There are literally hundreds of horticultural books out there. It’s easy to see these huge mountains of mountains and wonder what the best gardening books are … or at least the ones you should seriously consider at some point.
So we sat down and looked at this problem and divided it into different categories. Everything from essential books for your permanent collection to esoteric books is somewhere in this list.
Sure, it does not contain every book that is available. But it contains what we like best of the best and the information you find here will move your gardens to hills that were previously unknown!
An essential edition for any gardener
Field Guidance on Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants No matter Where You Live
by Kevin Espirita
We could not have written such a work without mentioning Kevin’s truly epic guide to urban gardening. It is the best beginner gardening book that explains everything in an easy to understand format. And of course we know there are other gardening books in town, but we know without a doubt that this one is great.
Kevin’s handy reference books are full of tasks, everything you need to know to get your garden going and information for the novice gardener and experienced gardener. His competent advice ensures that you can get the most out of your garden, whether on the balcony, in the yard or indoors.
We sell signed copies here at Epic Gardening. So if you want one, follow the link below to get your own!
by Mel Bartholomew
This is really a classic among gardeners. Mel’s method revolutionized the backyard in a way we could not dream of before it was published in 1981. Dense garden space has always been a challenge, but with the insight you will find here, you will learn to pack the best in every square meter of space.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best gardening books available. It deserves a place on your bookshelf, but keep it within reach. You will find that you browse a lot through it. It also contains the recipe for “Mel’s Mix”, one of them mixed pot It’s out of this world.
Rodale’s complete encyclopedia on organic gardening
When you say “perfect” you mean business. This great summary covers a lot of organic technology and offers you a lot of advice on gardening. It’s one of the best gardening books you will ever have. It solves problems you find in a variety of climates, from the desert in the southwest to the snow-covered northeast, and comes up with workable solutions for every problem.
With in-depth information on pest control, aquaculture and more, this book has a wealth of knowledge you need. I consider this book one of my gardening books I need to have and I think you do too.
AHS encyclopedia of horticulture
The American Horticultural Society has always been a source of knowledge about quality horticulture. Here they have collected these proven methods in a unique book from the world’s leading horticultural authorities.
One of the best gardening books for beginners, AHS takes you step by step through all aspects of gardening. It covers content from seeds to compost in a way that gives you almost everything you need in one volume. If you need to choose one book, we recommend Kevin … but if you want two books, this is our second choice for the novice gardener.
Organic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way 3rd Edition
by Charles Dowding
Many of us know Charles Dowding from his extensive YouTube video collection. He has also written a number of books on his technology that are not buried and this book has become very popular with those who know his methods.
In this third edition of his gardening book, he explains the pros and cons of his technique. Here you will find many insights into the possibilities of growing fruits and vegetables with compost and fertilizer to create a living soil that produces for you all year round.
Handbook of the Old Farmer Vegetable Gardener
Vegetable books on gardening are widely available, but the old farmer’s almanac has been a priority for gardeners for centuries. In this comprehensive vegetable gardening book you will now find all the information from your experienced gardeners.
This book is one of the best gardening books you can buy if you are going to grow your own food. This book introduces methods that you can use to achieve high yields and reduce pest problems on your plants. It covers much more than recent gardening books and brings you centuries of food growth in one book.
RHS gardening all year round
Although this summary focuses on the UK and the seasons, the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden book shows everything you need to do, all year round. Times may be a little different for us in the United States, but you can easily customize your to-do list to suit your own climate. And these to-do lists are invaluable.
For Beginners: You will find that this is one of the best gardening books to get you started on your path to success. I definitely think this is necessary for new planters!
Snakes eat my garbage, the 35th anniversary edition
by Mary Appelhof
The art of vermicomposting, or worming, is described in this book in a simple and easy-to-understand way. You have been considered important as a gardening book and you learn from Mrs. Appelhof how to maintain a worm colony and how to harvest this precious. Worm casting for use in the garden. If you want to start worming, you need a copy of this book.
Moltuborg: Practical geological knowledge for living in a small space
by Rebecca Louie
But what if you do not have much space? That’s fine, you can still compost your waste into something precious in the garden. Rebecca describes methods that work for studio apartments or small houses in addition to larger rooms and provides valuable insights into the methods you need to successfully compost.
