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15 Of The Best Gardening Books for Beginners: An Easy Gift For Your Garden Enthusiast Friend

I started gardening not too long ago, and I attribute my successful yield to the many books I read. I came to learn that you can find any information on this activity in gardening books. Whether you want to learn about what crops to grow or find a fitting garden design, the best gardening books may definitely help you.

The content in most of these books is drawn from personal experiences. This means that you’re likely to find an answer and solution to any gardening challenge you’re experiencing.

New to gardening? I’ve compiled a list of the best gardening books for beginners to help you begin your journey.

Choosing the Best Gardening Books

Not everyone is lucky to be living near a gardener who can guide them on how to start this art. If you’re not as fortunate, you should consider investing in a few well-written texts.

Price And Quality

However, you should be mindful of the gardening books you buy, especially when it comes to the price and quality of information they contain.

As a newbie, you shouldn’t spend too much on your first gardening book. Keep in mind that there are other expenses such as gardening tools, seeds and more. Your goal should be to buy a reasonably-priced book that will help you get started on the right path.

How to choose the best gardening book? 2 of the most important things to consider #aNestWithAYard #book #gardenBook #backyardGarden #garden #gardening #gardenTips #gardencare

Type Of Gardening

Secondly, the ideal gardening book should also contain information relevant to the niche you’re interested in. Although there are books that contain general gardening information, the best thing is to choose a niche-specific text.

If you’ve not yet decided on the type of garden you want to have, think about the reasons why you’re considering gardening in the first place.

Do you want to be getting fresh produce for culinary purposes? Do you want it to evoke a feeling- as in the case of meditation gardens? Or are you looking to conserve the environment around you by creating a self-sustaining garden?

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it will be easier to choose a gardening book. In line with this, the books I’ve featured here are classified into 5 main categories. These are:

  • general gardening
  • flower gardening
  • herb gardening
  • vegetable gardening
  • organic gardening.

Let’s dive in!

Top 15 Gardening Books

Here are my top books for beginners in gardening.

Best Gardening Books For Beginners

All New Square Foot Gardening II

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have the luxury of owning an acreage where you can grow all the plants you love.

But as Mel Bartholomew reminds us in his book, you don’t need a large farm to reap the benefits of gardening. With certain gardening techniques, you can optimize the small space you have and grow as much as you want.

Mel, an ingenious gardener, applies his engineering background to the gardening industry to do what engineers seek out to achieve: solve problems!

In Square Foot Gardening II, which is now in its second edition, he places an emphasis on vertical gardening as a technique of utilizing limited space for gardening. He also reveals that a nice way for parents and guardians to make gardening fun for kids is to train them in the square foot gardening method.


  • Teaches you how to get good yields without using chemical-based fertilizers
  • Provides all the basics of square foot gardening technique
  • Offers the ultimate guide for how to attain a well-balanced compost using the new Mel’s mix


  • The first section of the book contains repetitive and slightly salesy content

Good Bug Bad Bug, Second Edition

When you see bugs in your garden, is your first instinct to grab a pest sprayer and destroy them? This is a common mistake, especially among beginner gardeners.

But as Jessica Walliser explains in her Good Bug Bad Bug book, this is not always the right course of action. This is because some of these creatures are beneficial insects that can do our gardens a lot of good. After reading this book, you’ll be able to distinguish the beneficial insects from the harmful ones.

In the first part of the book, Jessica focuses on general facts about insects. She also explains how global climate change has impacted pest patterns. She winds up this section by showing you how to use the rest of the book.

The second part focuses on 14 key insects that benefit your garden. Here, the author explains their life cycles, the pests that they help to control and ways to attract them.


  • Fairly-priced
  • Has informative text and good illustrations to help readers distinguish different kinds of pests
  • Teaches us how to attract beneficial insects to gardens


  • Has a limited selection of pests

The Backyard Homestead

Since its publication nearly a decade ago, the Backyard Homestead book by Carleen Madigan has been an incredibly useful resource for anyone wishing to become a well-rounded gardener. Thus, it’s ideal for both beginners and experienced gardeners.

Before writing the book, Carleen had lived and learned on an organic farm. She’d also worked as the managing editor for the Horticulture magazine. The wealth of knowledge and experience that she gained over the years is what she shares with us in this book.

The book, which is divided into 7 main parts, provides all the basic information you need to get started on gardening and farming. Whether you want to grow vegetables, venture into poultry farming or raise animals, the Backyard Homestead shows you how to achieve all this even if you have a small piece of land.


  • Has dozens of illustrations that help simplify concepts such as garden layouts
  • Educates you on how you can grow dates for every part of the U.S.
  • Covers every area of gardening: beekeeping, animal husbandry, growing herbs and more


  • Fails to provide in-depth information on each of the chapters

Flower Gardening Books for Beginners

The Flower Gardener’s Bible

The love that Nancy Hill and Lewis Hill have for gardening is evident on every page of this book. The authors, who have been practicing gardening for the last 55 (!) years in Greensboro Vermont, share their gardening journey. Like any novice gardener, it took awhile for them to learn everything they know today.

