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Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:58 am
by Rosendula
I'm growing increasingly dissatisfied with my collection of gardening books. The ones that give instructions about growing fruit & veg are a bit useless on the organic side of things, telling me to spray with this, that and the other. The only places I can find anything relating to organic growing is in my herb books, which only give a little bit of info, and don't talk about vegetables and fruit. So I'm hoping to get one that satisfies me.

I have the Vegetable Expert. I like the layout, the way the information is presented. What I don't like is the advice in it, and I don't feel the author is on the same wavelength as me. He seems to sell his books on the basis of his qualifications and proclaiming himself to be an 'expert' and gives the impression that he is all about dominating nature rather than working with it. The dates he tells us to sow things are often different to what it says on seed packets, which is a bit confusing. And we're told to store things in plastic bags in the refridgerator for up to two weeks - just like what supermarkets tell us. The guy obviously is just a part-timer when it comes to growing food.

Oh flip! This wasn't meant to be a rant. :oops: But if you see where I'm coming from, and can recommend an organic version of the Veg. Expert, I would be grateful.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:10 am
by Clara

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:28 am
by Helsbells
I like "How to grow organic vegetables in containers...anywhere" By Eileen Logan. Though you would probaby find it a bit basic. I also like "Grow your own Veg" By Carol Klein.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:17 am
by Rosendula
I've heard of Jekka McVicar. I have a herb book by her which is really good. :thumbleft: I never thought to look up authors!

I think what I'll do is look up all of the ones suggested on this thread and read the synopsisisisis, then those that appeal to me I'll look up on our library catalogue to see what I can get my hands on to try before I buy, like SusieGee suggests.

Thanks for replies so far.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:20 pm
by lazyspice
Another vote for Carol Klein's "Grow Your Own Veg" here :thumbright:

We started from scratch with very little practical knowledge and have found that one very useful.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:04 pm
by wolfsong
may i recommend the many books by Bob Flowerdew? good layout, and he tells you how to deal with excesses of various things... although if you buy EVERY book, you may find a few repetitions.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:03 am
by Rosendula
Thanks all! :cheers: I've been looking up the titles on Amazon to read the blurbs and reviews. So far I think the HDRA book seems to be nearest what I'm looking for. I'm not a beginner gardener. I've only been doing allotments for about 18 months, but before that I was growing fruit in my garden, veg in containers, etc., etc., and when I was a teenager I had a Saturday job on a market garden. Even in the days when I had no garden, I managed to grow a few things on the windowsill and spent free time reading about gardening on a bigger scale. So it's not really the 'how to get started' stuff I need, it's more the 'what can I do about this problem without using chemicals' that I'm looking for. Although it might not be a problem soon as the old frat on the next plot said he's going pour Roundup on my patch :cussing: I'm thinking of digging a moat around it. Do you think I can get some tax-payer money to help out? :lol: No, seriously, a ditch between me and him will not only keep him off it will help prevent the spread of weeds from his side to mine and help with drainage. What were we talking about again? :lol:

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:07 pm
by MuddyWitch
Rosey, go on a hunt in charity shops & the like and see if you can find just about any of the late Geoff Hamilton's titles. He was a master of speaking in simple language with-out patronising & I find his books invaluable even after all this time. He had a knack of combining basic info for beginners with enough for those of us with more compost under our finger nails to find his ideas interesting & informative too.

MW

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:06 am
by JillStephens7
I like Jekka's herb book too :thumbright:

I have Carol Klein's Grow your own veg which I like but might but might be a bit basic for you?

Bob Flowerdew's Organic Bible has a LOT on general advice for organic garening, garden layout etc. so might not be what you're after if you want a reference book for particular veg. It's a good book but I find it more of a bedtime read than something I go to to look up about particular plants (if that makes any sense) as it's quite big and wordy.

Nearly all of my gardening books are from charity shops. In particular there's an Oxfam bookshop near me which always has a good range in.
Oh and I think CAT always have really interesting books, you could try their online shop for ideas http://store.cat.org.uk/

x

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:55 pm
by sortanormalish
I am not a novice gardener either, so I was amused when my mother-in-law (she was trying to be nice) gave me a copy of The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour. I believe this book has been available on your side for a while, but it is very new here. For me at least, it gave a slightly different perspective on how gardening can be done and cleaned up a few problems that I had been fiddling with for years. (Even organic gardening in American tends to borrow heavily from the industrial farm method, don't know about your lot.) It may be that there is nothing in that book that will help you. But if like me, you have tried all the new stuff and it isn't working, this may be a good book to look at. Sometimes to fix a garden problem you have to think in terms fo going back to basics, start over and sort it right the first time. As I like to call it, the "OK, d---it, what worked for grandma?" approach.

Also, I would like to vote for the HDRA, I actually use the version suited best for my continent, but the Amazon preview pages look almost identical and on some subjects they are. My copy is very worn, and it has been worth ever penny of the $38.97 plus sales tax I paid for it.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:26 pm
by sarahkeast
Big fan of Bob Flowerdew and also Alan titchmarsh, cant go too far wrong with either.

Just found the HDRA on Amazon Used for under £5 plus shipping

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listin ... ition=used

Just ordered a copy, hope you get the other bargain priced one.

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:53 am
by bonniethomas06
Rosey, check out Monty Don's 'The Complete Gardener'. Fab veggie stuff. Also a section on herbs and chickens, and a little bit on flowers (ok, you cant eat them but they are soul food!)

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:05 am
by red
Geoff Hamilton's the organic gardening. (make sure you buy the British version.. i bought a 2nd hand copy and it is aimed at USA - which is not ideal if you dont have their climate, and the names of plants are all different)

Re: Recommend an organic gardening book please

Posted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:53 pm
by sortanormalish
:lol: :lol: I got the Geof Hamilton second hand as well, but I got the British version.