RHS The Half-Hour Allotment Book Review

RHS Half Hour Allotment

Do you struggle to keep on top of your allotment? Perhaps you’re considering taking on a plot for the first time and worried it will eat into most of your leisure and family time. If so, RHS The Half-Hour Allotment is the book for you!

The half-hour allotment principle outlined in this book was dreamt up by Will Sibley, an allotment holder unwilling to give up half his life and all of his leisure time to his plot. Despite only dedicating half an hour a day to his plot with weekends off, his plot is productive and well maintained. Published by Frances Lincoln, the aim of this book is to tap into this system with expert advice from the author Lia Leendertz and the Royal Horticultural Society.

RHS The Half-Hour Allotment guides you through putting the half hour allotment principle into practise to great achieve results on as little as two and a half hours a week, perfect for those who do not have time to potter! The book also guides the reader through taking on a plot, deciding what to grow and growing the best varieties, keeping on top of your plot, wildlife and cut flowers, managing pest and diseases and targets for your first year on your plot.

The book is visually appealing with beautiful photography throughout, some of which is very inspiring. RHS The Half-Hour Allotment gives you the tools to create an allotment that can be managed in tandem with a busy life, a guilt-free plot to be proud of.

About the author:

RHS The Half-Hour Allotment is author Lia Leendertz’s first book, she also writes for The Guardian, Gardens Illustrated and The Simple Things magazines.


Charles Dowding’s Veg Journal Book Review

Charles Dowding's Veg Journal

Just before Christmas I was asked if I would like to review a copy of Charles Dowding’s Veg Journal, expert no-dig advice, month by month. Charles Dowding’s mantra of ‘little and often’ in my opinion is key to successfully maintaining or taming an allotment or vegetable patch. The book is arranged into practical monthly sections, providing simple steps and seasonal checklists to plan a year of vegetable growing that you’ll want to refer to time and time again. Crammed full of expert advice throughout, the book offers what you’d expect and more such as detailed information on growing vegetables, herbs and salad leaves successfully, monthly jobs and key dates for sowing and harvesting, tackling weeds and pests, making sweet-smelling compost, understanding the techniques used to get the most out of the space you garden with and sections explaining the no-dig approach and how it works. Charles Dowding is the UK’s leading no-dig expert.

Overall I’m very impressed with Charles Dowding’s Veg Journal, the photography throughout is utterly gorgeous and the book is compact in size (210 x 150 mm) making it easy to carry around. A sturdy hardback cover and textured pages give the book a quality feel. The colour-coded pages are useful for quick reference (green pages for ‘how to’ tips on growing vegetables, herbs and salad leaves, orange pages for information on no-dig gardening and beige pages for everything else). The monthly layout ensures no activity is overlooked and there are lined pages for you to jot down your own notes. The book is suitable for the absolute beginner while still catering for the experienced veg grower. I have a lot of books that I still dip into from time to time but only a few are firm favourites, Veg Journal now being one of them.

I’m thrilled to own a copy.

Publish date 6th February 2014 by Frances Lincoln (www.franceslincoln.com | @Frances_Lincoln) and priced £14.99. I am pleased to be able to offer my readers a copy at the discounted price of £12.00 including p&p UK only (add £2.50 to purchase price if ordering from overseas). Telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG69

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:

Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department,

Littlehampton Book Services,

PO Box 4264,

Worthing, West Sussex

BN13 3RB

Please quote the offer code APG69 and include your name and address details.

About the author:

Charles Dowding grew up on a dairy farm in Somerset. After graduating from Cambridge he worked for a hotel in the Inner Hebrides before starting to grow organic vegetables commercially on the family farm in the early 1980s. In 1990 he left behind what was by then a large market garden to live in France and Zambia. Returning to Somerset in the mid 1990s, he established a bed and breakfast and vegetable growing business at Lower Farm in Shepton Montague, Somerset. There, Charles’s salad bags were the main output from his two-acre garden of permanent raised beds and fruit trees. Charles runs vegetable-growing courses and lectures and writes books on his unique growing techniques. Since 2012 Charles has begun a new garden at in Alhampton, Somerset which he has designed using no-dig principles, and with many experiments into different ways of growing. www.charlesdowding.co.uk

With thanks to Jessica at The Aurum Publishing Group.