The Veggie Grower’s Bible by Lorraine Burn: a reviewPosted by Fiona Nevile in General care, Vegetables | 10 comments
One of the many pleasures of writing this blog is that sometimes I’m sent a cookery or gardening book to review. This feeds my reading habit and introduces me to masses of new ideas. I don’t review every book I am sent as I prefer to write about the books that I have particularly enjoyed.
I was intrigued when Lorraine Burn emailed me about her book. I checked out her website. She writes
“Borne of frustration, the many books I read all had lots and lots of beautiful pictures but never told me everything I needed for one particular plant and how I too could grow with such stunning results. The old faithfuls, which do give you all the information you need took a long time to read and were very heavy! The scraps of paper which I wrote to take with me had always disappeared by the time I got there!
So, this book was designed to accompany me down on my allotment, in my pocket, to remind me just how far apart those seedlings needed to be – at a quick glance!”
As you know I’ve trodden mud into our carpets many a time when I come creeping into the cottage for plant spacing guides etc. Even though I have got the Sloppas now what I really needed was a little book of on the spot advice that would give me quick answers and save me trekking back to the cottage. Lorraine’s book sounded promising.
The Veggie Grower’s Bible is small enough to be slipped in a pocket for instant reference on an allotment or in the kitchen garden. There is much more to this book than sowing calendars and plant spacing. Twenty years of allotment growing and experience have been poured into its 167 pages. There is information and advice on soil and fertilising, crop rotation (with plans) and companion planting. There’s a section for pests and diseases and even a chart of the vitamin content of vegetables.
Lorraine gives detailed information on growing over fifty different vegetables. This includes ease of growing, watering, particular pests and diseases, preferred site, soil preparation, spacing, plant to plate time, sowing and harvesting. I particularly enjoyed her tips for each vegetable. She uses a very clever system of symbols so that information can be noted at a glance.
A misprint in the book made me chuckle – in the section that deals with herbs to attract pollinators and repel unwanted insect visitors, brassicas has been put in the wrong box. So it reads plant mint to attract brassicas – I imagined hundreds of Brussels sprouts plants drifting from the sky into the kitchen garden!
Incidentally I found the herbal companion planting section fascinating and will definitely be trying it out this year. Apparently mint repels Carrot fly, Flea beetle, Cabbage fly, aphids and ants. I’ve also read somewhere else that mint repels mice and rats – so some planted amongst the peas might be an idea this year.
The Veggie Grower’s bible is a comprehensive book. The more I handle it the more I like it. I kept on finding extra tips and information and with this in my pocket I will save loads of time and hopefully avoid blunders in the kitchen garden. All but the most experienced of vegetable gardeners would find this guide extremely useful.
You can buy a copy of Lorraine’s book direct from the homepage of her website www.veggiegrowersbible.com. At £5.99 I reckon that it’s a real bargain.
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