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7 books every beginning gardener needs to read

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in growing flowers, vegetables, house plants, or herbs — starting a new hobby in the gardening realm can be overwhelming and confusing. There are tons of words, acronyms, and phrases that can be intimidating for a new gardener. Unfortunately, this can make novice gardeners want to throw up their hands and quit. 

Don’t give up! Here is a list of all the books you need to get started in almost any kind of gardening, including organic, raised beds, flower, herb, house plants, and urban. Whatever type of gardening you are interested in, you’re sure to find a fantastic book here to help you get started. 

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening is a fantastic place to start for those dying to create their own organic garden. The author begins by discussing the history of organic gardening and what it means to the gardener and the planet. Then, she dives into each step of gardening and how to take traditional solutions and transform them for organic growing. These steps include soil care, seed starting, transplant care, garden care basics and even some easy growing plants to get you started. The end of the book includes some standard troubleshooting tips and ways to solve problems within the garden. By the time you’ve finished this book, you’ll be ready to jump right into planting your very own organic garden

The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables

Jessica Sowards is a multitalented woman who not only is a mother of six, a YouTube star, and an expert gardener, but she is now a published author. Her adorable personality shines through this book as she sets you up for success with your first vegetable garden. She’ll first introduce you to the subject and give you all the terms and basics you need to understand gardening concepts. Then she walks through how to plan and create your garden and encourages you to grow something lovely along with all those practical veggies. After that, she dives into care and how to keep up with a garden. Finally, she writes about harvesting and all of its surprising nuances. 

raised bed gardening

Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners

Even non-gardeners are familiar with the raised-bed gardening method, and it’s probably the easiest way to start and care for a garden as a beginner. In her book, “Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners,” Tammy Wylie guides you through each step from planning to harvesting. First, she’ll teach you how to plan a garden and ensure you have enough space. Second, she dives into the simple building structures she uses and how to construct them. Third on the list is soil, and every gardener learns quickly that there is almost nothing as important as the soil in which you grow your plants. After soil is planting, growing, and harvesting, then she details the best procedures and care tips for producing the finest veggies. Lastly, she talks about plant profiles of some of the most popularly grown vegetables. 

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden

This book by Erin Benzakein is all about planting, growing, cutting, and arranging beautiful flowers. Not only is it helpful, but it’s also beautifully designed and could even pass as a coffee table book! Erin talks you through every step of the flower garden process and will give you the tools you need to cultivate stunning flowers all year-round. Not only that, but she also includes numerous examples and bouquet guides to create beautiful arrangements for friends, family, or yourself. If you’ve always wanted to grow and arrange your own flowers, this is the book for you!

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs

While nothing can replace a fantastic doctor and modern medicine, many of us have forgotten the natural beauty of herbal remedies. From creaky bones to a sore throat, Rosemary Gladstar’s book teaches you the characteristics of 33 plants, how to cultivate and harvest the most beneficial parts of the plants, and then how to use them in day-to-day life. Included are some of the author’s most famous recipes, including Warming Cinnamon Bath Salts, Ginger Lemon-Aide, Brain Tonic Tincture, her Famous Face Cream, and more. 

house plants

New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb

With a quick Google search, you can see just how popular growing house plants has become over the past few years. Plants are being back ordered, fights break out over who saw the plant first, and collectors will pay almost anything for a rare plant. It’s no wonder that Darryl Cheng’s book about being a new plant parent has become increasingly popular. To start, the book delves into house plant care basics and teaches you how to understand house plants as a whole. Then the author dives into each subject, including light, soil, water, pruning, propagation, repotting, pests, and even the tools he’s found most helpful in caring for plants. Finally, he goes through many popular plants and discusses their needs and how to care for them. 

Urban Gardening for Beginners

Not everyone can grow a garden in raised beds in their backyard. Some live in apartments or cities where lots of space isn’t available. That’s where Marc Thoma’s book comes to the rescue. Just because you don’t have an acre of land doesn’t mean you can’t grow some of your own food. This books gives you all the tools and knowledge you need to grow in unique and resourceful ways to make the most of the space you have and fills your need to produce beautiful and delicious plants. It includes tips and tricks to inspire you and transform your home into a plant oasis. 

So no matter what type of gardening you want to try, there’s something on this list for everyone. Dive into one of these fantastic books and flex that green thumb!

Editors' Recommendations

Rebecca Wolken
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca's has written for Bob Villa and a Cincinnati based remodeling company. When she's not writing about home remodeling…
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