A wonderfully illustrated celebration of the blood, sweat and joy to be had 'growing your own' in an allotment - with the in-depth, practical gardening know-how for which Collins is renowned.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 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 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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