`First Time Veg Grower` by Martyn Cox is one of the small books in the Gardeners' World Series. If you're new to growing veg then this book would be a good place to start for a simple reference guide that's not too big to fit in your pocket or your bag if you're heading out into the garden or down to the allotment. It has a nice wipe-clean cover and looks like it would stand a lot of abuse.
More importantly, it covers all the basics. The first section explains how to get started, by thinking about how much space and time you have available, and what you might like to grow. It tells you how to prepare a seed bed, dig properly, and check the pH of your soil. Then you're on to seed sowing and planting out, through planning and into choosing tools.
The second section looks at where to grow your vegetables; there's advice for gardeners with little space, decent kitchen gardens, allotments and greenhouses.
The book walks you through choosing the right varieties for your garden, taking into account space restrictions, your tastes and your growing experience. Then there's a section on `Foolproof veg', although in my experience there's no such thing. But it covers all the popular crops, such as potatoes and runner beans, beetroot and salad leaves.
The final section is all about how to maintain your vegetable patch once it's up and running - watering, feeding, controlling pests and diseases, composting, attracting wildlife, weeding and improving your soil.
In short, this is a compact, handy guide (with plenty of colour pictures) that would be a good companion through your first couple of seasons as a veg grower. If you have a little more experience then you'll find it too basic.