Veg Journal: Expert No-Dig Advice, Month by Month – Charles Dowding – (2014, Frances Lincoln, The Quarto Group (Paperback 2017))
What a fun, yet practical little book! Veg Journal boasts ample space to record notes and gardening to-do lists every week of the year, interspersed with beautiful photographs and detailed advice and tips on growing more than 35 edible crops, as well as how to tackle tasks such as composting, dealing with pests, and constructing a raised bed. Although the book is written by a U.K. gardening expert, the information and the journal feature remains appealing for all readers, regardless of where they garden.
I am giving away a copy of Veg Journal! If you are interested in winning it, please let me know in the comments below. The contest is open now until midnight (MST) on Monday, September 10. Giveaway is open to all. I’ll let the winner know in a post on Flowery Prose the very next day. The winner must agree to email me your mailing address so I can ship the book out to you. Good luck to everyone!
*The Quarto Group generously provided me with a review copy of Veg Journal. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.
The importance of labeling garden things (plants, seed packets, fertilizer containers, and those assorted parts and pieces for the lawnmower that mysteriously are not currently installed on the machine) cannot be overstated. I believe I have stressed it in more than one article that I’ve written.
This is me clearly railing against my own decent, sound, and meaningful advice: here is a photo of a nasturtium (the super common but super pretty ‘Jewel Mix’) that I grew this year in the community garden. Trouble is, I also grew the even more lovely ‘Ladybird Cream Purple Spot’ and now that they’re all finished blooming, I’m collecting seed for next year. Guess what I didn’t do before all the flowers were spent?
Oh well. I’ll have a fantastic collection of ‘Jewel Ladybird Cream Purple Spot Mix’ for the 2018 gardening season. It will be awesome.
What is your labeling practice in the garden? And do you grow nasturtiums? If you do, which cultivars are your favourites?
There’s still snow on the ground here, although there have been sightings in the area of crocus foliage (not in my garden, sadly – although I’ve been going out every morning to take a look, just in case something’s changed overnight. Nope, just snow). It doesn’t matter. I’ve already ordered some seeds and I’ve got the veggie garden all mapped out (Version 8.0 or thereabouts – we all know I’ll be revising until the very day I plant, especially if the seed catalogues keep coming!).
And I’ve been looking at a few new books. I was sent a copy of Joyce and Ben Russell’s Build a Better Vegetable Garden: 30 DIY Projects to Improve Your Harvest (2017, Frances Lincoln Limited/Quarto, London) for review and it hasn’t left my desk…I keep picking it up and browsing through it. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a newbie, there are projects in here that can get you growing in no time: setting up a raised hoop tunnel, designing and constructing a raised bed, building your own wooden planters, creating a cold frame, or making a trellis for climbing beans. Other projects you may not have immediately thought of include making your own seed trays (and dibber!), a storage rack for your tools, a wire support for raspberries, a handy trug, a cabinet with trays for drying the harvest, and a beautiful decorative obelisk. The best part about this book is you don’t need to be a certified woodworker or carpenter to do any of these projects. You don’t need specialized tools (most can be done with a basic drill, a couple of types of saws, some hand tools and hardware you can easily pick up and afford). Nearly all of the projects are made from wood. And the instructions are straightforward, easy to understand, and very clearly photographed so you’re not guessing at any stage of the project. I am the least crafty person I know, and I have confidence I could undertake most of these projects without making a huge mess of them (or losing a limb in the process). 😉 I really think this book would be a fantastic gift for a new gardener or homeowner – and it would be extremely useful for anyone setting up a community garden or allotment as well. Highly recommended (and that’s my honest opinion!).
Do you have any recommendations for gardening books that have you feeling excited and inspired as you plan (or dig in) for the new season? Tell me what you’ve been poring over, I’d love to hear!