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.