Thursday, April 13

Book Review- The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom

When you see the name Joy Larkcom on any book cover you know that it will be good and this book is no exception.

This isn't the original book that Joy wrote over 30 years ago for which she received great acclaim but a totally updated version. The range of salad ingredients and the ways in which the modern day gardener grows them is reflected in this revised version. Incidentally all the images shown here can be viewed at a larger size by clicking on them.

The list of contents gives no indication of the depth of material in the book so I have included a snippet from the appendix.
The main section of the book deals with the salad plants which are divided into groups.

The information provided is extensive and is best explained by giving an example so let's take lettuce which happens to be the first thing covered in the book. The section starts with general information and a description of types of lettuce. There follows information about the various methods of cultivation and the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Next up is watering and sowing for succession. Information is then given about varieties and their suitability for different uses. Finally the section covers the pests and diseases that lettuces suffer from.
The section entitled Finishing Touches covers herbs, edible flowers and wild plants or weeds.

The Garden Practicalities section includes siting and design of the salad garden, improving the soil, composting, saving and storing seed, growing from seed, weeding, watering, crop protection and lots more.

Towards the end of the book are pages covering sprouting seeds.
There is a short section on salad making including a few recipes.

The appendices contains a chart which plans a succession of salad ingredients throughout the year.
So to sum up this is a very comprehensive book and easily earns its place on the bookshelf of any keen salad grower. I have to say though there is one omission. I love raw cauliflower or broccoli in a salad and neither are mentioned but I will forgive this.

If you like what you have read and think this book may be for you then I am pleased to say that the publishers are  offering a copy of The Salad Garden as a giveaway. To qualify for the giveaway draw I'm afraid that you must live in the UK (unless you have a friend in the UK who will post the book on to you). Please register your interest by making a comment on this post. A name will be drawn at random on 23 April and the lucky winner announced on the blog.


31 comments:

  1. I need to read this book and update my boring salads. Thank you for the chance of winning or if I don't it can go on my birthday present list.

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    1. My pleasure Alcea - I hope you visit again.

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  2. Ha! They didn't offer me a copy to give away. Have you got the 1984 edition too? I think the illustrations (photos) in the original one were better.

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    1. Maybe you were contacted by a different person, Mark

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    2. Forgot to add that no I haven't seem the original.

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  3. I have read the original but would still welcome the opportunity to read the updated version Sue. I have a well thumbed copy of her 'Grow Your Own Vegetables' - no pretty pictures but packed to the rafters with so much information. I don't think that I have nibbled raw broccoli so will do so soon next time it's on the menu here :)

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    1. Good Luck in the draw then, Anna

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  4. Sounds like this book is very useful, Sue. I don't grow many salads because the soil is not good for it.

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    1. I'll be delving further into it, Nadezda

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  5. If I was in the UK, I would raise my hand! Salad greens have always been undervalued as a crop - or at least they were in the past. I think they are on their way to getting the recognition they deserve.

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    1. I 'm sorry that you can't enter the draw, Margaret but the publishers don't ship outside of the UK.

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  6. I have two of Joy Larkcom's veg growing books and would be very interested to read this latest tome. I rate her growing skills very highly. Please throw my name into your hat! Btw, I agree about raw broccoli, I eat the stems finely sliced in salads - or even just nibbled straight off the chopping board as I prepare supper! The flowers (should any go to seed) are delicious too.

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    1. She does tend to know what she is doing, Caro

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  7. That's an interesting book!

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  8. Looks like an excellent resource - please add my name into the draw

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  9. That's sounds like a great book to have. Please throw my name into the hat.xxx

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  10. It looks brilliant, and most inspirational. I think salad is the most successful thing I grow for eating on a daily basis. It would be good to grow more variety though. I mostly stick to rocket, lettuce, sorrel, pea shoots and mustards. Sprouted seeds are great for the depths of winter when there's nothing else available.

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  11. That looks a lovely book, Sue. I'd love to have a copy. Please add my name to the draw.

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  12. Sorry Neuronal Matter you comment was accidentally deleted so
    I've copied and will add you to the draw.
    Looks like an interesting book! This is my first year gardening and growing plants from seed, and I would love to learn more about salad gardening. May I enter the draw please?

    P/S: I came to your blog via the Friendly Gardeners Facebook group and I'm really loving the photos and detailed descriptions. Always more to learn out there!

    Glad that you like the blog.

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    1. I used to have this book but leant it to someone who then lost it! Please could you add my name into the hat. Many thanks. Karen

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    2. Ps. I love your flower and vegetable lists. How did you create them, please. Is it a special programme on the computer? Thanks

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    3. The lists are created in Excel, Karen and the images are just cropped screen grabs. The links at the top of the blog all direct to our website which is created in Adobe Muse. It's bolted on to Martyn's and my blog to try and create a seamless link. I'm in the process of updating sections as the original software that we used was discontinued. - typical!

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  14. This looks as though it's a 'must have' for an allotment holder's library. I'd love to extend my range of salads so please add me to the draw!

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    1. Hi Heidi,

      Thanks for the visit I hope you come back again.

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