12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Very good, but flawed,
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This review is from: How to Grow Winter Vegetables (Paperback)
Overall, I've been impressed by this book. Not only does it address a topic, winter growing, that isn't dealt with elsewhere, but the author also includes an impressive amount of information in only 232 pages. I'm fairly new to vegetable gardening generally, so it could be that others have covered some aspects of this, but the only other books I've come across are the classic one by Hessayon (The Vegetable and Herb Expert), Harrison's "Vegetable Growing: Month by Month", Hills' classic but quirky "Month by Month Organic Gardening", and Dowding's other book "Organic Gardening"; none of these seem to deal with growing over Winter. That said, having followed Dowding's advice what I mainly found was that not much does grow over Winter, but I did learn quite a bit trying things I read in his book, and I remain intrigued by the notion. The key issue, as far as I can see, is overwintering, namely the planting of crops that can *survive* Winter and then have a head start. His advice for many vegetables was sound, and I'm now seeing quite a bit of growth. Of course, overwintering cabbages is nothing new and could be found in many other books, but many of the other crops don't appear to be dealt with elsewhere. The flaw? Well, it's poorly laid out and so it's difficult to find the info you're looking for. For instance, if I wanted to know about growing cabbage I can look in the index and will find "cabbage, growing", and then find references thereto on pages 23, 54, 102-103, 109, 115, 126-127 & 142. They're all legitimate, useful references, and I applaud the thoroughness of the referencing, but surely a further level of sub-referencing is called for?! Most of the reasons for the plethora of page numbers is due to starting planting in different months (very helpful, by the way!), so just have different index entries!: e.g., "growing, june", "growing, july" etc. It's not beyond the wit of man.... (A smaller gripe is the title of Chapter 15 (An Amazing Array of Vegetables). How on Earth is this informative? That said, overall, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives and a second edition with these issues addressed would be a classic in my view. The most impressive aspect is the amount of info he gets in there. It's also much more impressive than Dowding's "Organic Gardening", which I wasn't too keen on.