Organic Gardening

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What Gardening Book Would You Recommend for Beginners?

8/26/2009 9:55:46 AM

Tags: gardening books, garden resources, question to readers

Looking to beef up your gardening library? Lucky for you, there are heaps of great resources out there. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch (Workman Publishing Co., 1988; available for sale at Mother Earth Shopping)The Garden Primer
  • Heirloom Vegetable Gardening by William Woys Weaver (now on CD-ROM; available for sale at Mother Earth Shopping)
  • The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Barbara Pleasant and (Storey, 2008; available for sale at Mother Earth Shopping)

But we want to know which gardening books you think are best for beginners? If someone has never had the opportunity to grow a garden, what books would you recommend they read? And what about helpful websites? Please post your responses in the comments section below.



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1/29/2010 9:49:03 AM
The Vegetable Gardeners Bible by Edward C. Smith I poured over this book almost daily. It is very user friendly with its color pictures and useful hints. It touches on pH, composting, root depth, irrigation, pests and planting companions. He introduces various options to weeding, seeding, fertilizing and choosing varieties. When is a watermelon ripe? He discusses that, too. Each veggie has its own easy to read section. Everything a beginning gardener needs to know to water her enthusiasm and reap success.

12/27/2009 6:42:53 AM
One straw revolution, Fukuoka

Sandra Dyer
12/6/2009 6:46:50 PM
The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control by Barbara Ellis and Fern Bradley is a great reference for experienced and inexperienced gardeners alike. Detailed plant requirements as well as insect and disease identification. Great even if you don't garden organically!

12/5/2009 2:20:29 PM
Gardening for Dummies

Anita Owen
12/4/2009 12:52:47 PM
GARDENING WHEN IT COUNTS.......growing food in hard times by Steve Solomon. Designed for readers with NO experience, yet an eye opener for the seasoned gardener. ALSO, he has created an online library For a one time fee of $12 you have access to an enormous wealth of timeless info. You can download books !

Barbara McCann
9/10/2009 8:13:58 AM
I also use the county ag center. They have books specifically for my area. They are connected with University of Florida AG Dept and they have loads of information. I have an old Rodale's Organic Gardening and Organic Garden Protection. A new version would be nice.

9/7/2009 2:01:21 PM
I can't believe what is missing here. M.E.N. collaborated with Steve Solomon to put out a book titled "Gardening When it Counts". It is the 'Anti-Square-Foot-Gardening' book as I like to call it. Also, Four Season Harvest (Eliot Coleman) should be a staple in any gardeners home. These are not beginners books, but go from beginners to moderate in the same book. Most beginners books come from good writers, not good gardeners; they teach mostly junk.

9/6/2009 7:55:31 AM
I think The Garden primer is one of the best book for a first time gardener. The only problem with the book is the binding, very poor. This book will fall apart after a few month, it's ashame.

9/2/2009 9:17:11 AM
I am a new gardener. This is only the second year I have planted a vegtable garden. I read everything I can get my hands on but the one book I do have that has been a great help is The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic, by Tanya L. K. Denckla.

Donna Carver
9/1/2009 12:49:09 PM
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C Smith

Becky in TX
8/31/2009 9:09:29 PM
My local county extension agent website. There I find information on what varieties of each veggie do well in my county, planting times, etc. All for free!

8/31/2009 4:02:17 PM
I would recommend anything written by Ruth Stout for beginning gardeners as well as gardeners who are well established. Her methods have been extremely successful for me.

Carolyn Overbo
8/28/2009 3:51:03 PM
Howard Garrett's Texas Organic Gardening

8/28/2009 3:44:03 PM
Since Square Foot Gardening has already been mentioned, i need to add my mom's suggestion to me when i started gardening: Anything by Ruth Stout. While the technical nature of SFG is perfect for analytical people like myself and the engineer who wrote it, Ruth Stout's approach is delightfully laid back (Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy and the Indolent!) She makes organic gardening accessible -- and more importantly, SEEM accessible -- for anyone just beginning.

8/28/2009 2:11:37 PM
Square Foot Gardening or Lasagna Gardening.

Adam _1
8/28/2009 12:36:23 PM
Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. It's very comprehensive. Whatever information you're looking for, just look up the topic alphabetically. You can open that book up to any page, and learn something new.

Victoria Gazeley_2
8/28/2009 11:39:09 AM
The new edition of Square Foot Gardening, and a little gem for inspiration: Gardening for the Faint of Heart by Robin Wheeler (not sure where it's available, but you can contact Robin at

Mary Saunders_3
8/28/2009 10:05:31 AM
Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway is a book I recommend. It helps you think about how you use things and how to plant to accommodate use and care of the plants. So you plant herbs you will use a lot close to the kitchen door. Fruits you will harvest at one time can be further away. If you are interested in permaculture, this is a great book for thinking about long-term arrangements.

8/28/2009 8:19:47 AM
Simple, it is Square Foot Gardening.
8/26/2009 11:21:26 AM
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the absolute best book for edible gardeners is Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Peirce. We can garden year-round here but planting times and keys to success are very different from elsewhere in the country or even elsewhere in the state. Pam's book talks about all of this in an easy-to-follow style that makes the book an enjoyable read. Wouldn't be without it!

8/26/2009 10:53:27 AM
The book I love and which has become like a bible to me is Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton. I've used it for years and found it a great overall reference.

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