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This highly accessible book shows novice gardeners how to start their own allotment garden, from applying for permission and planning the garden through to planting, growing and harvesting vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers. A brief history examines the origins of allotments, from their first official inception in the late 1500s through the WorldWars and to their role in modern society. Next, the book explains how to keep your soil healthy, plan what to grow where, and how to choose the best plant varieties. It includes practical step-by-step instructions for everyday techniques, such as sowing seeds, propagation, pruning, and harvesting. Finally, a season-by-season calendar of care provides an at-a-glance checklist of what to sow, plant out and harvest for every stage in the gardening year. With its expert information and more than 530 photographs and illustrations, this is an essential volume for anyone interested in cultivating home-grown crops