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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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A completely invaluable book for anyone who likes to grow food. The thing about salad is that even the tiniest spot can be made to produce something (look at Dowding's discussion of microleaves for windowsills...) But the big advantage of this book is the brilliant month by month sections containing detailed suggestions and growing instructions for salads that will flourish at different times of year. Forget sowing the same thing over and over again, says Dowding. Instead, choose seasonal plants - mustards and rockets in winter, soft watery leaves in summer - which will flourish, needing less care and getting less pests, because they are growing at just the right time for them.

This book made me get out the seed catalogues and start ordering more unusual varieties - this winter I've grown red mustard and lambs lettuce which are both really sharp and tasty, and which I probably wouldn't have been brave enough to try without Dowding's ever-encouraging book. Really, at the price of three supermarket mixed bags of leaves, it's a book that we should ALL have a copy of!
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on 24 March 2009
I've used this book to guide my salad growing for over a year now. We've not needed to buy any salad from shops in that time- even through winter!

The information is detailed and great for guiding the new determined salad grower. This is my first Amazon review and I had to write how great this book is.
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on 22 May 2009
This is the second book I bought by Charles Dowding, having enjoyed his other titles so much. I love his practical approach, his obvious love of his subject and his wealth of experience - which he freely shares. If you relish salads this is the book for you. You can grow juicy leaves all year round and know that you're doing your bit for the planet as well as your tummy! This has got to be the ONLY way to grow stuff in my opinion. If the garden and wildlife benefit by these tried and trusted methods - it's a no brainer that we do too. Do yourself a favour and do what Charles does. Buy this book and love it.
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on 22 August 2011
If you want to grow an interesting, tasty and colourful mix of salad leaves, surpassing anything that the supermarket sells, then you need to buy this book. I say this for two reasons: firstly, I know of no alternative book on this subject that comes anywhere close, and secondly, a lot of the advice is difficult to work out for yourself. The book will save you years of careful observation and trial-and-error.

I started growing vegetables a few years back and decided to put a bit more effort into producing salad leaves. With the fancy bags of leaves available in the supermarket all year round it's not enough to dish up a few Icebergs and maybe a bit of Rocket (if the Flea Beetle doesn't get it first that is). My family were turning their collective nose up at my efforts and I needed to up my game. I started looking at the supermarket bags and noticed that they contained many different leaves, Rocket, Frisee (actually a variety of Endive), Chicory, Chard, Mustard, Mizuna, Chinese Leaves, Watercress, Pea shoots, Corn salad etc. and yes, some Lettuce. Charles tells you how to grow all of these and more: which leaves and varieties to grow, tips on where to buy the seeds, when to sow them and how to harvest. Much of the detail is important but not obvious, such as avoiding sowing Rocket at certain times of year to avoid the Flea Beetle, despite what the seed packet says, and not scything plants down in the oft-advocated cut-and-come-again style but carefully picking leaves thus dramatically extending the life and and enhancing the productivity of plants.

I've been growing leaves for a year now, following Charles' advice, and the results have exceeded expectations. I'm very pleased with the taste and range of the leaves I am producing, far surpassing those of the supermarket which seem boring and bland tasting in comparison.

The book does have the usual Charles Dowding' Organic and No-dig aspects (see Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way), but they are only a small part of this book and so if they are not your cup of Tea then there's still lots to learn in book.

Charles grows vegetables professionally and sells to local shops and restaurants. Salad leaf bags make up a large part of that and he's been doing it for years. It really does feel like he's put all that experience into this book.
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on 24 January 2010
The most comprehensive book to be produced on salads that I have ever read. As a professional salad grower for 7 years I am still learning from his 25 years experience and methodical and compelling research and experimentation. There is so much information packed into it that I go back and back to it. That being said, a complete novice could buy this book and never have to buy a packet of miserable tasteless leaves from a supermarket again. His courses are also fascinating.Salad Leaves for All Seasons: Organic Growing from Pot to Plot
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on 31 March 2013
This is just one of the books that I have from Charles and I have to say that in a difficult growing year I have had outstanding results with little effort having followed his no dig method. his books are easy and clear to follow and I would not be without them. Even with temperatures of -10 I have had some salad leaves to pick most weeks without any protection.
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on 18 August 2014
It seems to be a good in depth book. And if you want to grow salad leaves I think this just about covers it. Who would have thought that leaves could fill so many pages with In Depth info. I won't need to buy another one.
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on 4 August 2016
Unlike other veg books like Monty Don's this book contains everything you need to know, best varieties, slug problems etc. Its broken down into what and when to plant followed by chapters of inside and outside growing. I dont need to be confused or endlessly making notes while flicking back and fo its all there. I am thinking of taking all other growing books off the shelf as books like this exist because Charles has kept diaries and notes of what works and what doesnt and what he has printed is factual. The beautiful pics of the salad leaves are beautiful. Best investment.
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on 21 February 2013
Useful book for the beginner, whilst correct I found it repetitive, it's a month by month guide to sowing, growing and planting on either in your tunnel or in your garden plot. It is a good guide to get you going in the horticultural year and sets you up for the following seasons.
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on 6 June 2009
This book makes salad growing so easy, if you have the smallest of spaces - or even a window sill - you may never need to buy salad again. And of course it all tastes so much better than bought salad. The book teaches you easy ways to start off and grow on lots of different sorts of salad leaves, many of which you will never have tried before. Highly recommend this book.
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