High-Yield Vegetable Gardening: Grow More of What You Want in the Space You Have
By Colin McCrate and Brad Halm
Published by Storey Publishing
“This book is for people who are intent on getting as much food as possible out of their gardens no matter the size of their plot”, is how authors Colin McCrate and Brad Halm introduce High-Yield Vegetable Gardening.
High-Yield Vegetable Gardening would make an ideal gift for new or beginner vegetable gardeners, or a gardener thinking of creating a vegetable garden, the book features useful advice on how to plan your vegetable garden. A few of the vegetables suggested haven’t been successfully grown in the UK, but this is to be expected with a book written by American authors. There’s a guide to making a site plan of your own garden, so you can follow the same thought processes that are featured in High-Yield Vegetable Gardening, and utilise as much space as possible in your own garden.
There’s lots of information included to help you avoid the usual mistakes that first time vegetable growers make – information on spacing your plants, successional sowings, crop rotation, information on different vegetables, herbs and fruit etc. The information in this book would help new and less experienced vegetable growers gain knowledge, as the reasoning behind each process is clearly explained.
High-Yield Vegetable Gardening has somewhat of a ‘work-book’ feel to it. It’s full of information which is clearly displayed in various tables and charts that gardeners can use and refer back to year after year. This format would be ideal for an organised gardener and equally suitable for gardeners who perhaps missed out on growing some of their favourite foods through missing the sowing times, and who are looking for tips and advice as to how to be more organised with their time and energy.
An interesting and useful feature of this book is the high yield garden profiles, which are plans, based on real gardens, that the authors have helped to design and implement by working with the gardeners who live at each of the various properties. Each garden profile is very different, with varying sizes and shapes of garden, and gardeners who all have different aspirations and goals of what they hope to achieve from gardening on their plots. Examples are given from the gardeners in these individual case studies throughout the book. These case studies are very useful for the reader as additional information, considerations and ideas are conveyed clearly in an interesting format.
The Crop Amount Worksheets will help the gardener to visualise the quantity of vegetables that they and their family wish to eat over a season. The worksheets feature a guide as to how often to sow seeds to meet their individual requirements, and information on how much seed to sow at each sowing. There are spaces on the worksheets for you to fill in the amount of each vegetable you require, so you can refer back each year and decide whether to increase or decrease your seed sowing for each vegetable. The worksheets are a very useful feature, they would really benefit anyone wishing to go from small scale to large scale vegetable growing, a first time allotment gardener or a gardener taking on an additional allotment.
There’s plenty of advice and tips on creating your own records – planting calendars, worksheets etc to maximise your efficiency. Readers will also find useful information about seed storage and how long seeds remain viable. There is advice and directions for growing your own sprouting seeds and micro greens, including information and guidance on what seeds to use for these growing methods.
The section on fertility and cultural requirements will help new and more experienced gardeners provide their vegetable plants with the nutrients they require. The information and advice about which vegetables to grow on and then transplant, and which vegetables to sow directly will be very useful and beneficial for new vegetable growers.
High-Yield Vegetable Gardening contains lots of advice on all aspects of vegetable growing: from starting seeds off inside and creating your own nursery, with advice on lighting, watering, heating, seed trays etc, to monitoring pests and diseases in glasshouses, to avoiding and controlling diseases that might affect your seedlings, to advice on how best to support your plants, information on different irrigation systems, advice on weeding and mulching, through to information on how best to store your harvest.
High-Yield Vegetable Gardening would be a super book for a family to use together; vegetable gardening is a fun activity to share with family and friends, and the knowledge gained from growing your own vegetables together is a lovely and fun way to help develop lots of key skills – English and writing, maths etc. High-Yield Vegetable Gardening is a great guide to help you maximise the productivity of your garden, providing useful information for both new and more experienced vegetable growers. If you’re new to vegetable growing you’ll find this new book both useful and informative.
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To find out more about Colin McCrate and Brad Halm’s book High-Yield Vegetable Gardening, which is published by Storey Publishing, please click here.
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For gardening advice and tips of what you could do in your garden, or at your allotment from mid-May to mid-June, please click here.
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