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The Half-hour Allotment (Royal Horticultural Society) [Hardcover]

Lia Leendertz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Book Description

1 May 2006 Royal Horticultural Society
This practical and inspirational handbook is aimed at the new generation of gardeners who want to enjoy the taste and health benefits of growing their own food, but who have little time to spare. Expert advice and innovative techniques show you how to grow the right quantities of the fruit and vegetables you love, and enjoy the satisfactions of tending an allotment or vegetable garden without becoming a slave to your plot. Tested by fruit-grower Will Sibley and author Lia Leendertz on their own allotments, these methods will enable you to get the best results in half an hour per day, or even less.

The book covers all aspects of allotmenteering and vegetable gardening, including the practicalities of obtaining and maintaining a site, choosing what to grow, designing the plot and advanced projects such as building paths and shelters. A section on harvesting, storing and cooking shows you what to do when your crop is ripe and ready.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln; 1 edition (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711226059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711226050
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 1.8 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


I would recommend this book to anyone who is tempted to take on an allotment, whether they are short of time to spend on it or not. . . good value for money and will be referred to again and again. (Gardens Illustrated)

Full of ideas for how to cut down the time you need to spend on your plot while still aiming for top-class results. (Pippa Greenwood Daily Mirror)

Easy to follow and eminently practical. (BBC Countryfile)

About the Author

Lia Leendertz studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, and writes for various publications including the Guardian and The Garden.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Everyone wants an allotment these days, and quite right too. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different ideas but I like it 7 Aug 2006
Most modern veg gardening books tend to go over the same stuff and offer the same old advice but this one looks at things from a different angle. It gives good basic information for new growers and plenty of encouragement but some of the advice (buying plants as opposed to sowing seed yourself for instance) is fairly unusuall and it shows the pros and cons of both the old and their new methods.

Interesting, even though I don't agree with a few of their ideas
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best gardening book I've read in ages 12 Feb 2007
Verified Purchase
I liked this book lots. It's full of practical advice, principally for allotment holders, but the ideas can be applied to your garden.

Some of it so obvious you think 'why didn't I do this before?'

The crux of the book is that you dedicate 30 mins, 5 days a week to your allotment/garden, with weekends off. Or you dedicate the same time, 2.5 hours at weekends.

It advises that you plan what you do with your time, and you grow high value crops, as opposed to the run of the mill variety you can get in your local shops.

I've been gardening for years, but haven't done much with fruit and veg, so this year I'm applying what I've read. So far, the results have been encouraging with far less guilt, stress and strains.

Almost anyone can find 30 mins, and on a regular basis it can make a big impact on almost any plot.

Great book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
So many people take an allotment plot on with great intentions - then realise the commitment and aren't able to keep it up. This book provides all the information that could be needed to manage your plot in minimum time. This means it's not necessarily for everyone - those who are able to spend long days on their plot may not feel that it's applicable to them. But I'd suggest that the book still contains plenty of hints, tips and advice on how to get the best from your plot.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best investment a new plotholder can make 11 Mar 2008
We had an allotment previously for five years which we had to give up for various reasons - not least the amount of work involved. We now have a new plot and even with all our previous experience - or perhaps because of it- I have found this book an invaluable resource. I know we want to get it right from the start this time and I have a pretty good idea where we went wrong last time, but even so seeing it all explained so clearly and in such a well structured way as it is in this book has really given me a lot of confidence in the systems we're putting in place and the information I need to do it.

Yes, the bit about using plug plants is a bit controversial but eminently sensible arguments are given for doing so. If you don't want to follow every word of advice in the book of course you don't have to - but at least you're asked to think through the decisions you're making in terms of effort put in and what you'll get back. We've put gooseberries in which aren't recommended but we love them and are happy to put in a bit more effort for that particular crop.

Thank you! I cannot recommend this book highly enough to a new or returning plotholder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE 'Common-sense Bible' for allotment lovers! 22 July 2013
Verified Purchase
I have bought and wasted money on many gardening books over the years, as well as using up much precious time and energy seeking advice on how to have a successful allotment (all of which was so conflicting that it left me in utter confusion as what was actually the right and best thing to do). From keen gardeners and other allotment holders to books written by 'doctors of botany' and horticultural specialists alike... i tried them all... until i reached the point of total frustration and nearly lost all hope of ever successfully growing anything. If i had stuck with comon sense and intuition, at the beginning - which wasn't so much a sixth sense of what to do but a simple observance gained from experience and making all the usual mistakes - i would have fared much better and that's what this book is all about. Bringing us back to that simplistic, sound reasoning and common-sense, much needed for managing a successful allotment or vegetable garden. In my opnion, the only real route to success, productivity and most of all ENJOYMENT and SENSE OF SATISFACTION from growing your own food! Simple, well set-out chapters for easy-reading; covering all you need to know from choosing, planning, building, planting, growing, managing, storing and eating the 'fruit of your labours.' This has become my all-time, one and only, allotment 'Bible' and i refer to it often. It is so well-written that any advice is easy to remember and get to grips with and so i heartily recommend it to EVERYONE... from young and old, to experienced and inexperienced alike. Written by two sympathetic allotment holders, both experienced in horticulture; there is something for everyone in this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can manage this!! 16 Jan 2011
We have recently taken on an allotment that has not been worked for 9 years. It is covered in ivy, brambles and couch grass! In our 60s with arthritis and one of us with a dodgy back we must be bonkers!

This book is packed with sensible advice on how to manage both the allotment and our time. Little and often is the philosophy and there is lots of tips on how to pace yourself (maybe only a third gets cultivated in the first year), quantities to sow / plant and making you think fully about what you really want an allotment for.

My neighbours, the majority are in their 70s and 80s, may not be impressed that we am not growing main crop potatoes and we are putting a large section over to soft fruit but, hopefully they will be pleased that we are at least doing something to this unloved piece of ground. Yes I have read the more conventional allotment and self sufficiency books but usually ended up feeling overwhelmed by the task we have set ourselves. This book restored a sense of balance and made me feel positive again
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
just what a needed for my introduction to the world of allotments
Published 22 days ago by smswan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a really useful book and I have enjoyed reading it.
Published 1 month ago by John Hennigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Half hour allotment book
Only got it yesterday so haven't had a chance to read but hoping its full of neat tricks as to how to manage my little allotment in half an hour a day ;))
Published 2 months ago by Mrs JT
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read to save time and money!
Excellent book. I shall take the tips for next year on my allotment.
Published 3 months ago by Atharva
3.0 out of 5 stars A half-hour read.
OK....Nothing great or revolutionary here that the average busy person would not know already. I found the references to older more experienced gardeners somewhat irritating and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christina Brangwyn
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one allotment book.....
Of course it's probably a little unrealistic to think you can manage a full size allotment on half an hour a day, and realistically most people would put in a few hours once they'd... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. C. E. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Allotment book
Wonderful book for both the arm chair allotmenterer & the practical one - I am short of time but love my allotment & thought that I would have to give up until I discovered this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Clare F Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Just me
Read a few sections in our great little local library and found I had been doing things right (i.e. RHS style) in my recently acquired quarter plot so I bought this partly as a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Granter
3.0 out of 5 stars Coconut
Its okay, but I cannot keep an allotment going on half an hour - at the very least an hour and rarely that!
Published 10 months ago by Coconut
5.0 out of 5 stars new to gardening
This book was bought as a present, I know it will be read and re-read many times. It has easy to follow instructions and lots of ideas on how to make having an allotment fun and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by nicki
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