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The Great Vegetable Plot Hardcover – 20 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563488174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563488170
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 2.1 x 27.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Raven is a broadcaster, teacher and writer. She has made regular appearances on Gardeners' World, the BBC's flagship gardening programme; she runs her own cookery and gardening school at Perch Hill in East Sussex; and she is the author of The Cutting Garden, Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (which was the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year 2008) and Sarah Raven's Complete Christmas.


Product Description

Review

For cooks and gardeners who appreciate fresh produce but are short on time, "The Great Vegetable Plot" is an indispensable companion. Stunningly illustrated by award-winning garden photographer Jonathan Buckley.

Book Description

The ultimate guide to creating a fuss-free kitchen garden

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mike on 31 Aug 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on vegetable gardening, but not for complete beginners, as it does not have step-by-step instructions on how to set up a plot. For those starting out I would heartily recommend Joy Larkcom's superb 'Grow Your Own Vegetables' (very comprehensive but no photographs) coupled with Dr Hessayon's 'Expert' book on vegetable gardening (very well laid out but a little out of date on vegetable varieties).

But Sarah Raven's book is excellent in other ways. The colour photography is absolutely superb and will spur you on to try and grow something just as good! There is also a really excellent alphabetical section on vegetables, which stresses how important it is to choose the best varieties for taste, colour and texture. She describes her personal favourites, and also has a lot of information on propagation, planting times, successional sowing, special growing requirements and harvesting for each vegetable. The section on herbs is excellent, with lots of advice on which varieties, for example, of basil and parsley are well worth growing and which are not. For potatoes and tomatoes, she also has specific growing information for each recommended variety, for example 'Pink Fir Apple' potatoes and 'Gardener's Delight' tomatoes. As she is a former chef at River Cafe, this advice is hugely valuable.

In the rest of the book there are comprehensive sections on specific vegetables that are commonly grown, including tomatoes (very informative), peas (including growing in guttering for an early crop), potatoes, carrots, beans, etc.

This is a superb book which I use throughout the year, and is especially recommended for those who are keen to know which vegetable varieties to grow for taste, colour and texture rather than purely for size and yield.
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103 of 107 people found the following review helpful By vivsy on 15 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up as I was attracted to the fantastic pictures of Sarah Raven's enviable garden. These pictures, showing her bountiful harvets and attractively planted crops, certainly encouraged me to develop my own, much more inferior vegetable plot. But for me, it is too much of a glossy lifestyle book than a step by step guide. I got a pretty good idea of life chez Raven, with descriptions of how integral the garden is to family life, accompanied by pictures including their rustic outdoor pizza oven and artistic arrangements of borlotti beans. I found the layout confusing and heavily interspered with such pictures. Maybe that's because I am impatient and I just want to look up how to grow lettuce, with diagrams maybe, and advice on what to do if something goes wrong, which for beginners like me is likely. I'm sure there's lots of good advice in there, if you want to read it like a novel rather than a reference manual that you can dip in and out of. I have found that for growing individual vegetables, following the seed packet instructions is just as good if not better as its instructions are more succinct. This book for me will only really provide guidance on the overall arrangement of a vegetable garden when I get to the stage where I want it to look pretty and I have the time to sit down and read the text without being distracted by the pictures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sir Barnabas VINE VOICE on 19 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a keen amateur allotmenteer I was very pleased to recieve The Great Vegetable Plot as a gift from a kind relative. The book itself is a really nicely presented guide to growing your own and it has all the information that one would expect, including an A to Z of vegetables and how to grow them, a guide to companion planting and crop rotation.

Although the information contained within the book is very good and it is an excellent reference, I was slightly disappointed to find that there were no recipes ideas for your produce. However, when I came to write this review I noticed that the author has a separate Garden Cookbook, so that explains the lack of recipes in this volume, a bit of a shame really.

Another minor issue I have with the book is that, although it's obviously written as a reference book, given its glossy nature and price tag you're unlikely to want to take it out into the garden or allotment where it is likely to get grubby quickly.

Overall, a nice book that I'm sure would be appreciated by any up and coming vegetable gardener. However, if you're looking for a reference guide that you can take to the allotment without worrying too much about it getting muddy and that contains some nice recipe ideas then I would recommend something like Allotment Gardening: An Organic Guide for Beginners.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Parker on 6 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have found this book very useful for suggesting varieties of seeds to grow, spacing, crop rotation and suggestions for vegetables I would never have thought of. I only have 6square metres of veg garden which limits what you can grow and have found this full of useful tips about maximising use of space. Don't be put off by the fact that she has a huge amount of space it is full of good advice for those just starting out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Scary Sue on 15 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
I grow my own and have a number of books on the subject. I love this book mainly because I want to be Sarah Raven. Having said that I refer to it often, beacuse I find it well written and easy to follow. There are lots of books which make veg growing appear far more difficult than it is but this one is written more from the have a go school of thought, which I definitely agree with. If you are a novice gardener then there are better books but if you have gardened a bit and want to try some veg then this book with its fab pics and chatty style is a really inspirational and makes you want to get outside and create a plot to be proud of.
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