Book Review: Hot Beds, by Jack First
I’ve messed about growing fruit and veg for years with varying success so I was interested to read Jack’s book and see what was so special about this method of growing. Within four chapters I was convinced enough to start thinking about where to squeeze a couple of hot beds into my garden. It’s not just the lure of being able to grow crops earlier but the idea that, no matter how awful our summer turns out to be, you’re likely to get some crops using this method. I only grew one pumpkin in 2012, despite planting 12 plants in different varieties and all my best efforts – I now wish I’d had a hot bed last year!
From January onwards I’m itching to start doing something other than just chitting potatoes – now I can start thinking about salad leaves, beetroot and carrots. Later in the year I plan to try growing melons in a hot bed, and the biggest pumpkin ever!
Jack’s book is nicely laid out and easy to read and reference. His ideas are accessible to new and experienced gardeners and can work on a small or a large scale. Jack uses plain English and also shares the occasional technical gardening term. He’s tried all sorts of different ways of setting up hot beds and his experience has given me the confidence to experiment a little. He finishes his book with some top ideas for other ideas such as heating water and cooking, making this book a must for any keen gardener or sustainable living enthusiast.
‘Hot Beds’ is available now from Green Books Publishing- www.greenbooks.co.uk