on 20 March 2010
Michael Brenock was born into a market gardening family, studied horticulture and worked on various gardening schemes. Years of experience of working in the fickle Irish climate has given this man an almost encyclopedic knowledge of veg growing. It's a long awaited book, after threatening to write this for many years Michael has finally delivered an excellent tome containing an incredible amount of information, yet delivered in a very coherent and approachable manner.
It is very difficult to define just how much information is covered in this book. After a brief introduction and an explanation of the headings used throughout we get straight down to business. We find a comprehensive chapter on the stages of growing, from seeds to storing and covering everything in between including crop management, pests and harvesting. Then it's on to the " How to grow, crop by crop " section where this book really comes into it's own. Split into three sections : Vegetables, herbs and fruit, I broke into a sweat just reading it !
After a brief description each plant is broken into the following headings : How to grow, Earliest, latest and best time to sow, Best aspect, Best soil, Soil preparation, Depth of sowing, Space between seeds, Distance between rows, Germination time, Lifespan of seeds, Thinning out, Growing situations, Successional sowings, Best varieties, Management, Pests, Diseases, Time from sowing to harvest, When and how to harvest, Good points, Bad points, Do's and dont's and finally to round it off a top tip is provided also. And we're not finished yet, Michael then moves on to a fine section called " Things you may need to know " covering : Digging, Techniques, raised beds, protection, organic growing and crop rotation. Followed by a section on Basics and Improvements With headings such as : Aspect, Soil, Weather and weeds.
I have never read such a comprehensive guide to gardening and fear I have only scratched the surface with this review. For me this is THE guide I will now use in my own modest little garden and would hope to make some changes on foot of reading it. The book itself is great as a one time read but as a reference book it will truly be beneficial to any gardener. I can safely say my own copy won't have much shelf time ! Ignore this book at your peril.
on 3 April 2010
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in Growing any type of fruit, vegetables or herbs. It is full of really good concise information, it has a simple lay out that make it really easy to use.
I couldn't recommend it highly enough, it is just brilliant.