Beginner gardeners will particularly love this book as it makes use of basic terms like annuals, perennials, and biennials. There’s even a chapter devoted to setting up gardens based on your geographical location, be it in a mountainous climate or the southern areas.

Even better, you’ll get to learn how to grow 261 different plants including flowers. This guide details information such as the plant’s type, how long it takes to bloom, potential diseases, beneficial insects and propagation.


  • Covers every possible topic in gardening; starting with how to pick the ideal growing site to how to improve soil and arrange your gardens
  • Shows you how to identify dozens of flowers
  • Suitable for both beginners and advanced gardeners (like our guide)


  • The Kindle version of this book tends to be poorly formatted compared to the hardcover

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

If you’re interested in growing perennial flowers, the Well-Tended Perennial Garden book is one of the best gardening books for beginners.

Keeping perennial flowers looking attractive and upright can be a challenge for newbie gardeners. Luckily, Tracy DiSabato-Aust, the author of the book, shows you how to overcome every challenge by sharing her experiences and expert advice.

The first section of the book covers concepts such as staking, dividing, bed preparation, pruning and more.

I particularly loved the chapter on staking as I discovered some really fascinating ideas about this process. For instance, Tracy recommends gardeners to tie stakes in an X-pattern; hence hold back the plants as one as opposed to using a vertical approach for individual plants.

In the second part, she guides you on how to maintain at least 300 perennial species. She also explains the pruning process. This section warrants the use of this text as an excellent reference book.


  • Provides a comprehensive guide on essential practices of perennial care
  • Includes practical examples of how to achieve every gardening concept
  • Has dozens of images demonstrating how to do certain tasks


  • Lacks information on some perennial plants

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden

If you’re new to the world of cut-flower gardening, you will love this text that is equal parts instruction and equal parts inspiration.

The book is written by Erin Benzakein- the founder of the world-renowned Floret Flower Farm– and Julie Chai, who is a successful garden magazine writer and editor. She also appears on TV, radio and video regularly to talk about gardening.

What I love most about this book is the beautiful selection of pictures, some of which are sourced from Erin’s flower farm. While the book has breathtaking photos, it’s also incredibly helpful.

The authors share practical tips on how you should grow, harvest and arrange blooms throughout the year. It also details some of the essential equipment you need to maintain a flower garden.


  • Has amazing pictures on different flower species and arrangements which are organized by season
  • Provides an in-depth guide to growing, harvesting and arranging blooms
  • Offers tips on how to grow in different spaces and climatic regions


  • The kindle version does not include some sections

Herb Gardening Books for Beginners

Homegrown Herbs

For a book that has such a normal-sounding title, it sure does provide a lot of information about growing herbs.Two things that make this book stand out are the simplified structure and brevity of content. These aspects are also what make it an excellent resource for beginner gardeners.

Overflowing with lush photography and well-organized text, Homegrown Herbs gives you an insight into where, how and why Tammi Hartung, the author,  practices herb gardening.

Whether you’re just starting out on this practice or looking to learn how to harvest and preserve herbs, this book will come in handy.


  • Learn the profiles of up to 101 most popular herbs
  • Shows you how to make the most of herbs by creating home remedies, body care products, crafts and more
  • Provides an in-depth guide into growing and caring for herbs


  • Does not provide comprehensive information on container herb gardening

Your Backyard Herb Garden

A passionate and talented gardener and teacher, Miranda Smith knows the concept of herb gardening pretty well. Thus, she draws from her personal experiences and knowledge gained over the years to write the Your Backyard Herb Garden book.

Overall, this text is a great guide for beginner gardeners interested in learning the organic and sustainable techniques of growing herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Some of the concepts she covers are soil building, fertilizing, pest control, and harvesting herbs.


  • Has an array of illustrations on how to use herbs for medicinal and craft applications
  • Includes several recipes for cooking with herbs
  • Contains general and specific information about different herbs


  • Fails to provide detailed instructions on how to grow herbs.

The Complete Book of Herbs

Providing a detailed insight into the qualities and perks of having a herb garden, this is certainly one of the best beginner gardening books. Lesley Bremness, the author, has broken down this concept in a simplified manner, making it easy to understand.

The best part of the book is that it provides information that’s suitable for different types of herb gardening. Whether you’re looking to grow herbs in pots and containers or create an enormous Engish garden style, you’ll find this text very helpful.


  • Includes detailed descriptions of more than 100 herbs
  • Contains a section on how to decorate with herbs
  • Shows you how to use herbs in the culinary world


  • Some of the information is quite dated

Vegetable Gardening Books for Beginners

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition

Would you like to learn how to make fresh salads using homegrown produce? Edward Smith’s The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible provides the ultimate guide on this topic. You’ll learn how to grow everything under the sun; from simple veggies like tomatoes and carrots to the more sophisticated produce.

One thing I love about this book is that it provides such valuable information that not only benefits beginner gardeners but the experienced ones as well.

For instance, it recommends a revolutionary gardening technique that not only mitigates the risk of pests and diseases but also leads to healthier plants. I’m talking about Edward’s W-O-R-D approach that emphasizes on four principles: creating Wide beds, using Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep beds.


