banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

BOOK REVIEW: 1-Minute Gardener by Mat Pember & Fabian Capomolla (The Little Veggie Patch Co.)

| 29 August 2021 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: 1-Minute Gardener by Mat Pember & Fabian Capomolla (The Little Veggie Patch Co.)

Plum | Pan Macmillan Australia
August 2021
Paperback, $26.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Non-Fiction / Gardening / Edible Gardening / Australian Gardening

95% Rocking

The Little Veggie Patch Co. has taken the mystery out of – and put the fun back into – growing fruit and vegetables. No matter how much or how little space you have, whether it’s in the sprawling suburbs or an inner-city high rise, the Little Veggie Patch team will have you growing your own food in no time.

1-Minute Gardener features 60 illustrated step-by-step guides to edible gardening essentials, from preparing and caring for your patch through to harvesting the rewards (and getting the kids involved along the way). These handy how-to guides include:

  • Choosing your location
  • Optimising your soil
  • The world’s easiest seedling incubator
  • Crop rotation no-brainers
  • How to fertilise in pots
  • Staking tomatoes like a pro
  • Stink bombing possums
  • The right way to harvest herbs
  • The lowdown on edible flowers
  • Hand pollination for beginners
  • Easy-peasy trellising
  • Seed bombing
  • Competitive snail hunting

Growing your own food has never been simpler, speedier or more fun, so pull on your gumboots and get planting with the Little Veggie Patch crew.



You guys, I did NOT expect to go into a gardening book and get JOKES, but this book was light and informative all at once, and filled with Aussie humour.

As someone who has often dabbled in gardening here and there, but never really devoted any time or energy to learning the ins and outs of soil PH, best time of day to plant and water, and such, but who has successfully ALMOST grown a butternut pumpkin with my lack of knowledge, there is a lot here to take in, but the layout manages to make it quick and easy to digest.

Not all will be retained, of course, but what the Little Veggie Patch Co. do throughout these 192 pages is give you a run-down of all the areas you should be aware of, and some specific tips on a range of ways to care for your garden and give it the best chance.

Almost every 1-minute skill comes in the form of a double-page spread, with maybe a handful of topics running four pages. But these sections, whether two or four pages, are broken down into easy-to-follow steps with full-colour photos to help guide us on our gardening journey. This makes for easy refresher courses when it comes to dealing with that particular part of caring for your fruit and veggie patch.

There were many little giggles throughout, but my personal favourite has to be when they were talking about hand-pollination, leading into the section with the below:

Despite the mutually beneficial outcome for both plant and grower, hand-pollination feels a little naughty. Try to remember that hand-pollination is a great way of ensuring a bountiful harvest, so there should be no reservations about this task.
But with the peace of mind that comes from knowing even the Pope hand-pollinates, it’s about time we showed you how to do it properly.

And then goes on in steps three to seven:

3. With flowers identified, the next step is waiting until the flowers are ready. The natural window of opportunity exists when the female flower is open – the male is up for it any time.

4. First put on some nice music to set the mood.

5. Now start the process by peeling back the male flower, exposing the stamen.

6. Rub the exposed stamen over the stigma in the female flower. Now you’re hand-pollinating! You’re really doing it!

7. You want to make sure the flower is properly fertilised so that the fruit sets. Remember you can’t over-pollinate a flower, so hand-pollinate to your heart’s content, or until you get bored. 


If all gardening books are as fun and engaging as this one, I’ve really been missing out… but I really do suspect this is a rare gem within the genre, an informative book that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad