- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Green Books (5 April 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1900322846
- ISBN-13: 978-1900322843
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
How to Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-maintenance, Low-impact Vegetable Gardening Paperback – 5 Apr 2012
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This lovely book makes it clear that we are not just missing a trick, we are missing a feast. --Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
A really useful book... Let us start freeing outselves from the tyranny of the annual sowing, thinning and planting regime. --Bob Flowerdew
I admire tremendously the first-hand experience which informs Martin Crawford's writing. This book leads us down the path to a wealth of perennial vegetables and tells us how to combine them successfully. -- Anne Swithinbank. At last an in-depth book on perennial vegetables combined with Martin Crawford's usual diligence of research - essential reading. --Ben Law
About the Author
Martin started his working life a computer programmer but his passion for organic gardening quickly led to a change in career. Martin has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years - he has worked for the Yarner Trust in North Devon teaching small-scale organic agriculture; grown food for a small hotel on the Isle of Iona; restored the walled gardens of a manor house in mid-Devon; and run his own organic market garden and tree nursery in South Devon. His experience led him to the concept of forest gardening as a sustainable system that can flourish in our changing climate conditions and it was this that led to the founding of the Agroforestry Research Trust in 1992, where he has been systematically researching plant interactions, unusual crops, etc over the past 15 years. He currently manages a 2 acre Forest Garden in Dartington which he planted 15 years ago, he runs a commercial tree nursery specialising in unusual trees and shrubs and has an 8-acre trial site, researching fruit and nut trees. He also teaches courses on Forest Gardening and Growing Nut Crops, writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News. He is a director of 'Gaia', a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work. He lives in Dartington with his wife and 2 children. See www.agroforestry.co.uk for more information.
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Top Customer Reviews
How to grow perennial vegetables is a simple guide to this wonderland of `low maintenance, low impact vegetable gardening'. It begins with a guide to growing them, with notes on co-planting, mulches and planting patterns. There are useful lists of plants that fix nitrogen, or that are good in the shade. That's the first quarter of the book.
The rest of it is an A-Z of perennial vegetables, and it's an exotic collection indeed. There are hedgerow plants and wild foods like ramsons or rosebay willowherb, common crops from other parts of the world that we don't traditionally eat here but could, like mashua or oca. There are perennial versions of other vegetables, such as leeks, garlic or cabbage. There are plants that may already grow in your garden that you didn't know were edible, like iceplant or hostas. There are some proper freaks too, like the water caltrop, which grows tubers that look like horned bats.
As usual with such books, it is written with the zeal of an enthusiast and your definition of edible may not be the same as the author's. I was surprised to read that strawberry leaves can be eaten in salads for example, and promptly put the book down to go and try them. Suffice to say that I'd need to be pretty desperate before I eat strawberry leaves again.Read more ›
The book is very good in that it motivates and encourages to try perennial veg. Its well laid out and easy to follow giving information on how to use the unfamiliar vegetables as well as how to grow them. I already grew things like day lillies but was not harvesting them because I didn't know which part of the plant to use or what to do with it! So I found this book particularily helpful.
I found it quite frustrating that some entries gave very good information about cultivation, but others left out details that would be helpful such as spacing of plants... and harvesting details -eg for replant perenials what percentage do you leave in and what percentage do you harvest?
Also for the Alliums and Brassicas - the advice is not to keep them permanently in one place because of the potential build up of disease. More on rotation and companion planting and spacing to minimise the risk of disease would be helpful.
I liked Martin Crawford's other book on forest gardening much better. It was better quality and better information. That said I have found this book to be extremely useful.
This book is very different. I've had my eyes opened to a whole world of edible plants that if your like me, probably new little or nothing about. I really think it's the next step in home grown food.
The more you think about it, the more it makes sense in every way. Greater diversity and less digging in your vegetable garden means fewer pest and disease problems, healthier plants, healthier soil, more nutritious food, new flavours and best of all less work.
There are two basic parts to the book. the first section is an overview and general maintenance. The second part is an extensive A to Z of perennials vegetables. Each listing has an overview and then details on cultivation, harvesting, culinary uses etc.
If you like this book i'd also highly recommend another book by Martin Crawford "Creating a Forest Garden".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastic and inspiring guide for growing perennial vegetables in the UK! Well written and very easy to follow. Can't wait to get back to work on my allotment :-)Published 9 months ago by Nixx
A very good book. A bit overwhelming for a beginner, as I had no idea there were so many perennial vegetables!!Published 11 months ago by Denyse Weiser
Excellent book on what should be a much better understood form of gardening -- an easier way of growing than the backbreaking ( impossible for some) digging and clearing annually... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kim Longmore
This book contains lots of interesting edible plants, but if you are a beginner gardener don't buy this book. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ben
Fantastic book but you'll really only want this in a famine situation. Oh, er, perhaps that time is now.Published 19 months ago by Leon O'Ware