Book Review: Charles Dowding's Vegetable Journal
After a very brief introduction, we're straight into January and setting up for the coming growing season. February sets out the argument for the no-dig approach and March deals with the types of beds, plus their pros and cons. April sees the creation of our no-dig beds. We're also into the growing season proper at this point, with the growing of each crop introduced at the appropriate sowing time. Woven into the mix are various general information articles on weeds, pest control, crop rotation etc.
Each month is completed with a list of jobs, plus there are blank pages inserted at various points for the reader to keep their own notes and for the book to be in keeping with its title. As with most journals of this type, most growers will probably need more space, particularly if they want to keep detailed notes of harvests, or comparison of dig vs no-dig as Charles does. I'm considering using Post-it notes on these pages so that I'll have more space.
I'd say this is a book suitable for beginners who've just taken on a plot of their own, or for intermediate gardeners who are keen to try the no-dig approach for the first time. If you already have a copy of Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way or his Vegetable Course, then you already have most of the information to hand.
This is well-produced and thought out hardback - the others I've mentioned are paperback - with plentiful illustrations and lots of tables detailing Charles's results. The move to Frances Lincoln is suiting him well.
NB Charles has been rather modest by not taking the opportunity to mention his detailed no-dig website, complete with forum, courses and a host of other goodies. I'm very happy to oblige with a link from here.
Would you like your own copy of Charles Dowding's Veg Journal?
As well as receiving my review copy from the publisher, there's an extra copy up for grabs for anyone reading this who's based in the UK or EU. Simply leave me a Comment below, making sure I have enough information to contact you should you be the lucky winner.
After the closing date (26th January) I'll be in touch with the winner to grab your details to send to the publishing company so they can send out your copy.
Alternatively, I can offer you Charles Dowding's Veg Journal at the discounted price of £12.00 including p&p* (RRP: £14.99). Telephone 01903 828503, or email them and quote the offer code APG69.
OR, send a cheque made payable to: Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, and send it to: Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3RB. Please quote the offer code APG69 and include your name and address details.
* = UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
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My VP's VIPs interview with Charles Dowding from 2 years ago. Note that since then he's moved to nearby Homeacres and started from scratch again. Results from his first year there look good.