Thursday, 7 May 2009

Book Review - 'Crops in Pots' by Bob Purnell

As interest in the London Vegetable Garden continues to rise (check out our reference on the Times Online if you haven’t already), more and more of you are emailing or leaving comments requesting information on how to start vegetable gardening in a small space or on a balcony.

The London Vegetable Garden simply started off as an idea one weekend, but there are many dedicated and authoritative books upon the subject of micro-gardening, growing plants in small places and city vegetable growing. Last weekend, my Dad gave me a fantastic book called ‘Crops in Pots’ by Bob Purnell. After an enthusiastic read on a train back to London following my recent Sussex sojourn, I wholeheartedly recommend this vegetable volume for anyone considering starting their own miniature vegetable growing project!

‘Cops in Pots’ starts off by describing in detail what pots to use, how to plant your vegetable pots, what compost to use and ideal positioning, giving any amateur gardener more than enough information to begin. Purnell then goes on to mention what pests and diseases to look for, how to treat these, feeding your plants and general care.

Whilst this is clearly a great book for anyone considering growing a few vegetables in a small space or on a balcony, one of the best bits about this book is its many ‘projects’. It lists several different container combinations for you to attempt, depending on what food you’d like to compliment, such as pasta pots, select salads, textural treats and green garnish. Whilst these all allow for wonderful organic vegetable combinations to be harvested, they remain extremely simple, easy to grow and most importantly, all of these can be achieved in a pot on a balcony – just like the London Vegetable Garden.

If you’ve been inspired by the urban gardening projects brought up by following the London Vegetable Garden, Bob Purnell’s ‘Crops in Pots’ is an ideal starting point for any green-fingered city gardener. Highly recommended.

To purchase ‘Crops in Pots’ on, simply click here.


  1. Hi
    I have just bought this book, and about to move to a place where I have a small outdoor space where I will be able to grow in pots.
    What other books would you recommend for a total beginner? Do you start off your sowing indoors? And is it too late in the year to sow anything indoors that I could put outside when I move (in about 6 weeks or so)?

  2. Hi there!

    Glad you've managed to get your hands on 'Crops in Pots' - it really is the ideal book to start out container gardening with. There are so many other good books on growing your own vegetables on a balcony or small garden - simply do a search on a reputable search such as to see a wide selection of novels for the novice gardener!

    I started off growing the majority of my vegetable seeds indoors in seed trays. They were positioned inside the balcony windowsill, so benefitted from the shelter and the warmth - almost like a greenhouse! Once they had established themselves into seedlings and young plants, I transplanted them into pots and moved them outdoors, although my tomato plants are still inside enjoying the warmth of the balcony! Check out my early blog entries to see how I set about starting to grow my seeds from scratch.

    Luckily, it's not too late to start sowing vegetable seeds and growing great crops! Many varieties can be sown over a few months of the spring / summer and bear produce into autumn - for a handy guide to what you can plant and when, simply follow this link to download a useful vegetable planting guide:

    There are a couple of vegetables, such as cabbages, that can be sown in June, so you won't miss out. If you manage to move in by May they are even more seeds you'll be able to successfully start growing. Best of luck with it and please come back and share your experiences!

  3. Thank you for your nice post.I really enjoy to visit your post.Good job keep posting..

    Growing Plants



Related Posts with Thumbnails