  • Covers the basics in such a way that makes gardening feel easy for beginners
  • Contains information on an innovative method of gardening
  • Provides well-detailed profiles on numerous vegetables


  • The book claims to be based on purely organic methods whereas the instructions sometimes recommend using treated wood (a non-organic material)

The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook

Have you been searching for a book that can guide you on how to garden on a weekly basis? The Gardener’s Handbook is just what you need.

It breaks down the tasks required when it comes to preparing, maintaining and harvesting vegetables.

Created by father-and-daughter team Ron and Jennifer Kujawski, this issue covers an array of subjects within the gardening sector. The authors, who own a 6000 sq.ft garden in Massachusetts, share practical tips on nearly all aspects involved in home gardening.


  • Provides sections where individuals can make notes
  • Includes illustrations to elaborate some of the concepts
  • Serves as a basic introduction to almost every gardening task


  • Some of the advice given can only be applied in the northern states

Backyard Vegetable Gardening

Backyard Vegetable Gardening is an important book for newbie gardeners who want to learn the best gardening techniques. Elle John, the author, provides detailed profiles of over 100 vegetables. This makes it easier to choose the specific crops to plant.

But more importantly, he takes you through the entire process of gardening: from planning and planting to eliminating pests, maintaining the correct soil pH and using proper equipment.


  • Content is well-organized: the profile for each plant includes sections for how to plant, grow, harvest and store
  • Trains on the best plants to grow every season
  • Contains a good selection of vegetables


  • None that I found

Organic Gardening Books for Beginners

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening

If you’ve never practiced organic gardening before, the Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening book will get you started on the right path. This is a comprehensive guide that aims to answer all questions pertaining to this subject.

Written by Deborah L. Martin, it covers essential garden-building skills such as choosing a location for your garden. It’s worthwhile to research the best site for your garden as it can be the difference between an abundant harvest and a poor one. Other must-know concepts of organic gardening that are explained are type of soil, compost, pest control techniques and weeds.


  • Written in a simple language to help novice gardeners understand
  • Explains over 100 common garden terms
  • Highlights everything you need to know to start your own organic garden


  • May not contain useful information for advanced gardeners

101 Organic Gardening Hacks

Not many gardening books are as fairly-priced as Shawna Coronado’s 101 Organic Gardening Hacks. And even with the decent pricing, Shawna doesn’t compromise on the quality of content she provides.

The book boasts some of the most colorful graphics that manage to be attractive without coming across as childish. These images add a bit of lightness, making the text feel fun and engaging.

Apart from the visuals, the book contains valuable information that includes top tips and solutions to organic gardening challenges.

Some of these tactics will help you save money and time on gardening tasks while others offer clever methods to upcycle garden items. For instance, it explains how you can repurpose a used chandelier into a garden lighting fixture. You can also learn how to build a sitting area in your garden using a wall of a shed.


  • Filled with fun photos
  • Contains user-friendly information for newbie gardeners
  • Affordable


  • Although it claims to help beginner and advanced gardeners, part of the information is not valuable for an experienced individual

Organic: Urban Organic Gardening For Beginners

Organic gardening is such a broad topic that many individuals looking to venture into this area often give up before they’ve even started. What are the best plants to grow with this technique? What pest control methods do you use in place of chemical-based pesticides?

In Urban Organic Gardening For Beginners, Nathaniel Wake tries to answer all these questions and more. The author is a veteran in organic gardening, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting advice from the best in the field.


  • Places an emphasis on the entire ecosystem and not just growing organic gardens
  • Includes everything you need to know about organic gardening- from site selection to natural pesticides and water dynamics
  • Guides you on how to choose the right gardening tools


  • Only available in Kindle version


The best gardening books will train you on everything you need to know to master different gardening methods. You’ll be able to make the most of your indoor and outdoor spaces and reap many benefits in the process.

However, it’s important to choose a gardening book that addresses your specific needs. For instance, if you’re passionate about organic gardening, pick a book with detailed content about this subject.

Best Gardening Books for Beginners #aNestWithAYard #book #gardenBook #backyardGarden #garden #gardening #gardenTips #gardencare

Last update on 2023-05-28 at 05:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About The Author

Nadya Jones

Nadya's the creative mind behind this blog, sharing her passion for landscaping, gardening and making spaces that nourish the soul. An entrepreneur and writer based in Raleigh, NC, Nadya turns imaginative ideas into inspiration, fueling home and garden dreams. Though Nadya crafts gorgeous posts and photos showcasing lush yards or blooming gardens, the real magic happens behind the scenes where Nadya's partner Brett provides endless support, implementing each vision with care and dedication. Brett's the one ensuring her creative concepts come to life. At heart, Nadya remains an imaginative soul, forever dreaming of whimsical details, vibrant hues and lush landscapes. Each manicured edge or blossoming bloom fuels inspiration, expanding her vision of what's possible in design and life. She shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design in her blog, the one you are visiting right now. If you are interested in the same things, be sure to check it out! Also, follow Nadya on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, and LinkedIn!

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