Gardening for Everyone: Growing Vegetables, Herbs and More at Home

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The advent of Covid and the resulting lockdowns have led to a resurgence of interest in all things gardening. Garden centres have boomed. This renewed interest in gardens has given rise to an avalanche of books for the home gardener, however very few are as complete and explicit as Julia Watkins’ timely book ‘Gardening for Everyone’, which is a comprehensive reference resource for both the novice and experienced gardener.

This practical gardening guide takes the reader through the entire process of planning, building, planting, tending, harvesting and ultimately enjoying the garden. In the ‘planning’ section the author discusses assessing the available space, soil, sunlight, climate, while in the ‘building’ section she explains the nature and construction of raised beds, and creating of an indoor kitchen garden. The chapter on ‘planting’ assumes no prior knowledge, as Julia Watkins explains through step by step instructions the choices facing the gardener; sourcing seeds, seeds or seedlings, direct –sow or transplant.

As nurturing and taking care of the plants is an important element of successful gardening, the author has devoted a lengthy chapter to ‘tending’ which includes watering and feeding, pruning, weed and pest control and the selection of tools. Knowing when and how to harvest can be a challenge especially to the beginner gardener; to do it well the author has provided many helpful tips in the ‘harvesting’ section of her unique book.

What makes Gardening for Everyone: Growing Vegetables, herbs, and More at Home a standout from the rest is Julia Watkins’ obvious passion and meticulous attention to detail; the reference tables for companion planting, what and what not to compost, preventing and managing disease, and instructions for vermicomposting to name but a few. The beautiful, colourful photos of plants bursting into bloom will inspire even the most reluctant gardener. This easy to read book is also jam packed with ideas and activities for children; so it is a handbook for one and all.

Note to Australian readers: All measurements are in imperial units.

Author                                                    Julia Watkins
Publisher                                               Hachette. Imprint Robinson.
ISBN                                                        9781472146922
Website                                                 https://www.hachette.com.au
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Review By Nan Van Dissel

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