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Hot Beds


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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction Hot beds are nothing new How hot beds work The advantages of hot beds Preparing the hot bed Creating the hot bed Planning and sowing What to grow, and varieties Management of your hot beds Case studies Further possibilities Resources

Promotional Information

A low-cost, sustainable approach to cultivating out-of-season vegetables in small spaces, using the age-old technique of growing in hot beds.

About the Author

Jack First is an experienced horticulturalist who has pioneered, developed and fully tested the methods covered in his book Hot Beds. His hot beds have been featured on BBC TV’s Gardeners’ World. He works with volunteers on a large plot in Keighley and is the sole supplier to his local wholefood shop of out-of-season greens, new potatoes and salads.


Jack is a fount of knowledge and the expert on hot beds. When I visited his allotment and saw how advanced and healthy his crops were, it proved to me that these old systems still work a treat and are just as relevant now - if not more so - than they ever were.
*Joe Swift, garden designer and TV presenter*

Within four chapters I was convinced enough to start thinking about where to squeeze a couple of hot beds into my garden. Nicely laid out and easy to read and reference… a must for any keen gardener or sustainable living enthusiast.
*Suma Wholefood Wholesalers Blog.*

I have waited a long time for this book… Jack First has done all the hard work… His authority on the subject is evident in the detailed descriptions and analysis of the various methods used… Most importantly, if the last few summers are the start of a pattern we must get used to, then this gem of a book may mean a lot more than just a fascinating insight into a traditional technique.
*Gardens Illustrated*

If you want super-early crops without the hassle and expense of a heated greenhouse, look no further than Hot Beds by Jack First. This compact book brings back up to date Victorian gardeners’ techniques of building frames over piles of manure to harness the heat and grow everything from slads and spinach to beet and carrots. A must-read if you’d like to pursue a low-cost, eco-friendly approach to out-of-season crops.
*Grow Your Own*

With increasing numbers of people seeing the value in growing their own fruit and vegetables, it seems that there is a ready-made audience for First’s new guide. If you fancy getting a head start on your salad crops, why not make this the year you join the hot bed revolution?
*The Scotsman*

With clear instructions, diagrams and colour images the author shares his experience of using this established method of early growing… This is an area full of possibilities for increasing yields in the vegetable garden.
*The Landsman*

Jack First’s small but perfectly formed volume on Hot Beds is going to save me a lot of time… a very detailed guide… If you’re unfamiliar with this once widely used technique then Jack First is the man to tell you about it. Charles Dowding has read this book and is experimenting with the technique on his new farm. That's got to be the highest recommendation anyone can have.

First and foremost… Jack Frost comes off second best when he takes on Jack First.
*Yorkshire Post*

I’d describe this book as ground-breaking, except that there’s no actual digging involved.

Jack’s passion for the subject he has pioneered, tried and tested, comes across in this practical guide… Hot Beds explains this highly productive, space-saving, low-cost, eco-friendly growing technique in a straightforward way, showing you how to grow crops without fossil-fuel energy or elaborate equipment
*Telegraph and Argus*

A load of manure takes pride of place amongst the illustrations in this illuminating text on the history, theory and practice of building hot beds… In precise language, using clear illustrations, the author demonstrates how local waste resources can be recycled sustainably, saving both real and financial resources… Combined with a clarity of writing style, the index and cross-referencing make the book a joy to work with… As Jack First researched this book and prepared it for publication, he was probably unaware that he was writing the definitive textbook on the hands-on application of Social Credit principles… Hot Beds is set to be a signpost towards a future of a sane and sustainable economy.
*The Social Crediter*

Learn how to grow veg and fruit so that you can harvest at least two months earlier than conventionally grown crops.
*Friends of the Earth Pinterest*

Hot Beds describes how the author has been experimenting with hot beds at home and at work for the past 15 years… Muck is the traditional material, but is not available to all. Jack, an experienced grower of out-of-season greens, new potatoes and salad, has tried many other materials with great success.
*Sunday Telegraph*

Jack is certainly pioneering this highly productive, yet low-cost, year-round gardening technique. It is difficult not to be tempted into trying the same to some degree and upon reading this delightful book. We have decided to incorporate some of these methods into our own allotment during the next 2 months. We’re pretty certain that you will too.
*Pushing Up Dandelions website*

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