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The Half-hour Allotment: Extraordinary Crops from Every Day Efforts (Royal Horticultural Society) Hardcover – 1 May 2006

31 customer reviews

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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 (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 is a freelance garden writer who shares an allotment with several friends near her home in Bristol. A regular contributor to The Guardian and The Telegraph, she is a long-time advocate of organic and community growing, and has written many books on the subject. She has an award-winning blog, Midnight Brambling.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Everyone wants an allotment these days, and quite right too. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By R. Otovator on 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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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dodster TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Feb. 2007
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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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pompom VINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2008
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on 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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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By D. Stephens on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Miller on 3 July 2009
this book is really fantastic and helpful. I struggled with my allotment for years and now I don t. Its totally transformed my experience of being an allotmenteer. so if it all seems a bit much, buy this book and follow the advice. I don t give it a five star rating only because it has some factual errors that really shouldnt have been missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Corbett on 11 Sept. 2012
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This is my third allotment book and my favourite so far; recommended by someone at the allotments. The plot came up sooner than expected so it will be tough to maintain with a toddler in tow (although on his first visit he dug up a dinners worth of potatoes when we left him to muck about with a blunt hand fork) so we need to box clever while we get the hang of it.

Especially useful are the pages that suggest what is most worth growing and, crucially, whether to grow from seed or just buy plants and how many plants you are going to want. As the author said if the first year is overwhelming you are likely to just give it up, so learn to walk before you try to run.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. H. Doughty on 20 April 2013
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My partner is disabled, but loves gardening and we have an allotment. While he can't do as much work in the garden or on the allotment as he used to originally, he does still try. I bought him this book not to teach him how to garden, but to try to get him thinking more about doing his work in small achievable chunks. He's hearly there, but still often tries to do more than he should. I'd recommend this book to anyone struggling with time or trying to get used to working on the principle of little and often.
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