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The Allotment Book [Paperback]

Andi Clevely
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

4 Feb 2008

New paperback edition of Collins’ best-selling gardening title. This wonderfully illustrated book celebrates the blood, sweat and joy to be had in ‘growing your own’ in an allotment. Includes in-depth, practical gardening know-how, stories from allotmenteers and recipes.

No longer considered the preserve of old men in sheds, allotment gardening is currently enjoying a renaissance of interest. People of all ages and from all walks of life are digging their own plots in search of the ultimate in fresh, organic produce – and you cannot get more locally-sourced than your own allotment!

This book testifies to the new vibrancy of allotment culture, aiming both to inspire the next generation of plot-holders and to provide all the practical knowledge needed to turn a patch of soil into a lifelong adventure.

Open to all the new eco-gardening techniques, and the various weird and wonderful ways people make use of their plots, contents include:

• the history of allotments – from 19th century origins, through wartime ‘Dig for Victory’, to the cosmopolitan communities of today; features photos and interviews with current plot-holders

• planning your perfect allotment – finding it, assessing it, clearing the ground and working out what to grow

• the brown stuff – all you need to know about soil management, the key to growing success

• choosing a gardening method – organic, biodynamic, rotation beds, companion planting, greenhouse, multi-level, potager, cottage garden, and so on…

• the hard stuff – constructing sheds, compost bins, cold frames, fruit cages, ponds, seating and play areas

• selecting crops – what and how to grow, from parsnips and peas to chilli peppers and lemon grass

• cultivation techniques – digging, sowing, feeding, weeding and harvesting, plus troubleshooting pests and diseases

• the allotment calendar – extensive, month-by-month look at what’s in season, jobs for now and looking ahead

Frequently Bought Together

The Allotment Book + The Essential Allotment Guide: How to Get the Best out of Your Plot + Allotment Month  by Month
Price For All Three: £27.62

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (4 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007270771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007270774
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andi Clevely has spent thirty-five years as a working gardener. After taking a degree in English at Oxford he began his gardening career on the Crown Estate at Windsor Great Park. Thereafter he was for many years employed as head gardener in private service (initially for J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes). He now lives in Wales, where he writes about gardening and tends his own hillside garden. His many books include Patios, Water in the Garden, City Garden, Plants in Pots and the bestselling Allotment Garden. As a journalist he writes regularly for The Garden, Homes and Gardens, The Field and BBC Gardener's World Magazine. In 2003 he won the Garden Writers' Guild Award for Practical Journalist of the Year.

Product Description


'It is full of colourful and relevant illustrations…The content is packed with excellent down-to-earth advice. Andy Clevely captures the essence of the allotment, showing how it is a relaxing a socialble way to garden. The Allotment Book is a must for the bookshelf.' - The Garden magazine

'This is an excellent book.' - The Telegraph

'It's the ultimate guide to a bumper harvest.' - Sunday Magazine

'Clear and concise, it will take pride of place in your garden shed.' - Daily Mail

‘This book testifies the new vibrancy of allotment culture, and provides all the knowledge needed to turn a patch of soil into a lifelong adventure.’ - The Northern Echo

‘This is a book you’ll want to return to again and again.’ - Garden Answers

‘This book is excellent, rising above the usual dutiful trek through chores and cultivars and capturing the life-expanding possibilities of a new plot.’ - Optima Magazine

About the Author

Andi Clevely is one of Britain’s most renowned gardening writers, and has written over 20 gardening books. He is also a regular TV presenter, appearing on Granada’s Cook’s Garden and From the Ground Up for Carlton.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
142 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book for all gardeners 12 July 2006
I've had an allotment for years and got this book as a present but I've never put it on the shelf since. Andi Clevely is a great read and the book is laid out so well I can dip into it so easily to find the right information. It has definitely inspired me to try some crops which I haven't grown before, like aubergine and chillies. The calendar section is partciularly useful for its 'last chance to sow' and 'planning ahead' features, and has some useful recipes. I would recommend this book for allotmenters new and old, as well as kitchen gardeners.
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to get your wellies on.. 1 Sep 2006
I have always wanted to grow my own, but I've never had the confidence to go for it.

This book gives you detailed tables of sowing and planting times, seasonal guides,advice on sellecting what to grow and even the odd recipe too. It is written in a clear and concise fashion, with lots of helpfull (and pretty) photographs.

I particularly like the seasonal guides as they have "Sow Now; Plant Now; In Season Now" in one quick reference column at the start of the "chapter".

It answers every question that a virgin allotment holder could ask. I would highly recommend it.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete idiots guide for the uninitiated 10 Aug 2006
I have always wanted to have a go at growing my own veg but quite frankly did not know where to start. I needed a book that would spell out the basics, give me pictures and provide a detailed calendar showing when I should be doing what.

