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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2014
A variation of container gardening, probably novel when it was first published, not quite so revolutionary now. The main difference between Mel's method and conventional container gardening is the use of Mel's mix and the division of the containers into 9 equal squares into which you grow up to 9 different veg (or flowers should you wish). Mel's mix uses peat moss with a nod towards using coir. Although Irish moss peat is still available from some online retailers, in the interests of conservation coir is very much preferred (moss peat is rarely stocked in garden centres anyway). Now for Mel's math. If you blindly follow his quantities for 3 or 4 boxes you will over buy the quantity by 25%! Let's be generous and say Mel is unused to metric units! Here is the actual quantity for the standard Mel box of 1 metre square by 15 cms deep. 100x100x15 is 15000cc's. Divide by 1000 to give 150 litres per box, NOT 200ltrs as per Mel's calculation! Over several boxes this is a considerable cost difference. Those two issues apart, what of the practicalities? Having only recently started veg growing Mel's method appeals on several fronts. It's very neat, it's easily maintained, it's extendable as money, time and space allow, it's more versatile than conventional veg plots. The book explains everything you need to know and there is a web site. For me, this is definitely the way forward for veg growing and I heartily recommend it.
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on 9 February 2015
Brilliant book. Have purchased & built 4 deep (15 inches deep) raised beds of 4ft by 6ft on Amazon. Have priced up the ingredients for Mels Mix, be warned it is eye wateringly expensive!!! 1/3 peat, 1/3 multi purpose compost & 1/3 medium or coarse vermiculite. JC Munro in Hayle, Cornwall are very competitive & mine is being delivered tomorrow. Make sure you buy Agricultural Vermiculite and not the cheaper Builder / Insulation Vermiculite, as this is often treated with fungicides and water repellant a so will not work for raised beds. Also don't go for the cheapest multi purpose compost, do a bit of research and get the next grade up, as the cheapest is just powdery sweepings. I found a huge difference in pricing, but having phoned around and asked for best prices, I then went to talk to JC Munro. They explained to me about the different vermiculite a & composts. Ordering it all from them, at their best price has actually saved me more money than shopping around at a few different suppliers. I had even priced it up via a Tree Surgeon / Landscaper, which was a lot more expensive. So, the book is brilliant, but it's not a cheap way to garden. However, it is a long term investment, so over 10 years should be cost effective, or at least that is the business case I have had to make for my husband!!!
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on 24 February 2014
I've bought this book after reading "RHS Grow Your Own: Crops in Pots: with 30 step-by-step projects...". This one is much better in terms of useful information, tips, plant space requirements, sowing/planting and harvesting. It contains everything that you may want to consider when starting small container/balcony garden. Well worth the money.
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on 2 April 2013
Clearly written with sensible and achievable projects to make. Good explanations and sound advice . Value for money and a worthwhile purchase.
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on 3 April 2015
A revolutionary book for me after spending my childhood and teen years helping my parents at their allotment. It did put me off the whole idea of the gardening in the future but this book really breaks the stereotypes. I sent this book to my Mom for the new gardening season but enjoyed reading it myself even although I don't have a garden. Can't wait when we are out of the flat to try it myself but the book is very inspiring. We were remaining in the flat for years thinking that gardening is too much hassle for us but now I look forward to grow my own vegetables. It looks so simple and rather fun!
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on 19 March 2014
The SMG is such a good idea but there's two parts that appeal to me most.
- the table near the front that gives a clear description of how many crops can be planted in a square
- the section near the back that gives a complete overhaul on crops

Great wee book, nice read, pleasant to look at, nice ideas.
Presentation of the book is stunning, pages aren't your average paper, would make a lovely gift.
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on 23 May 2015
I wondered why the whole concept of square metre gardening resonated with me and then when reading the first chapter found that Mel is a fellow engineer. All is now clear. My first 3 square metres were made form scavenged wood but I actually had to buy some to make my fourth. Looking forward to eating my first produce.
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on 14 May 2013
So long as you get your "MIX" right, you will NOT fail! This is a perfect book for gardeners of all abilities! Just read this with an open mind and try it - You will never go back to conventional gardening! Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Tips: Buy 100 litre bags of Vermiculite from building supply stores. (Travis & Perkins.) Amazon sells Peat by the 100 litre bags. And yes, the mix is expensive for your first four boxes, but it will last forever!
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on 15 May 2014
as a newbie to gardening this book is a great manageable introduction to the principles of square metre gardening. I llike the style of writing - friendly and approachable and the clear illustrations. I gave up on square metre gardening simply because slugs ate everything so I discovered I needed a larger patch but the principles are sound.
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on 4 January 2014
This was bought as a present but a quick scan through the pages suggested it was exactly what was required. Square Meter gardening can be very successful where space is very restricted and this book gives many useful hints and tips for both those with some experience and the beginner.
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