Redefine your living space with one or more composting methods it describes. Not only do they have spectacular landscaping, they also keep useful materials out of the landfill. And that in itself is worth it.
Rodale’s book on composting
Experienced or amateur, this book has some value for you. This book begins with the history of composting and extends into the present. Here are the methods and everything you need to know about having compost. The Landing Book, one of Rodale’s gardening books, is definitely worth a look!
The science of gardening
Botany for gardeners 3rd edition
by Brian Capon
If you have ever wondered how seeds can produce giant trees, you are not alone. Botany for botanists is an incredible resemblance to plant biology. Each concept is defined and explained to help the reader learn about science.
Even those with a lot of experience up their sleeve can find something useful in this gardening book and it will make your next trip to the botanical garden so much more fun!
How Plants Work: The Science Behind Amazing Things, Plants Do
by Linda Chalker-Scott
Have you ever wondered why your facility is doing something even though you try your best to keep it? If so, the answers you are looking for may be in this incredibly useful book. Learning why plants do what they do can help you avoid potential problems before they do start.
Linda Chalker-Scott holds a PhD where she explains and solves many of your gardening problems.
Horticultural decoding advice: The science behind the top 100 tips
by Jeff Gillman & Meleah Maynard
We’re all got gardening advice … but who’s useful and who’s rubbish? The most common suggestions are discussed in detail in this helpful book. With scientific explanations of all that is discussed, you can quickly see which advice you came across and which did not.
Growing food in warmer, drier countries: Lessons learned from desert farmers on adapting to climate security
by Gary Paul Nabhan & Bill McKibben
We who live in dry climates can still grow material, but it requires a little more preparation in advance. This book covers a lot of desert parks. Methods to increase soil moisture retention capacity are combined with methods to protect your plants from harmful winds or floods to make desert gardening profitable. You can build your own desert friend and this book will help you!
Working with Microorganisms: A Guide to the Organic Gardener at the Soil Food Network, Revised Edition
by Jeff Lowenfels
Working with nutrients: A guide for the organic gardener to optimize plant nutrition
by Jeff Lowenfels
Working with Mushrooms: Instructions for Organic Gardeners at Mycorrhizae
by Jeff Lowenfels
I’m going to treat all three “Teaming” series as a unit because I think it should be bought. When you get one you want to get all three.
And there you will find a lot of information about mycorrhizal fungi and how to make them work in parallel with your plants. You will discover how soil microorganisms break down organic matter and prepare it for fine plant dishes. And you will learn why and how fertilizers work and how your plants can absorb them – both with and without the help of soil microorganisms and fungi.
It’s worth picking up all three books. The science behind the soil is absolutely fascinating and will improve your gardening skills exponentially.
The truth about garden remedies: What works, what does not work and why
by Jeff Gillman
Do you grow beer plants? Will playing music on your plants encourage them to flourish? There is a myriad of artificial sciences in the world these days, with national remedies for everything from pests to poor crops. Jeff breaks down many of the most common myths about gardening and tells who works and who doesn’t.
The truth about organic gardening: pros and cons and most importantly
by Jeff Gillman
The term “organic” does not always mean 100% safe and nowhere can it be found more eloquent than in Jeff’s book. By exploring what the term “organic” means and what each product sold under that name explains what is useful and what is not. Although he concludes that organic gardening is generally better than the alternative, he explains when things work and when they do not achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
Myths and misconceptions about gardening
by Charles Dowding
Some of the rules are considered flawed, as are many of the rules discussed in this book. By eliminating many of the misunderstandings that have arisen over time, Charles helps gardeners find new ways to do things instead of the rigid old methods that have been used for generations. It’s the perfect pocket size companion for a day out in the park.
Enlightened the gardener
by Linda Chalker-Scott
What is the best time of day to water in warm weather? Are organic products better or safer than artificial ones? These and many other questions are discussed in Linda’s original textbook. This book dispels many myths in horticulture and is based on practical basic research from professionals in landscape and industry, university faculties and much more. Well worth reading.
