THE ORGANIC GARDEN BOOK - GEOFF HAMILTON
This book was a gift from my friend Liz, who has closely followed my adventures with taking over my late father's garden when inheriting the property two years ago and my more recent acquisition of an allotment plot.
My knowledge of fruit was limited to growing strawberries and leaving raspberry canes to do whatever they do naturally - but I have a plot with rhubarb, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries and strawberries now. This book provides the information required to care for these plants and hopefully bring large crops to our household.
Whilst not a big fan of plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes, hedges, and trees, I do need to know more about growing them. Once again, this book comes in handy with information about doing so, enabling me to replace next doors hedge with one my side of the fence after it was removed, tend to plants already in situ, and possibly purchase a few old favs in the future. I previously had more experience of Australian plants than local, also.
With vegetables being my favored garden use and now owning a plot, organic soil preparation and feeding methods are very important to learn. There is no point just tossing in the seeds and having fun seeing what comes up, as I would on a small patch of back yard. Now I have an allotment, I need to work on getting as much veg produced as possible. Once again, soil preparation, crop rotation, care and feeding of vegetables is an important matter covered well in this book.
Overall, the book is a useful reference source for soil preparation, care, propogation and pest control covering most garden features - inlcuding those I do not have such as lawns - written by a well known gardener. In fact, he is so well known, I actually recall him from the days I used to watch TV in my teens.
Whilst I would not personally apply some of the insect-murdering suggestions, the majority of the book is of great use to me - especially as I plan to be as close to nature as possible and use organic techniques and aim at growing 75% + of my own fruit and veg.