21 Best Gardening Books for Beginners

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Before you start digging, check out these best gardening books for beginners.

Here, you will find a collection of books that will help everyone from apartment gardeners to organic vegetable gardeners.

Books for Vertical gardening

This section of books are perfect if you want your own garden but simply don’t have the yard space. In small outdoor spaces, the best way to create a beautiful garden is to use vertical space.

Here are some of the best books with tips to grow a vertical garden in less space than you’d imagine.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out

In this book, Vertical Gardening, you will find recommendations for the best plants in your space-saving vertical gardening.

Derek Fell’s grow-up, grow-down system also shows which ground-level plants make good companions underneath and alongside climbing plants.

With a mix of DIY and commercially available string supports, trellises, pergolas, raised beds, and topsy-turvy planters, the vertical garden system reduces work, increases yields, makes harvesting easier, and can be practiced in spaces as small as a container or a one-by-four-foot strip. 

Vertical gardening guarantees a better outcome from the day the trowel hits the soil—by shrinking the amount of “floor” space needed and focusing on climbing plants that are less prone to insects, diseases, and animal pests.

Vertical Gardening: A Complete Guide

A vertical garden can run the gamut from a simple arrangement of flowers in a large container on a deck to an elaborate display of strawberries and geraniums amid climbing peas and vines of small squash growing up a backyard fence.

Of particular interest to urban dwellers and to city residents with limited yard space or sunlight, growing plants vertically can also be used by suburban and rural gardeners so valuable ground space can be freed up for root crops.

Gardening expert Jason Johns offers examples of many types of vertical gardens and offers suggestions on which plants to select that thrive when grown vertically. You’ll be able to maximize your yield in minimal space.

Vertical Vegetables

In Vertical Vegetables, author Amy Andrychowicz shows you a thing or two about growing up. Gardening vertically, that is. With practical principles and the incisive background information you’ll need to start, Amy shows you how to build nearly two dozen growing structures, including trellises, arbors, archways, wall pockets, towers, and more.

Among the many projects in her new book, Amy has included several that are eye-wideningly stunning, especially once the garden has matured. Freestanding or wall-hung, the projects reflect a wide variety of building materials, too, including dimensional lumber, metal rebar, fabric, and even “upcycled” everyday objects. 

Vertical Vegetables is packed with important information, including lists of plants that are best suited for vertical growing. This beautiful project book is your key to more garden produce and improved outdoor living in any space, from tiny and urban, to large and sprawling.

Vertical Vegetables and Fruit

For gardeners working in confined spaces, Vertical Vegetables and Fruit is for you!

With tepees, trellises, hanging baskets, cages, wall pockets, and multilevel raised beds, you can reap bountiful harvests in even the tiniest growing areas.

From kiwis on a clothesline to tomatoes dangling outside a window, Vertical Vegetables & Fruit shows you how to construct and maintain a thriving and abundant garden in whatever small space you have available. 

Field Guide to Urban Gardening

In Field Guide to Urban Gardening, author Kevin Espiritu, shares the basics of growing plants.

It’s a good book that offers tips on how to choose the right urban gardening method, and troubleshoots the most common problems you’ll encounter.

If you think it’s impossible to grow your own food because you don’t have a large yard or you live in the city…think again. There is a plethora of urban gardening options to create beautiful, productive edible gardens no matter where you live.

Urban gardening techniques featured include:

  • Container Gardening
  • Raised Beds
  • Indoor Edibles
  • Balconies and Rooftops
  • Hydroponics

Books for Experienced Gardeners

If you’ve been gardening for some time, but are looking for ways to improve, this section of gardening books is for you.

The Backyard Homestead

This comprehensive guide to homesteading provides all the information you need to grow and preserve a sustainable harvest of grains and vegetables; raise animals for meat, eggs, and dairy; and keep honey bees for your sweeter days.

Enjoy your backyard bounty all year long.

The Elegant and Edible Garden

Stylish and celebratory, The Elegant and Edible Garden takes food growing to a higher plane.

Author and garden stylist Linda Vater, shares her vision for creating a garden space where food and flowers grow side by side.

Inside you’ll learn:

  • How to grow flowers, fruits, veggies, and herbs together en masse
  • The function of symmetry in a potager garden
  • Ways to create visual harmony and match the style of the garden to its surroundings
  • Tips for blending your family’s needs and lifestyle into the garden
  • Advice on how to utilize focal points and garden ornaments in your garden’s layout
  • The importance of rhythm, repetition, and harmony in potager design
  • How to position garden structures with practicality and purpose in mind
  • Where to put your potager for not just convenience but also to create a destination
  • Best practices for growing your beautiful new garden organically

The Flower Gardener’s Bible

This comprehensive guide includes expert advice on everything from choosing an appropriate growing site to maximizing the lifespan of your plants.

Great flower garden illustrations and photographs accompany helpful tips on how to improve soil, fight off pests, and make all your flowers bloom with radiant color. . 

All New Square Foot Gardening II

Square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden.

Author Mel Bartholomew has describes how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Now, with the publication of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition, the essential guide to his unique step-by-step method has become even better.

Rich with new full-color images and updated tips for selecting materials, this beautiful new edition is perfect for brand-new gardeners as well as the millions of square foot gardeners who are already dedicated to Mel’s industry-changing insights.

The Family Garden Plan

Do something good for your family by learning how to plant a garden that will yield healthy, wholesome food throughout the year. 

