Way back in 2015, we shared a list of members’ Favorite Gardening Resources. The books chosen for this were time-tested and time-honored. Here we offer a list of more recent books. Some are surely destined to be tomorrow’s classics
For the Vegetable Gardener
The New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 30th Anniversary Edition (2018)
By Eliot Coleman. Chelsea Green Publishing.
This illustrated, expanded edition of the original may not technically belong on a list of new releases. But we couldn’t resist. Color photos, graphs and charts make this new version of a venerated classic a great resource for home gardeners and small-scale organic farmers alike. Coleman was a pioneer in organic farming when he wrote the original manual in 1988. You’ll find dependable information presented in an easy-to-use format, recommendations for tools and supplies, and an annotated bibliography. 304 pages.
High-Yield Vegetable Gardening: Grow More of What You Want in the Space You Have (2015)
By Colin McCrae and Brad Helm. Storey Publishing.
You can make your garden much more productive with the techniques in this book. Soil preparation, choosing the right crops, rotating, interplanting, and planning for succession and can make a big difference even in a small plot. This spiral-bound manual packed with charts and worksheets is an important tool for the serious gardener. McCrae and Helm are experienced CSA farmers and founders of the Seattle Urban Farm Company. 320 pages.
(Also check out their 2012 book: Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard: A Beginners Guide to Growing Crops at Home)
Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden (2020)
By Jessica Walliser and Jeff Gillman, PhD. Storey Publishing.
Walliser and Gillman team up to deliver a research-based rationale for this ever-popular growing technique. Through an enhanced understanding of how plants interact with and influence each other, this guide suggests specific plant combinations that improve soil health and weed control, decrease pest damage, and increase biodiversity, resulting in real and measurable impacts in the garden. 224 pages.
Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time (2014)
By Craig LeHoullier. Storey Publishing.
You will learn just about everything there is to know about tomatoes from Craig LeHoullier, a tomato whiz with a PhD in chemistry and decades of tomato growing experience. Thorough, well written, and full of great photos, this book reflects a life-long passion. For up-to-the-minute tomato news, check out LeHoullier’s website too: craiglehoullier.com. 256 pages.
Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties & Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round (2017)
By Barbara Pleasant. Storey Publishing
Which tomatoes make the best salsa? How many potatoes should I plant for a family of four? Pleasant’s book offers profiles of 55 popular crops: how much to plant, how and when to grow and harvest, and how to preserve. Practical, thorough, and gently wise, this book represents decades of gardening knowledge, and will take you from planning to planting to harvesting and preserving. A treasure!
Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun (2018)
By Niki Jabbour. Storey Publishing.
You can thank Niki Jabbour’s unbounded curiosity for this intriguing array of plants from around the world. Her fun “Like this? Then try this!” technique makes each new entry approachable and worth experimenting with. Loaded with photos, it has appeal for gardeners and chefs alike. 240 pages.
(Also check out Jabbour’s 2011 book: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live)
The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food: Step-by-Step Vegetable Gardening for Everyone (2021)
By Joseph Tychonievich and Liz Ana Kozik Ten Speed Press.
This is a graphic novel guide that shows, step by step, how to grow a garden. Mia, an eager young professional, wants to grow her own vegetables but doesn’t know where to start. George, her retired neighbor who loves gardening, walks her through each step of the process. This unique format presents gardening concepts—from planting techniques to building raised beds—visually, and makes growing vegetables entertaining and achievable. 176 pages.
For Gardeners Who Love Flowers
Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty (2018)
By Lisa Mason Ziegler. Cool Springs Press.
“The best dose of medicine my gardens ever received were flowers,” writes Ziegler, who discovered in the process of becoming an urban flower farmer in Virginia that her vegetables benefitted from these beautiful new companions. She instructs on flower seed starting, bed preparation, succession planting, and bouquet making, all the while highlighting the pollination and predation work of the “heroes of the garden.” 176 pages.
Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms (2017)
by Erin Benzakein. Chronicle Books.
Owner of Floret Flower Farm in Washington’s lush Skagit Valley, Benzakein is known for her romantic floral designs. So it’s no surprise that this book is equal parts instruction and inspiration.
Organized by season, she takes you through an entire growing year, and features over 175 different flower varieties. It also contains how-to guides for making spectacular bouquets, garlands, and wreaths. 308 pages.
Small Space Gardening
Small Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots (2014)
By Andrea Bellamy. Timber Press.
Bellamy has grown food on rooftops and balconies, in window boxes and community garden beds, and even in traffic circles. In this book she expands your mind on the topic of growing food in sunny nooks, taking advantage of any space you might have. In addition to useful how-to information and inspiring photos, she spotlights some of the best edibles for tight spaces. 216 pages.
Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It … Garden Anywhere! (2016)
By Tara Nolan. Cool Springs Press.
Tara Nolan covers raised bed construction, growing medium options, watering strategies, planting tips, and more in comprehensive guide to raised bed gardening. The extensive gallery of design ideas and step-by-step projects make this a great resource for small-space gardeners. 272 pages.
The Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden (2017)
By Brie Arthur. St Lynn’s Press.
What is a foodscaping lifestyle? It incorporates form with function. Vegetables, fruits, and herbs are interplanted with non-food ornamental plants for year-round beauty and biodiversity. It starts with the planning—positioning edibles close to the house where they will get the most attention—and moves on to grander plans, such as utilizing neighborhood common spaces. It’s all about making the most of the space that is available. It’s about having it all: abundant flowers, beautiful plants, a healthy ecosystem and fresh produce! 192 pages.
Kitchen Garden Revival: A Modern Guide to Creating a Stylish, Small-Scale, Low-Maintenance Edible Garden (2020)
By Nicole Johnsey Burke and Eric Kelley. Cool Springs Press.
Johnsey, founder of Rooted Garden, a leading US culinary landscape company, is on a mission to bring back the kitchen garden. It can be anything from a collection of containers on a deck to a large, elegant, formal garden. The point is that the food plants in it are tended regularly and used in the kitchen. Full of good advice and gorgeous photos this hardcover book is meant to inspire. 208 pages.
New From Our Members!
Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere
From Mike Lizotte, American Meadows: Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere around Your Yard, a tutorial for creating an informal flower garden from seed.
The Renee’s Garden Cookbook
From Renee Shepherd, Renee’s Garden: The Renee’s Garden Cookbook, a compilation of Renee’s personal favorite recipes.