I’m a big reader – gardening books, wildlife magazines, the whole Harry Potter series, bird books, you name it, I ♥ books!
So, it came as no surprise to receive 14 books for Christmas, this year!
As my RHS Ambassador job is to inspire people to get out and garden, I thought I would review a family gardening book that I received just before Christmas. It’s called ‘GROW – A family guide to growing fruit & veg’ by Ben Raskin and in my opinion, ‘it’s just great!’
The book has some great illustrations and colourful descriptions of the world of plants. I think it’s great when pictures are (hand) drawn, because it gets a child’s perspective. The information about growing your own fruit & veg is great, ‘cos it is not too lengthy either. The inclusion of puzzles and games (there’s a pull out runner bean and hose pipe game – similar to snakes and ladders) is great to test your knowledge and the use of stickers is good for young children too
So, what’s in the book?
It’s all about plants! Like the structure of plants, which is relevant to me at the moment as it links to cells, which I’m learning about in science at school. It has great diagrams, detailing the microscopic parts of plants and the pictures are very detailed. You get to know what plants need in order to grow, like nutrients and the pictures are great at showing how things work.
There’s information on plant deficiencies, which is helpful for me as I’ve had some disasters with some indoor and outdoor plants! It talks about the seasons; here we are in winter and there’s still some jobs to do. You can find out how to test your soil, we did this at school using a ‘thingmybob’, here they show you how it can be done in a jam jar.
I liked the section on compost & liquid feed, I recently made a video about Christmas compost and last spring we made comfrey feed too, it #Stinks !!
There’s stuff around the gardening tools you need and how to use them safely – I’m a big fan of using my secateurs!
I love how the book includes how to actually plant things and then with the help of a nifty little dial, when to harvest. It recommends a ‘top ten of veg’ to grow; I’ve grown 9 of these and hope to try pumpkins this year. There’s a top 3 of fruit – we grow all of them – I just love it when they are ready to harvest
There’s stuff on how to harvest and store seeds, which is something I’ve not done much on yet; although my Dad has done some stuff like planting runners off strawberries. It includes the plants you can grow in pots like herbs and salad crops, which are a quick win with us kids.
Finally there’s a bit that shows you how you can grow and then cook your own with a ‘grow your own pizza’ – well here’s mine folks!
Overall, I think it is a good guide for families to get growing, there’s some really great information and the pictures are quirky and funny and I give it…..
10 out of 10 !!
My next blog will talk about me and my Dad planting a new apple tree in our garden – have a great week guys.