The Kitchen Gardener - Alan Titchmarsh

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The Kitchen Gardener - Alan Titchmarsh

Book Type: Hard Back Book Number of Pages: 312 Author: Alan Titchmarsh Alan's comprehensive guide will tell you everything you could possibly want or ...

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Review of "The Kitchen Gardener - Alan Titchmarsh"

published 09/06/2011 | ryeb
Member since : 02/06/2011
Reviews : 709
Members who trust : 92
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Thanks for all the reads and rates, they are all appreciated x
Pro clarity of advice, covers the basics.
Cons Pest and disease information is relatively scanty.
very helpful
Quality of photos
Quality of text

"A helping hand with "The Kitchen Gardener" by Alan Titchmarsh."

Alan Titchmarsh is so well known as a television gardener and presenter that he hardly needs any introduction. A life time in the gardening business has left him with a wealth of knowledge to depart. His obvious enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and shines through in this useful book. His personal experience is used to illustrate lots of the points he puts across which I thought gives the book a chatty feel.

The first section cover the essentials of growing from designing your space to advice on growing in containers. If you are a first time gardener then you will find clear instructions on how to do the basics such as preparing your ground, sowing seed, and feeding/watering your crops. If you are more experienced, then this first section is unlikely to tell you anything new. However, it does include a handy "working calender " section that I find good for a quick reference enquiry.
[ This is month by month guide on what to sow/plant/harvest, both inside and out.] I think this calender is more useful than silmilar features in other books because it doesn't just tell you to sow carrots for example, but will tell you if they should be early or late varieties too. This is reassuringly specific for us amateurs!

The next part of the book is alphabetical listing of fruit, vegetable and herbs. Each plant is dealt with over 1-4 pages, and includes an attractive photo. There is a simple chart displayed for each vegetable/fruit showing when it should be sown and harvested. Following that is a guide to how difficult the plant is for an amateur to grow. I find it so encouraging to see how many are labelled as "easy" or even "dead easy". My experience has shown that these guidelines are pretty accurate. All of the essential information needed to grow is here such as spacing , feeding and recommended varieties. All the standard allotment fruit and vegetables are included. There is also information on more unusual things to grow such as Asparagus peas and Jostaberries so there is also plenty to interest the more experienced gardener looking for more of a challenge.
I have enjoyed reading the herbs section because it is a subject not always included in grow your own guides.

The blurb says this book aims to be a definative new reference, but in my opinion, it falls short of this because the sections dealing with pests and disease are rather short, considering the large number of problems that mother nature can throw at us. I have always had to consult other books to troubleshooot. The few problems that are dealt with are accompanied by helpful pictures though.

I have found the pruning information especially useful as Alan has a knack of explaining it in laymans terms so I can follow his instructions without reaching for a glossary! I feel much more confident at dealing with this area since reading this book.

The book is nicely laid out with a good number of illustrations. The balance between text and photos is about right in my opinion. There's enough pictures for the book to be an attractive read without them squeezing out the useful information. The print size isn't too small and I like the fact the layout isn't cramped.

Overall I have found it readable, with an encouraging tone and plenty of good basic advice for beginners like me. I would recommend it to those taking their first steps at growing rather than those who are very experienced as much does cover the simple things.I think it would be suitable for those growing in their back garden or allotment and there is also a good number of specific projects for growing things in a container for those who don't have a garden.

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Comments on this review

  • danielclark691 published 24/03/2017
    very good
  • Deesrev published 28/02/2013
    To have things explained 'in laymans terms' is a real plus, well reviewed xXx
  • catsholiday published 03/08/2011
    You will find this handy when you get your smallholding!
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Product Information : The Kitchen Gardener - Alan Titchmarsh

Manufacturer's product description

Book Type: Hard Back Book Number of Pages: 312 Author: Alan Titchmarsh Alan's comprehensive guide will tell you everything you could possibly want or need to know about fruit and veg and how to grow it, including herbs, baby veg, salads, every-day fruits plus gourmet or unusual varieties, and how to fit them into today's stylish small gardens.

Product Details

Author: Alan Titchmarsh

Title: The Kitchen Gardener


Listed on Ciao since: 30/11/2009