The enlightened gardener blooms again
by Linda Chalker-Scott
One book could not cover all the existing horticultural images, so Chalker-Scott wrote an accompanying book about even more. Questions about whether rotmassate suppresses plant diseases, whether ladybugs are really effective as pest control methods and more can be found in this other enlightened horticultural book.
Proper grooming and planting
Editing and training, revised version: what, when and how to edit?
by Christopher Brickell & David Joyce
Originally published as Pruning & Training by the American Horticultural Society, this is actually a perfect book on proper cutting techniques. With simple and sophisticated technology, this is one of the best gardening books you can find. It contains everything from shrubs and small plants to full-sized trees. Definitely an invaluable property.
How to cut fruit trees, 20th edition
by R. Sanford Martin
Classics, this book explores how and why a fruit tree is pruned correctly. Maximize your fruit production in your own orchard using some of the methods outlined in this fruit tree guide. For home growers, this may be all you need to know to ensure a sweet stroke.
The new seed set manual
by Nancy Bubel
You can not become a successful gardener if he does not know how to attract the seeds of a living plant. With this book, Nancy Bubel takes you from the earth to the beautiful plant and guides you carefully through each stage of the germination process. Definitely an excellent, focused study of fertility!
The well-kept perennial garden
by Tracy Di-Sabato-Aust
Perennial products are sometimes difficult, but here are all the tips you need to start developing your own flower gardens. The book was originally published in 1998 but has been updated with even more detailed information you need for your flower garden to flourish.
Carrots love tomatoes: the secret of planting companions for successful gardening
by Louise Riotte
Planting the community is an art form and this book provides insight into the method. While we wish we could go deeper into dense planting and underbrushing, this book provides the foundation on which a new gardener can begin in the wonderful world of proper mating.
by Joel Karsten
If you have a few bales of hay, you can have a garden. The complete edition of Joel Karstens Straw Bale Gardens takes you from a brand new bale with healing, planting and bale care throughout the season. Do not let the lack of plants prevent you from having a beautiful garden.
No-Dig Organic House and Garden: Grow, Cook, Use and Store Your Harvest
by Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty
As an accompanying guide to Dowding’s original technical guide, without digging, it introduces additional methods for using and storing your products. It does not focus so much on the Dowding method as on the foundation, but it does offer great recipes and storage techniques that were released from its original necessary work.
The Ruth Stout No Work Gardening Book: Secrets of the Famous Mulching Method, Year Round
by Ruth Stout & Richard Clemence
Ruth Stout is a legendary legend and her unemployed garden served her well. When she was in her eighties, she collaborated with an author in the mid – 1970s to write down the essence of his method. These proven mulch methods still work today. This book is one of the best gardening books you will find, old or new. It’s a true classic and it’s getting more and more popular and harder to find.
Mother Earth’s News Guide to the Vegetable Garden
Mother Earth News itself is a magazine about sustainable living. It should come as no surprise that guidelines for their vegetable gardening shed light on sustainable, useful practices that deliver great results. Practical guide for organic gardeners!
DIY projects you plan to use
Trellises, planters and raised beds: 50 easy, unique and useful tasks that you can create with common tools and materials
DIY fans will love this sample book. While focusing on simple tasks and recycled materials, you can build up an abundance of supplies for your own yard while saving money at the same time. Turn your leftovers into the future part of the garden center!
The Vegetable Gardener’s Construction Project: 39 Necessary Factors to Increase the Wealth and Beauty of Your Garden
This book is another compilation of projects to fulfill your desire to do it yourself. It’s a little more about intermediate technology. The patterns are usually simple enough to give you a sense of what you are doing, although beginners may find some too complex for their skills. Overall, this is a diverse range of projects tailored to the different designs and needs of horticulture.
Comprehensive guide to Black & Decker on greenhouses and gardening projects
Black & Decker produces not only high quality garden tools but also high quality garden plans. For those who want to create a solarium or other large gardening project, this book has detailed information and detailed pictures for each project. It’s great for both beginners and experienced home add-ons and worth every penny you spend.
Charming and fun
The drunken botanist
by Amy Stewart
Have you ever wondered how many plants humans invented to make alcohol? In this wonderful book you will learn the history of alcohol from plants. Whether it’s rice used to make sake or cereal from bourbon, agave in tequila and more, you will be surrounded by fascinating details on how some of our favorite plants will become your favorite drinks. The perfect gift for the bartender in your life!
