If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a keen grow-your-own gardener, this Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Vegetable & Fruit Gardening book, edited by Michael Pollock, might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s attractively laid out, and full of great photograpy and essential information.
The first part of the book covers all the main principles of growing edible plants, which includes soil types and nutrients, garden planning, equipment, weed control, irrigation and more.
There’s also a very useful guide to average crop yields, a calendar of seasonal tasks, a crop planner, and a troubleshooting section.
It also has extensive sections devoted to vegetables, culinary herbs, and fruits. Each of these respective sections is split into subtypes, with full growing instructions and advice for hundreds of different crops.
For example, the Fruit section is further divided into all the tree fruits, the soft fruits, grape vines and tender fruits. It covers most of the British classics, loads of plant varieties that have been tried and tested and won RHS Awards of Garden Merit, and some new and/or unusual plants that not everyone will have heard of.
As a whole, the book provides an extensive reference for the fruit and vegetable gardener. The index is really well collated, so you can use it to look up all sorts of stuff in a hurry. It’s also something that you can leaf through, section by section, at leisure if you’re in search of inspiration.
To sum up: This is the daddy of the edible gardening handbooks. Be warned though, it will make you want to grow far, far more fruit and vegetables than you have room for in your garden.
The hardback version of RHS Vegetable and Fruit Gardening has an RRP of £20.00, but is currently on offer for £12.80 with free delivery at Amazon UK.