20 Dec 2021

Belated Book Review: Veg from One Bed - an excellent book for new veg gardeners

This is not a newly published book but having recently discovered it for myself, I wanted to highlight it for readers of this blog because it provides a foolproof way of building confidence and growing success for a beginner veg gardener.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review; as ever, all opinions are my own. 

I knew about this book when it came out in 2019 but resisted buying at the time as I've been disappointed in the past with other tomes promising self sufficient food growing from tiny spaces. I've followed Huw on his YouTube channel since his early teens; back then, it was his rather endearing commitment to growing veg that impressed me - and still does, as that enthusiasm and curiosity is now backed up with some serious knowledge and experience. 

I love the concept of abundance from a small space (my own veg patch is relatively small) so, having tumbled down the rabbit hole of a certain ubiquitous online bookseller where this book was suggested for me, I did as any fanatic gardener would do ... and reserved a copy from my local library. 

And I'm glad I did.

So much so that I was reluctant to return the library book when it was due (having renewed several times), so finally bought a copy. And have since been recommending it to everyone I know starting out on their veg growing adventures.

You might like to know why. (If you don't, stop reading ... and perhaps read one of my other posts? 😉)

For starters, the book is clearly laid out, with everything relating back to keeping the one raised bed filled with an abundance of food. Sections follow a logical order (always helpful, despite wanting to get straight into the good stuff) - Getting Started, Monthly Planner, what to expect from each month (including the winter at the end of your first year), next steps and alternative veg to try in the second year to build on confidence acquired. I loved the clear instructions backed up with good images.

Secondly, the idea of having just one 10ft by 4 ft area to grow in seems very manageable, particularly when Huw outlines how to make a raised bed and which materials to buy. I even went out and marked off a similar sized space in my veg patch; it wasn’t huge. 

In the Getting Started section, all practicalities are covered. This can be daunting for newbie gardeners when faced with a weed filled allotment or bare grass garden - where to begin? what do I need? how to start off seeds? To do it all at once would be overwhelm; Huw shows how to start with one easily maintained and achievable raised bed and work up from there as confidence increases. I think this is a simple and brilliant concept, start small, dream big. 

Having got the practicalities sorted - basic equipment needed, the why of using a raised bed (and not forgetting any windowsill space), why make compost - we get to the nitty gritty. A yearly planner of when to sow seeds or plant seedlings, and keeping the momentum going. So far, so fabulous.

But then Huw really holds your hand as he dives deeper into the month by month sections. What to sow or plant out, where to put them, how many of each plant, growing on and what can be harvested - it's all laid out on the plan. Easy peasy. 

Personally, I find the reminders of what and when to sow next so that any gaps are filled in a timely fashion really, really, useful.  It's something that I fail with all the time, even after years of growing veg! 

And then, the finale - a couple of pages about pests and diseases; the stuff you don't want to know about but really should. 

All in all, a very good book. It's a while since I felt genuinely enthusiastic about growing veg (although I love my harvests) but, as already mentioned, Huw's book has me eyeing up a length of the veg patch to follow his monthly instructions.  Maybe even two spaces as my veg patch neatly divides into 6 of Huw's raised bed sizes. And if I can get excited about this veg growing experiment, I'm fairly certain the book will dispel the fears of anyone eyeing up seed packets (or baby plants) at the local garden centre.  

I can only spot one downside and that's in the choice of veg to grow in the first year.  Obviously it's good to start with hardy veg like carrots, peas, potatoes, spinach and radishes (not an exclusive list!) but not everyone will take to kale, chard, turnips - I, for one, will always grow tomatoes, purple sprouting broccoli and nasturtiums for edible flowers, pesto and pest control!  

But don't let that put you off checking this book out. 


  1. Sounds great; like the cover illustrations. As someone who doesn't grow much veg (mostly due to time limitations) I can highly recommend chard. It can be touch and grow after germination (but that's the same for most veg), but once it gets going you'll have an abundance of lovely spinach-like leaves all summer and well into the winter. And the coloured stems are decorative too!

    1. I have to confess that my garden is rarely without chard now although I initially didn't like the slightly earthy taste of it. My favourite, grown this year, is the 'peppermint' chard with pink seaside rock coloured stems, so pretty!

  2. This does sound like a smashing book. I may have to treat myself!xxx

    1. Anything that takes the mystique out of gardening has got to be good, right! x


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