You are hereCharles Dowding's Vegetable Course Book
Charles Dowding's Vegetable Course Book
Published in March 2012
Reprinted February 2013
In Germany as "Gemusegartnern wie die Profis", www.blv.de 2013
Charles Dowding's Vegetable Course
Frances Lincoln £16.99
Since beginners and experienced gardeners alike are finding good results from no dig methods and all the other advice I give about the importance of correct sowing dates, especially for reducing damage by pests, keeping clear of weeds and so forth, I have distilled the essence of my courses and ideas into this book.
It is not a complete grow your own manual (what book is!) but explaims how to create and maintain the basics of a successful and productive plot for, ultimately, less effort.
A reader's comment, from Leana Pooley: "I bought your Vegetable Course book the other day and I'm so impressed by how clear and interesting it is. The combination of photos and simple, well-written text is wonderful. I don't remember any other gardening book which has a picture of a weed such as a bramble and a lucid paragraph telling you not only how to get rid of it but how much effort it will take to eradicate it entirely."
Gardens Illustrated 03.12, by Stephanie Donaldson
Book Review Rob Foster for
Simply Vegetables, Narional Vegetable Society magazine, Autumn 2012.
I was very sceptical when I started to review this book, not another gardener with muck and magic ideas. I could not have been more wrong. It was so refreshing to read a book written by an obviously knowledgeable gardener without any indoctrination. The first thing I noticed was no self-aggrandizing picture on the front of the book, always a good sign. This book sets about showing how to look after your plots with the minimum amount of effort and in an environmentally friendly way. Charles, like a lot of gardeners, realises that when you are in the garden you are standing on the rooftop of another wonderful world, a world we need to protect. Charles is a big advocator of the ‘no dig method’ and as he says in his book “fewer weeds grow on undisturbed soil”. He also dispels gardening myths with some sound sensible information.
There are chapters on all aspects of managing your kitchen garden or allotment, controlling weeds, including pictures for easy identification with the key advice ‘little and often’ and how to use tools correctly. There is also a very useful chapter on organic matter, fertilisers and making your own compost. Crop rotation is given once again with sound advice and as he says “it is not always practical”. He also, very skilfully, explains how to water plants, which is not an easy subject. He bravely goes on to write about gardening with the moon in a sensible unbiased way. I could go on as there is so much more.
This book is essential reading to gardeners of all abilities. The advice given is honest, truthful and fresh without trying to impress its readers and that is what makes this book so impressive. It is the best all round garden book I have read in years and worth every penny of the cover price. This is definitely no ordinary run of the mill book and should be on every gardener’s bookshelf even if you have to beg, steal or borrow it.
Rob Foster FNVS
RHS dip. City and Guilds Masters
Garden writer and broadcaster.
REVIEW in RHS The Garden, January 2013
"The less glamorous side of growing your own is fully explained, including improving soil, weeds and weeding, and garden composting. This is a serious and practical manual, with handy charts. It is not for those who just dream about wafting through a potager with a trug.
I recommend this book, particularly for those who want to take their home-grown production to the next level. If a menu of salads all year round, and a helpful of intercroppinbg and second cropping appeals, then this is the book for you."
by Liz Dobbs, writer and former editor of Gardens Monthly