How to Create a new Vegetable Garden – Book Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

How to Create a new Vegetable Garden
Producing a beautiful and fruitful garden from scratch
by Charles Dowding
Published by Green Books, 12th February 2015
Hardcover,  224 pages, 23.5 x 16.5 x 1.8 cm
ISBN: 978-0857842442

How to Create a new Vegetable GardenCharles Dowding draws on his years of experience to show how easy it is to start a new vegetable garden. Any plot – whether a building site, overgrown with weeds or unwanted lawn – can be turned into a beautiful and productive vegetable area.

In his foreword to the book Steve Mercer, former journalist for Which? Gardening magazine, says: “Charles has had years of experience growing his own veg (not forgetting fruit and ornamentals) and his advice is founded on his experimental approach to growing, which is the real strength of his latest book. It doesn't just provide advice on starting your own veg plot, but also documents in detail the first year in his own new garden. If there are alternative techniques for clearing land and building fertility, you can be sure Charles has tried them – as you would expect of a teacher and experimenter.”

This is a great book in which the author leads the reader step by step, with every chapter, from planning to running a garden, through the task of establishing a new vegetable garden from scratch, with all different methods and findings presented in a very understandable way, covering all the possible aspects and stages and various different ways of creating and establishing a new vegetable garden (from scratch) via using as example his own experiences and trials establishing a new at Newacres. Not that I would have expected anything less from Mr Dowding.

While this book, or should I better call it manual, is more or less aimed at those starting a new vegetable garden those of us who have an established garden can learn a great deals for it as well, especially as regards to the “no dig method” of gardening for which he is famous.

He proves in this book that there is no plot of land too wild to tame, nor does anyone have all the answers – if you have but a vision then this book will give you the helpful hints and tips to save you time as well as giving you the confidence to have a go and find your own solutions.

Charles Dowding won the 2014 Garden Media Guild Practical Journalist of the Year award. He has written several books including, Organic Gardening, Salad Leaves for all Seasons, How to Grow Winter Vegetables and Gardening Myths and Misconceptions. He is the leading authority on no-dig gardening as well as a gardening writer. He also grows vegetables commercially and runs popular courses for amateur gardeners.

This is yet another book that I would love to be able to give six out of five, but alas, as said so often, as this does not compute it will have to be five out of five. And let's add a star for good measure even though that, once again, does probably not work either. This is yet another book that will, as a manual, be on my bookshelf, but it will sure spend more in my hand than on the shelf, I should guess.

© 2015