New paperback edition of Collins' best-selling gardening title. This wonderfully illustrated book celebrates the blood, sweat and joy to be had in 'growing your own' in an allotment. Includes in-depth, practical gardening know-how, stories from allotmenteers and recipes. No longer considered the preserve of old men in sheds, allotment gardening is currently enjoying a renaissance of interest. People of all ages and from all walks of life are digging their own plots in search of the ultimate in fresh, organic produce -- and you cannot get more locally-sourced than your own allotment! This book testifies to the new vibrancy of allotment culture, aiming both to inspire the next generation of plot-holders and to provide all the practical knowledge needed to turn a patch of soil into a lifelong adventure.
Open to all the new eco-gardening techniques, and the various weird and wonderful ways people make use of their plots, contents include: / the history of allotments -- from 19th century origins, through wartime 'Dig for Victory', to the cosmopolitan communities of today; features photos and interviews with current plot-holders / planning your perfect allotment -- finding it, assessing it, clearing the ground and working out what to grow / the brown stuff -- all you need to know about soil management, the key to growing success / choosing a gardening method -- organic, biodynamic, rotation beds, companion planting, greenhouse, multi-level, potager, cottage garden, and so on! / the hard stuff -- constructing sheds, compost bins, cold frames, fruit cages, ponds, seating and play areas / selecting crops -- what and how to grow, from parsnips and peas to chilli peppers and lemon grass / cultivation techniques -- digging, sowing, feeding, weeding and harvesting, plus troubleshooting pests and diseases / the allotment calendar -- extensive, month-by-month look at what's in season, jobs for now and looking ahead 
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