This book is perfect. It is well written, the directions are clear and the pictures informative. It is already well thumbed and next year I will be better! Congratulations to the author.
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86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay... 26 April 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If, like me, you need an allotment book which assumes you know v little, but have already made the decision to work an allotment, don't necessarily put this book at the top of your list. i didn't need a chapter telling me why people have allotments. i didn't need recipes. i didn't need to know that someone has been labeled "the queen of herbs" by jamie oliver. i didn't need a page on bees. i need a book that allows me to look up raspberries, rhubarb, potatoes, courgettes, or whatever, and be directed to a page with everything i needed to know about those fruits/vegetables, plus a section that outlines everything i need to plan for each season. the latter section is here, and it is *almost* acceptable, but it assumes too much prior knowledge. if, like me, you didn't pick up a lifetime's worth of gardening tips from your ancient relatives, e.g. you don't know exactly how to "force" a vegetable, how to prune, etc., then this book isn't the one you need. fair play to the guy - it probably does have a large audience and it's good value for money - but it isn't being marketed at its real audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A definitive guide to growing your own 21 Dec 2008
By Wiltshire Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're lucky enough to be allocated a plot (or half-plot) at your local allotment, this guide will quickly get you up to speed with getting the most from your plot.

Designing your plot layout to work best for you and to minimise problems via crop rotation is tackled first, followed by a directory of vegetables to grow (both the usual suspects and more unusual crops) , techniques to use and ending with a guide to the seasonal year are all explained in detail, accompanied by lavish photographs and sprinkled with seasonal recipes. The allotment tradition of recycling anything that comes to hand is also catered for with a number of projects to try throughout the book.

With this guide to hand, you'll have a prize winning plot in half the time and be the envy of all the 'old hands'.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for new allotmenteers... 13 Dec 2006
..I got myself a plot on an organic farm ealrier this year. Apart from growing the odd thing whilst I grew up, I was starting from scratch.

This book doesn't go into great detail about every plant, but it isn't an encyclopaedia of allotment plants so it isn't to be expected.

It does give excellent important notes for plants though and contains information about the whole allotment experience.

There are photographs galore to inpsire allotmenteers, the calendar section has been a godsend to newbies like me, and the recipes section is great too (my wife used his carrot cake recipe and it was gorgeous! Thanks Heather!).

He gives advise on companion planting, composting, storring your harvest, and many more essential matters.

I learn't a lot from reading his book, you can really feel his passion for growing fruit and veg, and this rubs off onto the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starter 13 April 2009
This book is brilliant for those of us that are starting out in growing veg. Even if you don't have an allotment, like myself, this book will help you throughout the year and it makes you look impressive in front of others. This is worth buying, in fact I bought two and gave one to a mate. We found this book not only helpful to grow good veg, but helped us get through our college course.
Get this book, it is worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and informative 3 Sep 2009
By Sue
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is invaluable for those with an allotment or vegetable garden.

I especially like the 'sowing and planting' table which I am using to prepare for the coming new year to coordinate planting times. There is also guidance on crop rotation, ground preparation, and details on a great variety of vegetables and fruits.

All in all, a well written book, which is easy to read, crammed with information for those starting out in allotment gardening, like myself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent. Item received very quickly.
Published 1 month ago by MR J M SPENCER
5.0 out of 5 stars favourite book
This is our favourite book ,so we purchased this one for a friend , He is just getting started on his allotment and we knew this would help him ......
Published 4 months ago by lala
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless
Completely the wrong book sent; I got Dragon's den; success from pitch to profit. Completely useless, really disappointed. Read more
Published 5 months ago by steve lannin
4.0 out of 5 stars Planted!
Great value, bought this for a present and the recipient was delighted :-) I hope I reap some of their hard work!!
Published 6 months ago by MR K MOFFETT
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners
Very useful reference book for beginners, you can look by season or crop. It gives everything you could want really.
Published 9 months ago by annie
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift
I was given this book and found it instructive as well as entertaining so I thought my allotment daughter ought to have a copy. She loves it.
Published 9 months ago by A Bennett Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars The allotment book
I really like the book but it is not for me but a Christmas present for someone. It looks informative and if I had an allotment I am sure I would find the book interesting. Read more
Published 9 months ago by anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my Daughter
Bought this book for my Daughter as she has taken over an allotment. She has told me that she find the book very easy to use and reads it often. It is very informative. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James
4.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Bought this as a gift for a lady at work as she had a new allotment. To my knowledge she has enjoyed it.
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars And not just for allotment holders
A very nicely thought-through book, well written and beautifully illustrated. Not just the usual dry 'how-to' information but full of helpful hints and shortcuts as well as the odd... Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by D. Rice
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