Charles Dowding's Vegetable Garden Diary

Charles Dowding's Vegetable Garden Diary : No Dig, Healthy Soil, Fewer Weeds, 3rd Edition

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An updated 3rd edition of Dowding's full-color gardener's journal with perpetual diary-75% advice on how to grow great crops, 25% writing space for each day of the year-a manual to inform and inspire, from a no-dig pioneer and one of Britain's most trusted vegetable gardeners

Use this journal year after year to make the best decisions, with your notes alongside Charles Dowding's suggestions for future reference. Advice in the diary section is linked to each week of the season, and takes you through the annual cycle, from clearing weeds, feeding soil, and sowing to harvesting and storing vegetables.

Advice on sowing and planting methods, plus raising plants at home
Best sowing dates: seeds neither fail in cold nor start too late
Advantages of no dig: saving time, fewer weeds and bigger crops
How to maintain control of weeds through timely mulching and hoeing
How to feed soil just once a year, for strong and healthy growth
When and how to make all the harvests, with advice on storing produce too

Charles' garden beds grow two crops a year, are cheap to establish and easy to maintain. His growing methods are easy to understand and work on small areas as well as large ones.

Charles' gardens are famous for the absence of weeds, and it's a fact that untilled soil, with a humus-rich surface, germinates fewer pioneer weed seeds. By feeding and favouring the life in your soil and working in sympathy with how nature runs things, you create a clear path to bigger harvests with less effort.

The diary explains these methods and weaves them into a timeline of action, to increase your success rate. Good timing is good gardening! Book is most appropriate for zones 8/9, for other zones the dates need adapting: for example he has great feedback from zone 6 gardeners using his methods. And readers can flesh out the detail with his You Tube videos, where over half the audience is North American.
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Product details

  • Spiral bound | 168 pages
  • 178 x 235 x 51mm | 408g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • Full-color photographs throughout
  • 1916092012
  • 9781916092013
  • 38,180

Table of contents

Introduction by Darina Allen 7
Preface 8
Seasonal gardening: the benefits 12
Being there, little and often 14
Time-saving tips 16
Advantages of no dig 18
Soil structure the easy way 20
No dig perennials for food 22
No dig flowers 24
Making compost 26
Compost: the process 28
Sourcing compost 30
Weeds in a compost mulch 32
Weeds sign off 34
Mulching to clear perennial weeds 36
Sowing timeline 38
FAQs no dig 40
Perpetual Diary 42
Comparing growth 150
Sowing by the moon 152
More on rotation 154
Second crops/succession 156
Edible elegance 158
Paths, mulches, no dig 160
Planting and caring for fruit trees 162
Last thoughts and acknowledgements 164
Bibliography 165
Index 166
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Review quote

RHS review in The Garden November 2017, by Jim Buckland of West Dean Gardens, Sussex; Although I have been gardening professionally for 45 years, I found this book enlightening, thought provoking and immensely practical in equal measure. I am confident that if this were the first volume to grace the shelves of a gardening novice, it would be equally stimulating and useful, and would ensure a smooth start to a growing life. It does exactly what the title suggests it will do, and does it with clarity, humour and immense practicality; Lynn on Amazon, June 2017 It's always good to have a reminder of what the main gardening tasks are month by month. But this diary does more than that. Even though I have been gardening for decades I can dive into this book and pick up gems of information never before encountered. Charles is a truly good gardener with an amazing willingness to share his knowledge; Philip Hirst, Ireland email, 23.07.18 I have bought your vegetable garden diary, and all I can say is wow, so inspiring, and full of detailed information, brilliant. I wish I had bought it years ago!!
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About Charles Dowding

Charles Dowding develops and explains time- and labour-saving methods of high-yielding nature-friendly gardening. He has written ten books and an annual calendar of sowing dates, runs a YouTube channel with 36 million views, writes for national gardening magazines, and gives talks and courses at home and abroad. He has created three online courses: No Dig Gardening, Course 1; Growing Success Course 2. His third online course appeared in 2021.

He has been growing professionally since 1982, and has been experimenting with No Dig methods for the past 20 years. His current site at Homeacres is well known for its rapid transformation from weedy pasture to beautiful garden in just a half-year (see the video "No Dig Abundance" on Youtube). Currently he crops an intensive 0.35 acres/1300 square metres, and sells GBP20,000 of harvests-mainly salad leaves-locally.
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 67% (4)
4 17% (1)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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