Plants are terrible people
by Luke Ruggenberg
We all make mistakes in the park. Luke teaches us to laugh at her and make it a fun story to tell later. This is not necessarily a horticultural book as it does not really teach us how to plant or care for the garden. Instead, it’s a fun walk through of familiar stories that gardeners can laugh at. Take this to your garden to read and enjoy between weeds.
Native American Gardening: Stories, projects and recipes for families
by Michael J. Caduto
When my daughter was young, this was the book she loved most about my gardening books. Michael Caduto shares traditional methods of tribal gardening and connects them in the form of stories to the oral traditions of real tribes. An ideal book to spend time with the kids in the garden and a fun way to teach children both history and botany.
Botanical Shakespeare: An illustrated compilation of all flowers, fruits, herbs, trees, seeds and herbs, quoted by the world’s greatest playwright.
by Gerit Quealy & Sumie Hasegawa Collins
If you read this book, you will understand how to master Shakespeare. A rose with another name may not smell as sweet. In this fascinating story, Gerit Quealy – Master of Shakespeare – combines his talents with the Japanese artist Sumie Hasegawa Collins to create true masterpieces.
Anyone who tries to recreate the English cottage garden from the past will benefit infinitely from this work. Even if you are just a fan of local restoration, you will love reading testimonials about our favorite plants and how they were used in the battles.
The Homebrewer’s Garden 2nd Edition: Cultivation, preparation and use of hops, malt and brewing herbs
by Joe Fisher & Dennis Fisher
With the advent of the industrial beer industry, many gardeners tried to grow their own brewing products. In this book we will tell you how to get these insanely high vines for the best harvest, or how to grow chocolate malt for the darkest beers. A great guide for anyone who wants to use the harvest to brew a good mixer that can be enjoyed long after the end of autumn.
How to Grow and Make Tea in the United States 2nd Edition
by Steve Lorch
Camellia sinensis, the Teplantacan be a beautiful shrub or hedge. In this book, Steve Lorch introduces us to this beautiful and varied plant and how to care for it. It also discusses methods of harvesting and processing your tea leaves for later use. This book is considered an essential comprehensive guide to the tea industry and it is well worth keeping an eye on for your collection.
Plant the natural garden
by Piet Oudolf & Henk Gerritsen
Piet Oudolf is world famous as a master gardener and started the natural collection of many botanical gardens. Late Henk Gerritsen is often called the founder of the New Perennialist movement in garden design. Together, this book of her favorite plants used in natural landscapes is a useful guide for lesser-known wild plants to be used in horticulture.
Do not expect to find much of Piet’s design technology here. This is not one of the best landscape books available. However, there is a lot of information for everyone who wants to turn their garden into a natural garden space according to the New Perennial Movement.
Taste of the West Sea
The Wood Press Guide to the Southern California Vegetable Garden
The timber press handbook on the vegetable garden in the North Pacific
Both of the wood press guides mentioned above are extremely valuable to regional gardeners. Do not worry if you do not live west of the ocean. Timber Press also publishes regional gardening guidelines for most other areas in the United States, all of which are well worth a visit.
These guidelines provide a lot of insight into the area that the book focuses on and show you which vegetables will and will not grow in your particular climate. Remember, there’s still a micro climate out there. You may want to push the line a little further. as a starting point though, this will definitely help a new gardener in that particular part of the country.
California’s Drought Park: 230 plants for lush tidal landscapes
by Greg Rubin & Lucy Warren
Drought-resistant landscaping is becoming a major development in water-polluted California. Here is a list of plants that are ideal for low water gardens, as well as information on proper care techniques. Hunting, shrubs, trees or shrubs, wintering plants or flowering plants … everything is covered in this comprehensive guide to drought tolerant plants.
Native Gardens Designs in California
by Glenn Keator & Alrie Middlebrook
Last but not least, we have this introduction to the native plant communities in California. Each chapter discusses one of the 12 different areas of California and the species of plants that grow there, including plans for gardens in each type of climate. With over 300 color photographs of over 600 species of native California plants, this is one of the most important flower garden books for the California natural gardener.
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