

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to Littlehampton Book Services to...

Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department,
PO Box 4264, 
Worthing, West Sussex 
BN13 3RB. 

Quote the offer code APG69 and include your name and address details.

The publishers are Frances Lincoln.

* UK ONLY - Add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

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