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17 messages
27/08/2014 at 12:22

Hi there,

My partner and I would like to start growing our own fruit and veg - things like tomatoes, onions, rocket, spinach, carrots, beans - all the things we regularly buy and would like to grow ourselves!

We're both total novices but have a bit of money to build some raised beds and eventually a green house.

I'd like to start small and build up as we learn more so wondered if anyone could recommend any good books for beginners? What sort of things should we be thinking about and when is the best time of year to get started



27/08/2014 at 12:48

Make a raised bed and turn over the soil, if it's grass still turn it over and bung on loads of manure, leave it till the spring, you will have a good starting point. As for books I have loads, but the "Expert" line of books is a good starting point they are a good price too. Grow what you like to eat and you wont go far wrong Goldfinch. 

27/08/2014 at 12:52

Thanks Maharg - we're lucky enough to have access to our neighbours manure pile as they keep horses so sounds like step one is to get the bed built and filled with soil and add a load of that!

Will have a look at the 'Expert' books you mention - do you have a link?


27/08/2014 at 16:19

I use the Vegetable and Herb Expert. You can often get these in Charity Shops. They may do one on fruit also.

27/08/2014 at 16:38

They do

27/08/2014 at 16:39

Thanks artjak - will have a look out for that

27/08/2014 at 16:49

Monty dons book is good for the new beginner  .

27/08/2014 at 16:56


Only probs with horse poo is It may still have viable seed in it but don't let that put you off I use what ever I can get including Horse muck. this book is one of a whole series of book on all sorts of subjects

27/08/2014 at 16:59

Thanks everyone! I can't wait to get started.

27/08/2014 at 17:03

I have the entire Hessayon collection, even though I don't arrange flowers  Great books but it does show ones age preferring those to all recent publications by TV celebs that look very similar and a maybe a tad more modern   

27/08/2014 at 17:25

I have built up a little library of garden books by going on Amazon and buying the used books, some for as little as 1p plus postage.  I rarely buy a new book.  The other good thing is if I dont really like the book after purchase it doesnt really matter, it's cost me virtually nothing and I can donate it to the charity shop.  I have found some beautiful old books with great illustrations and sound advice.

27/08/2014 at 17:31

Hi Goldfinch, Car boot and charity shops, cant go wrong,although most charity shops now have forgot why they are there, 

27/08/2014 at 17:43

My pennyworth....not often I refer to books, but two books I wouldn't like to be without are: the RHS publications  'The Fruit Garden Displayed' by Harry Baker.


*'The Vegetable Garden Displayed' by Joy Larkom.....excellent companions, whatever your experience of gardening.

*Available from Amazon for just 1p.  

27/08/2014 at 21:36

OH has just got into veg growing - he has been singing the praises of Carol Kleins grow your own veg.

28/08/2014 at 10:37

I'm puzzled  I post on a thread titled 'any good book for beginners', highlighting two excellent RHS publications on fruit & veg gardening.....the latter being available for just 1p from Amazon.....not a single reply!

I'll get me coat.

28/08/2014 at 17:09

David I think the ones of us who replied have our books already, let's see if OP responds

Hope you don't need your coat today  glorious here

28/08/2014 at 17:23
KEF wrote (see)

David I think the ones of us who replied have our books already, let's see if OP responds

Hope you don't need your coat today  glorious here

Yes, KEF......but 1 bluddy p.....I gives yer bargain of the century, and nuffin! 

Anyway, there was only 24 copies left and the lurkers would have snapped them up by now.

Think we're tweeting on the edge of a heat wave too.  

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