Hot Beds: How to Grow Early Crops Using Age-old Techniques

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9780857841063: Hot Beds: How to Grow Early Crops Using Age-old Techniques
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Hot beds are nothing new - they were used by the Victorians and even by the Romans. By reviving and modernising this ancient vegetable-growing method, Jack First produces healthy plants that crop at least two months earlier than conventionally grown vegetables, even in his native Yorkshire. This practical, illustrated guide has everything you need to understand about how to utilise this highly productive, low-cost, year-round, eco-friendly gardening technique. Straightforward explanations, diagrams and examples show how the natural process of decay can be harnessed to enable out-of-season growing without using energy from fossil fuels or elaborate equipment. With some stable manure (there are also alternative options), an easy-to-construct frame and a small space to build your bed, you can revolutionise your vegetable growing and be harvesting salads in March and potatoes early in April.

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Review:

Jack is a fountain of knowledge and the expert on hotbeds. When I visited his allotment and saw how advanced and healthy his crops were it proved to me that these ancient old systems still work a treat and are just as relevant now - if not more - than they ever were . --Joe Swift, garden designer and TV presenter

I have waited a long time for this book... Jack First has done all the hard work... His authority on the subject is evident in the detailed descriptions and analysis of the various methods used... Most importantly, if the last few summers are the start of a pattern we must get used to, then this gem of a book may mean a lot more than just a fascinating insight into a traditional technique. --Alys Fowler, Gardens Illustrated

If you want super-early crops without the hassle and expense of a heated greenhouse, look no further than Hot Beds by Jack First. This compact book brings back up to date Victorian gardeners techniques of building frames over piles of manure to harness the heat and grow everything from salads and spinach to beet and carrots. A must-read if you d like to pursue a low-cost, eco-friendly approach to out-of-season crops. --Jane Perrone, Grow Your Own

About the Author:

Jack First is an experienced horticulturalist who has pioneered, developed and fully tested the hot-bed methods covered in this book. He works with volunteers on a large plot in Keighley and is the sole supplier to his local wholefood shop of out-of-season greens, new potatoes and salads. Jack First's hot beds have been featured on BBC TV's Gardeners World.

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