Book review – Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots by Andrea Bellamy
Published by Timber Press
Andrea Bellamy, the author of Small-Space Vegetable Gardens, wrote this book to create a helpful resource and inspiration for new gardeners; it’s the book she wished she had read as a beginner gardener. I love this sentiment and Andrea’s desire to encourage others to garden and grow food, in the smallest of spaces.
‘Small-Space Vegetable Gardens’ contains lots of ideas for extending your gardening area by both maximising your existing space and also commandeering additional gardening space by finding new areas to use and garden locally. I love this idea! There’s realistic advice on the pros and cons of taking on each suggested area, which is a great addition to this section.
As well as thinking about expanding their gardening territory, the author encourages readers to work with what is already available on their site, helping new gardeners to think creatively to make best use of what they have. This book shares small-space growing techniques, such as maximising your space using vertical gardening, cut and come again crops and growing winter vegetables to maximise harvest. There’s good advice on the importance of planning prior to planting, to ensure that every plant earns its space, and every space is used wisely. There’s also a large section at the back of the book with comprehensive information on different types of vegetables, herbs and fruit to grow, with relevant information and advice for each crop.
The author gives advice on building raised beds and applying sheet mulching; there’s information on composting, fertilisers, sowing seeds, how to harden off young plants and then transplant them, the tools to use and advice on watering. There’s a trouble-shooting guide, as well as advice on saving seeds, taking cuttings and information about the garden pests that might be encountered. The disease section of the book is accompanied by clear photographs, which will inspire confidence to inexperienced gardeners.
‘Small-Space Vegetable Gardens’ is an ideal book for beginner gardeners, there are lots of tips and advice on how to get started and plan your garden, together with lots of inspirational photos of lovely and delicious vegetables growing in small spaces. This book would be an ideal present for a beginner gardener, or for an inexperienced gardener starting out with their first garden or allotment.
Andrea Bellamy is an American author, she gives lots of advice in this book that is relevant or interesting for the British gardener, UK gardeners would know not to worry about the threat of groundhogs or raccoons to their gardens! For the most part the transition from American to British is easy; one exception I noted is the author’s advice for controlling Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), simply covering it with thick plastic or old carpet. New gardeners may not realise that this advice is not appropriate or effective in the UK. In the UK Japanese Knotweed is an invasive weed that spreads rapidly, it’s difficult to remove and control, even with professional help and herbicides, and swift action is necessary once you have identified it in your area. In the UK legislation covers Japanese Knotweed’s control, for more information, please see the following links:
Other articles that may interest you…….
To read my book review of The Chinese Kitchen Garden by Wendy Kiang-Spray, please click here.
To read my review of Ann Ralph’s book, ‘Grow A Little Fruit Tree’, please click here.
To read my review of ‘The One-pot Gourmet Gardener’ by Cinead McTernan, please click here.
To read my review of Craig LeHoullier’s book, ‘Epic Tomatoes – how to select and grow the best varieties of all time’, please click here.
To read my review of Joel Karsten’s book ‘Straw Bale Gardens Complete’, please click here.
To read about Daffodils, please click here.
For information on using decorative features in your bottle garden or terrarium, please click here.
For advice and ideas if you’re Gardening on a Budget, please click here.