Gardening books are some of our favorite reference books! Here’s a list of our favorite gardening books, some of which have inspired us for years.
We love to pull out all the books about gardening in the winter months as we look forward to spring. It’s the perfect time to dream and make plans for the coming garden season.
Our Favorite Gardening Books
My husband and I have been gardening for over twenty years, and much of our gardening knowledge came from reading books.
Even though we both came from a family of gardeners (and my mother also has a degree in horticulture—see her homestead here), we didn’t learn how to garden from our parents.
I saw my parents garden much of my life, and I used to play in the greenhouse where my mom worked for part of my childhood.
But it wasn’t until I got married and started dreaming of a more self-sufficient life that I got interested in learning how to garden.
Most of what we learned about gardening came from a whole lot of trial and error and books.
More Gardening Inspiration
- Where to Buy Heirloom Seeds
- How to Make Your Own Comfrey Salve
- Gardening for Beginners: The Ultimate Resource List
- How to Make Mint Tea with Fresh Mint Leaves
- 12 Tips for Growing Tomatoes
- How to Grow Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Make a Flower Planter for Your Front Porch
Best Gardening Books
Oh, the gardening books! We have a hard time not adding more to our collection.
And while we do have a large collection of homesteading and gardening books, these are some of the best books about gardening.
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1. Joy of Gardening
Garden Way’s Joy of Gardening is probably my personal favorite gardening book. And it’s largely because it’s loaded with information as well as photos.
This is a complete gardening guide, taking you from planning your garden, planting, harvesting, composting basics, dealing with pests, and there’s even a description of root cellaring.
This book was recommended to me years ago, and I still think it’s one of the best. I refer to it regularly.
2. The Family Garden Plan
If you’re a complete beginner and you can only buy one gardening book, I highly recommend The Family Garden Plan. It’s a great introduction to how to plan and plant a garden for beginners.
One of the things I love about this book is that it starts from the very beginning, and helps you plan how much to grow for your own family and situation.
3. Let’s Get Growing
Let’s Get Growing is one of my husband’s favorite books, and it’s a great all-around organic gardening how-to book.
It covers how to get healthy soil, planning and planting, growing vegetables and herbs, growing fruits, berries, trees, shrubs, and lawns. It also has a section on natural pest and weed control.
4. All New Square Foot Gardening
If you’re needing to garden in a small space, All New Square Foot Gardening is the classic that will show you how to do that. This is one of the first gardening books we ever bought.
5. Great Garden Companions
Great Garden Companions is another favorite of mine. It’s a beautiful as well as practical book filled with artistic illustrations and photos.
The book lays out a companion-planting system that will help you gain a beautiful and chemical-free vegetable garden.
From the back description:
Let Master Gardener Sally Jean Cunningham show you how to keep pests and diseases at bay with her unique companion-gardening system. By planting special combinations of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, you can minimize pest and disease problems and create a high-yielding, beautiful garden!
6. Four-Season Harvest
Eliot Coleman’s gardening books are among the best. This book is one of our favorites, along with The New Organic Grower.
In Four-Season Harvest, you’ll learn how to harvest organic vegetables from your home garden all year long. We haven’t mastered this yet, but it’s definitely a goal for the future!
7. Homegrown Pantry
Homegrown Pantry is a gorgeous, photo-filled book that helps you select the best varieties and know how much of each vegetable to plant for your family.
Description from the back:
Keep your pantry stocked throughout the year with delicious, homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs! Choose your favorites from 55 popular crops. In-depth profiles guide you in selecting the best varieties, determining how much to grow, and using the most effective harvesting and preserving methods for each plant.
Covers the following preservation methods:
- Root Cellaring
Books with photos are my absolute favorite, and this book has photos on every page!
8. The Market Gardener
The Market Gardener, as the title implies, is geared toward market gardeners. But it still contains a lot of useful information for those wanting to increase the yield of their home garden.
9. The Garden Primer
The Garden Primer is a great gardening reference book to have on hand. It’s packed with useful information, old-fashioned common sense, advice, and tips for all aspects of gardening.
10. Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening
I love the concept of this book, which I just discovered last year.
Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening is a great guide to becoming more self-reliant.
From the back cover:
Offers gardeners and homesteaders—from beginners to experts—rare insight into how to become fully food self-reliant and, in the process, transform their relationship to the food they produce and eat.
Definitely one to check out!
11. Seed to Seed
Seed to Seed is a comprehensive seed saving guide. It describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 vegetables.
Heirloom seeds are what you need to plant if you want to be able to save seeds from your plants. Check out this post on why and where to buy heirloom seeds.
Related Post: Where to Buy Heirloom Seeds
12. Homegrown Herbs
Homegrown Herbs is the best herb gardening book I’ve ever seen! I’ve been referring to this book for many years, and I still love it.
In addition to information on growing a variety of herbs, this book also shows how to harvest, preserve, and use herbs in your home.
Related Post: How to Grow Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide
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