As a gardener and big ol’ book-lovin’ nerd, I get asked for book recommendations all the time. Here’re all my favorite and most recommended edible gardening books all in one spot. I own, read, love and consistently refer back to all these books.
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Top 5 Books for Beginning Gardeners
Just starting out and need a some solid guidance on the basics? These books won’t steer you wrong. They include lots of pictures to explain key concepts and they won’t overwhelm you.
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible – Edward Smith
- Organic Gardening – Geoff Hamilton
- The Complete Compost Gardening Guide – Barbara Pleasant & Deborah Martin
- The Kitchen Garden – Alan Buckingham
- Edible Landscaping with A Permaculture Twist – Michael Judd
Top 5 Books for Pacific Northwest Gardeners
My home bio-region of the Pacific Northwest is a little quirky. Our winters are as warm as Georgia and our summers are cooler than any other spot in the U.S. save Alaska. This mild climate gives us some unique advantages and some distinct disadvantages. If you’re growing in Cascadia you’ll want these on your bookshelf:
- Seattle Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide – Seattle Tilth
- Growing Vegetables West of The Cascades – Steve Solomon
- Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest – Linda Gilkeson
- Cool Season Gardener – Bill Thorness
- Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest – Lorene Edwards Forkner
Top 5 Books for Year-Round Gardeners
Winter, schminter! If nothing, including snow, sleet and hail, can keep you from your beloved garden and the joys of home grown produce, these books are for you:
- The Winter Harvest Handbook – Eliot Coleman
- The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener – Niki Jabbour
- Four-Season Harvest – Eliot Coleman, again. (He’s the Godfather of the year-round gardening niche.)
- Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres – Pam Dawling
- Perennial Vegetables: A Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles – Eric Toensmeier
Top 5 Books for Gardener-Preppers
You know who you are. You like gardening just fine, but in the back of your head it’s not just a nice productive hobby, it’s a form of insurance against tough times. These books are for you. Get ’em in hard copy, in case the grid fails.
- The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times – Carol Deppe
- Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food In Hard Times – Steve Solomon
- Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre – Brett Markham
- The Encyclopedia Of Country Living: The Original Manual For Living Off The Land and Doing It Yourself – Carla Emery
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners – Suzanne Ashworth
Top 5 Books for Permaculture Gardeners
Permaculture is the best way I know to be a lazy gardener and still get great results. The trick is in how you put the pieces of your garden together. These books show how different permaculturalists have designed their diverse edible landscapes to be naturally sustaining.
- Paradise Lot – Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates
- Landscaping with Fruit – Lee Reich
- Gaia’s Garden – Toby Hemenway
- The Resilient Farm and Homestead – Ben Falk
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture – Christopher Shein
- Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist (Bonus, because it’s already listed as a basic, but I love it.)
What are your favorite gardening books? Share your most-loved resources in the comments!2