Author(s): Joyce Russell
The Polytunnel Book is the most comprehensive, practical guide to polytunnel gardening available. Whether you are a complete beginner, or a more experienced grower, this book has got what you need: from preparing the site, to simple charts that show at a glance how to get the best from each crop; from identifying and coping with pests, to making a hotbed, composts and organic feeds. But at the heart of this book is Joyce Russell's experienced hand guiding the reader through each month of the year. It tells what to do and when to do it, in order to grow the best fruit and vegetables all-year-round. If you want to try new potatoes, rocket and Florence fennel for Christmas; or mangetout peas, baby carrots and strawberries in April; as well as year-round salad, plenty of peppers, melons, gluts of tomatoes and much, much more, then this book shows you how. 300 colour photographs illustrate the wealth of practical tips and techniques as well as celebrating what can be achieved.
"The huge increase in growing your own has led to a parallel surge in interest in polytunnels, the best tool a serious vegetable grower can acquire. But until now there has been next to no information available on how to make the best use of a polytunnel. The Joyce and Ben Russell team, with their years of practical experience, have filled that gap, showing us in clear, precise detail how to erect and manage polytunnels, and above all, what to grow in them." Joy Larkcom For those of you who dream about picking peppers and tomatoes in December and having French beans in October, this is the book for you. Oxford Times I have waited a long time to write this. I have enough space to own a greenhouse. Or should that be a polytunnel? Like many I've swung from one side to the other; I like the way a greenhouse looks, I prefer the price of a polytunnel. This book has tipped the balance. I shall get a polytunnel. BBC Gardens Illustrated A common sense and practical volume. Irish Times Joyce's enthusiasm spills from the pages and her husband's gorgeous photos make you want to rush out and get stuck in! Weekly News This easy to read guide is packed with tips and tables on fruit and veg, ongoing care and pest prevention. Whether you want year-around advice or ideas for hot beds, potting mixes and liquid feed, you'll find this book a useful introduction. Grow Your Own Find out all you need to ensure efficient use from 'The Polytunnel Handbook'. Country Living For us gardeners yet to splash out on this season extending extravagance, Joyce Russell's comprehensive book makes an impressive argument. Irish News
Joyce Russell has thirty years of practical experience of fruit and vegetable growing, while feeding a family from the garden. She writes each month for Kitchen Garden Magazine, as well as regular contributions to other magazines and newspapers. She wrote for Organic Gardening magazine for ten years. Ben Russell is an experienced photographer who has had over 3,000 photographs published in magazines, newspapers and books. He specializes in high quality practical garden photography.
CONTENTS Introduction How to use this book 1: SETTING UP A POLYTUNNEL Choosing the right location Choosing the polytunnel Preparing the land Putting up a classic, hooped polytunnel Laying out the inside of the polytunnel 2: A FEW ESSENTIALS Some thoughts on seeds Some thoughts on compost 3: A MONTH-BY-MONTH GUIDE TO A YEAR IN THE POLYTUNNEL January February March April May June July August September October November December 4: FRUIT AND VEGETABLES AT A GLANCE Aubergines Basil Beetroot Broad beans (early crop) Broccoli (Spring) cabbage Carrots (early crop) Courgettes Cucumbers Figs Florence fennel (as an overwinter crop) French beans Grapes Kohl rabi Lettuce Melons Peas (mangetout, as a spring crop) Peaches and nectarines Peppers New potatoes Pumpkins and squash Salad leaves: rocket, mizuna, etc. Spinach, spinach beet and Swiss chard (Early) strawberries Sweetcorn Tomatoes 5: PESTS, DISEASES AND OTHER PROBLEMS - AN ORGANIC APPROACH Some polytunnel pests Some polytunnel diseases Mineral deficiencies Some physical problems 6: ONGOING CARE Crop rotation in a polytunnel Ten steps to soil health Repairs and maintenance 7: MAKE YOUR OWN How to make a hotbed How to make your own potting mixes How to make liquid feeds List of suppliers Glossary Index Acknowledgements