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How To Grow Your Own Food – Book Review

This brightly illustrated, user-friendly guide to container growing is bound to inspire any budding edible gardener looking to grow their own crops. Reviewer Claire Ratinon is a writer and organic food grower.

Adams Media Corporation, £12.99
ISBN 978-1507215722

For those who know me, it will come as no great surprise that I am over the moon to see more and more budding gardeners learning how to grow edible plants in pots. Given that container gardening makes growing easier for people with small gardens, as well as for those living in rented or temporary accommodation, and those with accessibility considerations, it’s inspiring to see more books being written on the subject. Angela S Judd’s How to Grow Your Own Food is no exception, and makes a wonderful addition to the collection.

Walking you through the how and why of container gardening in the first part of the book, Judd sets out – in an accessible and engaging manner – the parameters and principles of setting up an edible container garden. The second part of the book is dedicated to a directory of plants that grow well in pots, noting the level of difficulty for individual specimens and  offering helpful tips for each. The plant list includes some exciting suggestions for plants that I’ve not yet tried to grow, such as ginger, turmeric and Malabar spinach, and a few that I’d thought too large to do well in pots, such as cabbage and cauliflower.

Especially helpful is the troubleshooting section at the end of the book for tackling deficiencies, pests and diseases. Knowing how to spot and deal with an issue (and what not to worry about) is often the trickiest part of developing the skills to grow food, so this user-friendly section is a worthwhile inclusion.

For such a comprehensive guide, I was surprised to see that detailed instructions for seed sowing and raising young plants are not included, as this can be where aspiring food growers can come unstuck early on. Nonetheless, How to Grow Your Own Food is an attractive, helpful book, bound to inspire and support hopeful edible gardeners in making the most of their sunny spaces.