The first thing to catch my attention were the wonderful photos. I love looking round other people's plots, seeing what they're growing, how they've got it set out and picking up any tips, and there's some fabulous photos of allotment sites and various plots in this book.
The first chapter deals with The Half-Hour Principle which was dreamt up by Will Sibley, a nurseryman and allotment holder. He worked out a way to maintain his plot and meet a good proportion of his family's fruit and vegetable needs by working on his plot just half an hour each day with weekends off.
Other chapters in the book include Taking on a plot, Deciding what to grow, Growing the best varieties, Keeping on top of your plot, The first year, Nurturing your plants, Managing pests and diseases, An allotment for children and What next? I'd say that the book is aimed at the beginner rather than someone who already has an allotment as there's some rather basic information provided, and the principle of working on the plot little and often is a great way to ensure that new allotmenteers see progress being made on their plot and don't become overwhelmed. We often see people take on a plot before realising that it's hard work and giving it up again in the first year, this book should help to ensure this doesn't happen.
The book reinforces the concept of growing for flavour rather than uniform looks as many commercial growers do.
The Veg Varieties chapter gives lots of information on a whole host of different fruit and veg providing tips and recommended cultivars too.
How's this for a luxury bug hotel, isn't it fabulous? I've been meaning to have a go at making something similar but still haven't got round to it. Having something like this will encourage a variety of useful pollinating insects to nest and hibernate on your plot.
All in all, I think RHS: The Half-Hour Allotment is a great little book, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's thinking of taking on an allotment and those who already have an allotment may find some parts useful to read as I did.
To order RHS The Half Hour Allotment at the discounted price of £13.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG378.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.