Image by aussiegall
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
For many people there is nothing more exciting than growing their own garden and getting their hands dirty but reading about gardening can be just as much fun. Even when the most seasoned gardeners pick up a book, there is always something new to learn and try. Books are a great source for discovering new ideas or gathering information on old ones. Whether the books focus on the type of garden or a specific method, you’re sure to find what you are looking for. Some of the books listed here have been both helpful and interesting for me to read; hopefully, they will come in handy for you as well.
When it comes to gardening, there is one book that nearly anyone could use as a good reference. The Horticulture-Gardener’s Desk Reference by Anne Halpin is loaded with information on nearly anything relating to gardening and includes a large section strictly dedicated to vegetables. It covers topics such as what, how, when, and where to plant vegetables. This read is an excellent book to keep close as you’re sure to keep referring to it again and again.
Cramped for space? Give Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work by Mel Bartholomew a read. The author explains what to start planting and when and how to efficiently organize your garden into square foot areas, which saves space and requires less maintenance than traditional vegetable gardens. This technique is certainly a must for those in urban areas but is just as beneficial for those in the country. Try it; you won’t be disappointed! Another good read for those tight places is Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza. This book is one of my favorite picks for planting vegetable gardens in small areas. It’s extremely detailed and informative, packed full of useful tips, and written in easy-to-understand terms for the beginner. The author provides her own technique for growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables in raised beds using ‘lasagna’ layering.
If you’re like me, you probably want a garden that requires less time without a lot of hassles. The Fast, Easy Vegetable Garden by Jerry Baker provides tips for some the most commonly asked questions when it comes to vegetable gardening. From choosing the right vegetable seeds and preparing the garden to maintaining and storing the harvest, the author gives step-by-step instructions to achieve success in your garden. Baker’s book is certainly a must read for anyone interested in vegetable gardening, whether you are a beginner or a well-seasoned gardener.
Maybe you’re looking for something away from the norm; Creative Vegetable Gardening by Joy Larkcom takes a different view on gardening. The author introduces the potager garden, using the imagination to create both functional and beautiful vegetable gardens. Larkcom describes various techniques for creating and growing this type of garden and includes vegetable and flower combinations that will offer the most dramatic effect. A chart is included that tells you what and when to plant in order to make the most of your potager garden.
Interested in organic gardening? Here is a book on growing your vegetables without the use of harmful chemicals. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by Pauline Pears provides nearly everything you need to know about organic gardening, from soil care and weed control to gardening for wildlife and more. This book also includes helpful tips for the prevention and control of diseases and pests. Another book worth reading is Rodale’s Garden Answers. This book provides information from the number of vegetables to plant per person to the proper times to plant and other useful answers to some of the most commonly asked gardening questions.
Finally, a book that no gardener could possibly live without is The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Ed Smith. He offers advice on planning and planting a self-sufficient garden. With his method, he guarantees you will grow healthier, better-tasting vegetables while harvesting a larger crop per square foot. The author implements four methods for growing a vegetable garden using his W.O.R.D. system-wide beds, organic techniques, raised beds, and deep beds. He uses easy to understand terminology for beginners and clearly explains what you need to know with detailed instructions.