Melissa K. Norris, author of The Family Garden Plan, will walk you through each step of the process, from planning your food crops and garden space to harvesting and preserving the food you grow. Even intermediate to experienced gardeners will discover dozens of new ideas. 

The Green Witch’s Garden

A green witch embraces the power of nature, draws energy from the earth and the universe, and relies on stones, plants, flowers, and herbs for healing.

In The Green Witch’s Garden, you will learn how to create your own magical space to enhance your witchcraft practice. 

With information on how to plan and design your sacred garden and tips and tricks to growing and harvesting magical ingredients, this book will allow you to take control of your practice and more deeply connect with the earth.

The Complete Gardener

The Complete Gardener is a practical guide to every aspect of gardening.

The most comprehensive, practical, and highly illustrated book Monty has ever written, it covers what he believes are the most important aspects of gardening. Organic techniques have always been at the core of his practice, but this new edition picks up on another key principle: the need to provide habitats in your garden for local wildlife.

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require.

This gardening book for beginners and advanced gardeners covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more.

Vegetable Gardening Books

Organic gardeners; you’ll love this collection of essential reading titles. These books will help you with everything from soil building to picking your fresh produce!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

This book is the perfect companion for every vegetable gardener—even those who have never touched a trowel and wouldn’t know mulch from mud!

The practical advice presented in the Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook demystifies gardening by providing the best, most proven methods for sowing, growing, and harvesting.

Build the ideal foundation with clear instructions for constructing raised beds, preparing containers, and mixing healthy soil.

Pick the perfect plants with in-depth profiles that detail how to grow beloved culinary plants, from peppery arugula to cool melons and fragrant rosemary.

Nurture a budding garden with this reference for pairing up companion plants, watering and mulching, handling pests, and maintaining plants year-round.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition

Smith’s legendary high-yield gardening method emphasizes wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil. Succeed with fussy plants, try new and unusual varieties, and learn how to innovatively extend your growing season.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible provides expert information and an inspiring roadmap for gardeners of all skill levels to enjoy abundant homegrown vegetables.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener

Even in winter’s coldest months you can harvest fresh, delicious produce.

Learn how to select the best varieties for each season, the art of succession planting, and how to build inexpensive structures to protect your crops from the elements. No matter where you live, you’ll soon enjoy a thriving vegetable garden year-round.

Four Season Food Gardening

Four-Season Food Gardening hands you everything you need to make growing food 365 days a year. It will be your new superpower!

This book shares what you can grow during each of the four seasons. Even if you live in a cold climate, you can learn to keep your garden growing.

Using season-extension techniques, such as cold frames, mini hoop houses, and thick mulches, you’ll discover that eating from your backyard through all 12 months is possible.

Inside, you’ll find info on:

  • Veggies you can harvest in the dead of winter
  • Foods that come from perennial plants you harvest from for many years
  • How to build and use cold frames and other season extenders to prolong your harvest
  • Tips for incorporating layers of edible plants to maximize space
  • Pruning, planting, and maintenance advice for dozens of crops
  • Seasonal maintenance and harvesting know-how from a pro

Best Gardening Books for Beginners

There are no stupid questions! And, remember, failing at gardening means you will become a better gardener. We learn from trial and error.

Here are some of the top rated gardening books for beginners.

The First Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables

You’re excited to plant your first vegetable garden—but where to start? In The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

Homesteader Jessica Sowards, the warm and energetic host of YouTube’s Roots and Refuge Farm, is the perfect teacher for new gardeners, offering not just know-how but inspiration and time-management tips for success.

Before you sink your hands into the soil, she’ll answer all those questions rolling around inside your head:

  • Where do I put my new garden?
  • How do I prepare the soil?
  • What vegetables should I plant?
  • Is it better to start new plants from seed or should I buy transplants?
  • What about watering, feeding, and taking care of my garden?
  • What do I do if bugs show up?

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners

Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners includes:  

  • Raised-bed gardening 101 – From constructing a planting box to mixing and maintaining soil, step-by-step instructions make getting started easy. 
  • From greenhouse to green thumb – Help your garden thrive with detailed suggestions for crop rotation, partner planting, and seed starting. 
  • Perfect picks – Full profiles – plus growing and harvesting tips for beginner-friendly plants. It will make choosing the right ones for your garden a cinch. 

Take your gardening to the next level with Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

Do you want to craft a soothing aloe lotion? How about make a dandelion-burdock tincture to fix sluggish digestion? Or, you can brew up some lavender-lemon balm tea to ease a stressful day.

Gladstar shares all about healing plants. She includes advice on growing, harvesting, preparing, and using herbs in healing tinctures, oils, and creams. Stock your medicine cabinet full of all-natural, low-cost herbal preparations.

Gardening Basics for Dummies

Gardening Basics is the ideal introduction to gardening! You will learning the intense pleasure of gardening, and will be happy to reap what you’ve sown!

The Backyard Gardener

The “garden to table” movement is inspiring another generation of gardeners but many of them have questions.

Focus on sustainable, organic growing practices and plants. The Backyard Gardener is a comprehensive handbook that will help get them started.

Now that you have a collection of books to choose from, it’s time to start garening!

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

6 Easy Steps to Start No-Till Gardening

A Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

Introduction to Homesteading

20 Best Shoes for Landscaping

Gardening Books for Beginners