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A list of books on gardening and allotmenteering that people have found useful, and a brief description or reason why we like them!

  • "The Great Vegetable Plot" Sarah Raven.

Synopsis (taken from Amazon)

"The Great Vegetable Plot" is Sarah Raven's new guide to growing vegetables for all keen cooks and any level of gardener. In it, she demonstrates how to plan and plant your plot, recommends the best vegetables to grow and eat and gives clear instructions on how to cultivate them using minimum input to get maximum reward. Divided into 3 sections, the book shows you what and what not to grow and the basic principles and techniques to help you achieve this. It is a landmark Gardeners' World branded book, bringing the principles of simplicity and speed to the vegetable plot as well as including delicious food pictures to illustrate why it's worth growing your own. Illustrated with over 250 photographs by the award-winning photographer Jonathan Buckley, the book is a stylish and practical guide to vegetable gardening, and a companion volume to Sarah's previous title, "Grow Your Own Cut Flowers".

  • "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" Edward C Smith

Synopsis (taken from Amazon)

Outlines a gardening system that uses wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deeply dug soil to produce high yields with less work.

  • "Beds" Pauline Pears

Synopsis (taken from Amazon)

This gardening guide provides advice on planning layouts, selecting what to grow, crop rotation and weed control.

  • "The Self-Sufficient Gardener" John Seymour

  • "Grow your own Vegetables" Joy Larckom

Synopsis (taken from Amazon) This guide contains everything you need to know to create a highly-productive, beautiful vegetable plot. Joy Larkom's easy-to-follow advice covers every aspect of vegetable gardening, including preparing and looking after soil; manures, composts and fertilizers; growing techniques; pests, diseases and weeds; protection; and planning and making good use of space. The second half of the book provides cultivation information for over 100 vegetables, including site and soil requirements, cultivation, pests and diseases, and cultivars. Comprehensively revised, the book now includes unusual vegetables from the increasingly wide range available today, new varieties and modern techniques, and up-to-date research. It addresses the concerns of 21st-century gardeners and is totally organic in its approach.

  • "The Complete Book of Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit" Biggs, McVicar & Flowerdew

  • "The River Year Book" Fearnley-Whittinstall

  • "Gardeners' World: Practical Gardening" Geoff Hamilton

Book Description (taken from Amazon)

Written by Geoff Hamilton, presenter of Gardeners’ World for 17 years, the book marks the culmination of his long and distinguished gardening and writing career. Packed with Geoff’s practical advice, based on tried-and-tested Barnsdale methods, Gardeners’ World Practical Gardening Course makes the ideal gardening reference book, taking both new and more experienced gardeners through all the skills needed to create and maintain a glorious garden. Subjects covered include-

    • Basic equipment and garden design
    • Understanding plant needs and planting for year-round colour
    • Soil fertility and lawns
    • Containers
    • Water gardening and alpine gardening
    • Greenhouses, vegetables, fruit and herbs
    • Hard landscaping
    • Recognising and controlling pests and diseases

All the projects are illustrated with step-by-step colour photographs and are made simple with the help of clear, informative text. Gardeners’ World Practical Gardening Course has all the essential advice you will ever need to help you in the garden.

  • "The square foot garden" Mel Bartholomew

Synopsis (taken from Amazon)

A new edition of the classic gardening handbook details a simple yet highly effective gardening system, based on a grid of one-foot by one-foot squares, that produces big yields with less space and with less work than with conventional row gardens.

  • "The new seed starters handbook" Nancy Bubel

Synopsis (taken from Amazon)

Describes the advantages of starting seeds indoors, discusses containers, growing media, light, and water, and tells how to transplant young plants into the garden.

  • "The Vegetable Expert" Dr DG Hessayon

  • "Fruit and its Cultivation" TW Sanders

  • "Self Sufficiency" John & Sally Seymour

  • "Planning The Organic Vegetable Garden" Dick Kitto

Complicated cropping plans etc, but some good sense in there.

  • "Organic Kitchen and Garden" Ysanne Spevack, Michael Lavelle and Christine Lavelle

  • "The Ornamental Kitchen Garden" Geoff Hamilton

  • "The ABC of Vegetable Gardening" W.E. Shewell-Cooper

  • "The Half Hour Allotment" Lia Leendertz (RHS)

Has lots of suggestions on how to pick what's important to you and concentrate on that. The half hour concept is that a well managed allotment can be kept in production in a few hours work a week (after you've cleared and prepared it!). Has an excellent section on how much of each vegetable to grow, which varieties give best flavour or interest. May be focused on the absolute beginner but I've found it good to read.

  • "The New Kitchen Garden" Adam Caplain

Synopsis (taken from Amazon) This is an innovative work that brings together organic gardening and imaginative vegetarian cookery. The down-to-earth gardening advice from Adam Caplin has been combined with delicious recipes from Celia Brooks Brown, both experts in their fields.

And this from (Mojolondon)

No matter what you cook, every recipe is improved by the use of fresh organic fruits, vegetables, or herbs. With the New Kitchen Garden, your menu needn’t be dictated by the whims of your local grocery store. Award—winning gardener Adam Caplin shows how easy it is to create your own kitchen garden, even if all the space you have is a small patio or rooftop. Acclaimed food writer Celia Brooks Brown then takes you from out in the yard to in by the stove with 35 special recipes to turn your fresh produce into a satisfying meal. Whether you’re a would—be cook who likes to garden, or a cook who’d like more control over your ingredients, New Kitchen Garden offers more than just food for thought.

  • "The Allotment Chronicles: A Social History of Allotment Gardening" Steve Poole

This book is the result of 20 years of painstaking research. It goes back to the start of allotments around the 1760s, a movement which resulted from the effects of the Land Enclosure acts on the poor. It details the slow initial progress in the face of opposition from landowners and farmers, through to the explosion in popularity that occurred during the First and Second World Wars, and on up to the present day. It is an excellent read for those who are interested in the history of allotments.