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Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Course

Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Course
Charles Dowding
Frances Lincoln
Publication Date: 

paper, 208 pp., $24.95

At his plots at Lower Farm in Somerset, England, Dowding tends a garden that produces vegetables in abundance all year round, inspiring beginning and experienced gardeners alike. This book has detailed advice on setting up a garden plot, creating productive soil, dealing with weeds, successful sowing, planting, growing, and eventually enjoying healthy plants.

This book lays out Dowding’s system in basic steps, with excellent photographs, and an emphasis on ‘easy does it’—as long as you have good soil. Dowding keeps his soil alive with helpful bacteria. He spreads an inch or two of organic compost every year on the soil, which returns that care with sumptuous carrots, abundant lettuce, and other vegetables, which in turn he sells at his farm stand.

This work features a good month-by-month description of duties through a year, discussing seeds and seed sowing, and suggesting much patience. With good soil, water, and sun, you can grow the Dowding way, where the ready-to-eat veggies jump out of the soil in shining good health. Try it!

— Adele Kleine, volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden.