- When you’re searching for a gardening book for your own use, consider what type of plants you want to grow (such as herbs, vegetables, or flowers), your level of experience, and reader reviews.
- When you’re searching for a gardening book to give as a gift, consider the recipient’s skill level and the book’s focus/topic.
When it comes to picking good gardening books, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider what type of gardening you’d like to do. There are books on herb gardens, vegetable gardens, and even specific types of plants. Once you know what kind of gardening you’re interested in, you can start narrowing down your choices.
Another key factor to consider is your level of experience. If you’re a beginner, look for books with step-by-step instructions and plenty of photos. If you’re experienced, you may want a book that covers more advanced topics. Either way, ensure the book you choose is appropriate for your skill level.
Finally, look at the reviews to understand what other gardeners think of the book. Look for books with primarily positive reviews, which indicates that they’re well-written and informative. Conveniently all of these factors were considered when putting together this post. You will be able to find some great gardening books to add to your collection down below.
- The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
- Helps novice gardeners avoid becoming overwhelmed, but also packed with info for experienced gardeners
- Filled with charts and bulletpoints
- In print since 2009
- Vertical Gardening
- Shows you how to garden if you have limited backyard space
- Easy-to-understand beginner-friendly guide
- Introduction to a new method of gardening
- Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners
- Shows you how to construct a raised-bed garden
- Great for novices
- Lots of diagrams for visually-oriented leaners
- The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year's Worth of Sustainable and Healthy Food
- Includes recipes for fresh produce in delicious and nutritious meals
- Great for novices and experts alike
- Proactively answers possible questions that may arise
- Field Guide to Urban Gardening
- Great introduction to urban gardening
- Interesting descriptions of hydroponics
- Better for beginners than experts
- The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden
- Over 60 different garden designs
- Designs can be followed to the letter or customized to taste
- Tips on how to handle changing of the seasons
1. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil by Edward C. Smith
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil by Edward C. Smith assists both novice and seasoned gardeners comprehend every aspect of creating and managing a garden. It helps novice gardeners avoid becoming overwhelmed or attempting too much too quickly. This book is packed with information for experienced gardeners, not only about raised garden beds but also about growing a range of vegetables.
Gardeners appreciate the effort put into the design of this book. It has graphs, bullet lists, charts, and more. Smith’s method for growing a thriving vegetable garden depends on efficient natural processes, from building nutrient-rich soil by composting to covering crops to controlling weeds and pests by companion planting and luring beneficial insects.
Everything you need is well explained in this book that has been in print since 2009. It’s available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and spiral-bound versions. Thousands of gardeners keep this copy close by to reference it throughout the years. This is perfect if you’re serious about gardening or want to improve the one you’ve already established.
This book has a 4.8 (out of 5) rating, but some reviewers said that the book is geared towards beginners. Others indicated that it was for experienced gardeners, not beginners. We recommend that you peruse the reviews to determine whether it’s right for you.
Pros and Cons of The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil by Edward C. Smith
|This book will help both novice and experienced North American gardeners implement the author’s W-O-R-D system to create and manage an organic vegetable garden.||Some reviewers said that the book is geared towards beginners.|
|W-O-R-D stands for Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil.||Others indicated that it was for experienced gardeners, not beginners.|
|This well-designed title features graphs, bulleted lists, and more.|
|It’s available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and spiral-bound versions.|
2. Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell
Many novice gardeners try to create a big first garden that turns out to be more than they can handle. They have no idea how much labor, including weeding and watering, is involved in maintaining a large plot. Vertical gardens, on the other hand, have a smaller horizontal footprint (take up less space) and harness the advantages of climbing plants, which are typically hardier and less susceptible to diseases and insects. Plus, because they’re vertical, they’re out of reach of many animal pests!
The author, Derek Fell, recommends the best fruit, flower, and vegetable varieties for vertical gardens based on extensive experience. He also suggests ground-level plants that you can plant next to and under your vertical plants.
This book will help you select and create the ideal structures for supporting your vertical garden, including string supports, trellises, and more. Plus, this method of gardening is ideal for individuals who don’t have a large yard, since it can be practiced in containers as well as plots of yard measuring as little as 1′ x 4′.
This beginner-friendly guide to learning the best ways to utilize the space you are working with and have excellent results features 100 color photos and is available in paperback and Kindle formats. Novice gardeners appreciate how easy it is to understand. It is more for those who have never worked with gardening in this way, and experts may find that they already know everything in this book.
A couple of reviewers were disappointed that some of the illustrations were in black and white, which is contrary to the publisher’s description.
Pros and Cons of Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell
|Vertical gardens have smaller horizontal footprints than traditional gardens and are generally easier to maintain, in part because climbing plants are typically hardier and less susceptible to diseases, insects, and animals.||This book may not be suitable for individuals who are already familiar with vertical gardening.|
|Based on his extensive experience, the author recommends the best varieties of fruits, flowers, and veggies for vertical gardens.||A couple of reviewers were disappointed that some of the illustrations were in black and white, which is contrary to the publisher’s description.|
|You’ll learn which type of structure is best to support your vertical garden.|
|This beginner-friendly guide will help you use your available space optimally.|
|It features 100 color photos and is available in paperback and Kindle formats.|
3. Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden by Tammy Wylie
In Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden, the author demonstrates how straightforward it is to design, construct, and produce your raised-bed garden regardless of space limitations. In fact, novice gardeners with no prior experience wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone planning to plant their first tiny garden.
You’ll learn how to construct your raised garden beds and select plants that are most suitable for this gardening method. Even if you’ve never gardened before, this book will have you harvesting your own veggies and herbs in no time!
This instruction manual, which is available in Kindle and paperback formats, includes an introduction with step-by-step instructions to building a raised garden bed, how to mix and maintain soil, info on crop rotation, starting seeds, and growing zones. It also features extensive overviews of 30 easy-to-grow plants and explains how to select the right ones for your raised-bed garden.
It is excellent for visual learners who are more likely to comprehend and retain diagrams and visuals. This book has attractive illustrations and simple directions. Many readers of this book have started gardens in their backyards with great success.
Several reviewers reported that the information in this book was “very basic” and only appropriate for beginners.
Pros and Cons of Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden by Tammy Wylie
|This manual will teach you how to design and construct a raised garden and walk you through all the steps leading to harvesting your own veggies and herbs.||Several reviewers reported that the information in this book was “very basic” and only appropriate for beginners.|
|It’s available in Kindle and paperback formats.|
|You’ll learn how to mix and maintain soil, rotate crops, start seeds, and more.|
|It includes an overview of 30 easy-to-grow plants and explains how to select the right ones for your raised-bed garden.|
|This book is ideal for visual learners who comprehend and retain info from diagrams and visuals.|
|It features attractive illustrations and simple directions.|
4. The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year’s Worth of Sustainable and Healthy Food by Melissa K. Norris
The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year’s Worth of Sustainable and Healthy Food was written by Melissa K. Norris, a fifth-generation homesteader and host of the podcast Pioneering Today, which reaches over a million listeners. So you can rest assured that she’ll walk you through each step of planning your garden, starting and transplanting seedlings, tending your garden, harvesting your crops, and preserving your harvest. She even includes recipes for using your fresh-picked fruit, veggies, and herbs in nutritious, delicious meals.
The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year’s Worth of Sustainable and Healthy Food is a comprehensive guide that includes worksheets, charts, checklists, and monthly tasks so you’ll know what to do when for your garden. Norris also tells you how to handle any problems that might affect your crop such as insects or disease. It’s available in Kindle, paperback, and audio formats.
There are some religious references in this text, so if you prefer a book that’s strictly about gardening, this title may not be for you.
Pros and Cons of The Family Garden Plan: Grow a Year’s Worth of Sustainable and Healthy Food by Melissa K. Norris
|This book was written by Melissa K. Norris, a fifth-generation homesteader and host of the podcast Pioneering Today.||There are religious references throughout this text, so if you’d prefer a book that’s strictly about gardening, this title isn’t for you.|
|The book provides instructions on how to plan your garden, start and transplant seedlings, tend your garden, harvest your crops, and preserve your harvest.|
|It also includes recipes for using your fresh-picked produce in nutritious, delicious meals.|
|It includes worksheets, charts, checklists, and monthly tasks to keep your garden on track.|
|Norris also tells you how to handle problems that might arise, such as insects or disease.|
|This book is available in Kindle, paperback, and audio formats.|
- Includes recipes for fresh produce in delicious and nutritious meals
- Great for novices and experts alike
- Proactively answers possible questions that may arise
5. Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live by Kevin Espiritu
If you want to grow a garden but you don’t have a yard, don’t despair! Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live by Kevin Espiritu can help you grow your own food in the city.
The trick is determining which growing method(s) makes the most sense for your living environment —such as container gardening, raised beds, indoor edibles, balconies and rooftops, and hydroponics — and providing what your plants need to flourish. Espiritu provides detailed garden plans to make whichever method(s) you chose a reality, from DIY recycled crafts to elaborate hydroponic systems.
Urban gardening is a current, significant, and rising movement. Your guide to starting to grow today is this information-packed book. Gardeners liked how in-depth it went about hydroponics and how you can use the available spaces. Experts may not find this book helpful, but it’s great for the average gardener and beginners.
One reviewer said that this book was “not for city apartment dwellers, and very much a beginners guide.” She elaborated that this book isn’t practical for city dwellers, who probably don’t have tools in their apartments, know where to purchase items such as concrete rebar, or have the strength to carry 25-pound bags of soil up four flights of stairs.
Pros and Cons of Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live by Kevin Espiritu
|This book is designed to help urban dwellers grow their own food in the city.||Experts may not find this book helpful.|
|The author presents a wide variety of growing methods and helps the reader figure out which one(s) will work the best for their living situation.||One reviewer said that this book was impractical for city apartment dwellers.|
|He also provides detailed garden plans to make these gardening methods a reality.|
6. The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden by Roy Diblik
If you’re new to gardening, you may not know that perennials “come back” year after year. Author Roy Diblik’s approach is to grow perennials on a 10′ x 14′ grid. He presents 62 unique designs containing perennials that complement each other and have similar maintenance requirements so there’s less work — and more payoff — for you. You can follow these designs to the letter or customize them to accommodate your taste. And because they’re perennials, you won’t have to replant them every year.
The book details what you can expect from the garden as the years go by and how the plants will behave during different seasons. It’s available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover formats.
One reviewer said, “Applies best to the upper Midwest. Elsewhere, you’ll need to translate his plant palette and redesign each plan. Plans are depicted as planting grids, in overhead view only. The absence of a ground-level view showing height and form makes visualization difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the plants. No photographs of executed plans (although for me that’s not a showstopper).” A few other reviewers said that this book was best for beginning gardeners.
Pros and Cons of The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden by Roy Diblik
|The author’s approach is to plant perennials on a 10′ x 14′ grid.||One reviewer said that the book applies best to the upper Midwest and that since the grids are depicted from an overhead view only, it may be difficult to imagine the grid from a side view.|
|He presents 62 unique designs using perennials that complement each other and have similar maintenance requirements so you’ll have less work.||Some reviewers said that this book was best for beginning gardeners.|
|You can customize the designs and they won’t need to be replanted annually since they’re perennials.|
|The book explains what you can expect from the garden as the years go by and from season to season.|
|It’s available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover formats.|
7. The Cook’s Herb Garden: Grow, Harvest, Cook by DK
Herbs are some of the easiest edible plants you can grow, and you can grow them practically anywhere, from your backyard garden to your kitchen windowsill to a window box. This book presents a visual feast of over 120 culinary herbs and shares over 30 delicious recipes to make with them, including salad dressings, marinades, pesto, herb teas, and more!
The author, Jeff Cox, inspires readers by sharing which herbs grow best under which conditions and which herbs like to be grown together. You may also choose to group herbs by classification or use, such as Mediterranean, everyday seasonings, and salad herbs.
This book, which is available in Kindle and hardcover formats, is geared towards beginners and advanced gardeners alike.
One reviewer sad that they have experienced issues growing herbs for the past two years: “Why am I having so much trouble? I was hoping the book would help. But there are two short pages about pests and two short pages about diseases. Is it really that easy to grow herbs for everyone? Why would a book about all herbs have so little insights into problems with growing them?”
A couple of verified buyers indicated that they had difficulty reading this title in Kindle format.
Pros and Cons of The Cook’s Herb Garden: Grow, Harvest, Cook by DK
|Herbs are easy to grow and you can grow them practically anywhere.||One reviewer said that there wasn’t enough information about dealing with pests and diseases|
|This book features 120 culinary herbs and 30 recipes you can make with them.||One reviewer said that there wasn’t enough information about dealing with pests and diseases.|
|Learn which herbs grow best under which conditions and which like to be grown together.|
|You may choose to plant herbs by classification or use, such as Mediterranean or salad herbs.|
|This book, which is available in Kindle and hardcover formats, is geared towards beginners and advanced gardeners alike.|
How to Choose the Right Gardening Book for Gift Giving
Choosing the right gardening book to give as a gift is easy if you keep the following factors in mind: skill level and the focus/topic of the book.
If you’re planning to buy a gardening book as a gift, ask yourself whether the book is appropriate for the gardener’s skill level. A book intended for beginners may be frustrating and essentially useless to an intermediate or advanced gardener (or vise versa).
This review includes books on a wide variety of gardening-related topics, including different styles of gardening, such as raised beds and vertical gardening; gardening to provide healthy food for your entire family; urban gardening; creating an attractive perennial garden; and how to grow, harvest, and cook herbs. It’s important to consider the recipient’s available gardening space and their gardening goals. For example, if the recipient lives in a four-floor walkup apartment, they don’t have enough space to grow a perennial garden or a food garden that’s large enough to sustain their family for a year. A book written specifically for urban gardeners will be much more practical — and appreciated.
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