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Develop a Green Thumb with These Gardening Books

Three book covers featuring lush green plants
Rodale Books/Chronicle Books/Cool Springs Press

As spring arrives, so does the urge to plant (or revive) a garden. The idea is appealing, but it can also be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are a ton of gardening books out there that can help you grow whatever your heart desires!

Every garden is a little different, as is every gardener. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to turn a small outdoor space into a green paradise, or you’re ready to take the plunge with trees, the titles below all have the tips and tricks you’ll need. You’ll feel like an expert in no time.

Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms

To grow the most beautiful flowers for any season, take the advice of Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai. Gorgeous photography alternates with useful practical tips on how to grow and maintain a wide variety of flowers in any season and any region. It’s not just about growing the flowers, though: The book also provides plenty of tips for cutting, arranging, and displaying the blooms you’ve grown.

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden

Raised-bed gardening is increasingly popular, so if you want to hop on this space-saving trend, take a peek at Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners by Tammy Wylie. It’s a complete guide to help you every step of the way, from choosing a space to constructing a box to choosing and caring for just the right combination of plants, including info on crop rotation and ideas for partner planting.

The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables

Jessica Sowards’s The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables is exactly what it says it is: a comprehensive guide to introduce even total novices into the wonderful world of vegetable gardening. Every question you have, from garden location to soil questions to picking plants and keeping them healthy, is answered in this handy straightforward guide, which emphasizes eco-friendly gardening and growing with the seasons.

Fruit Trees for Every Garden

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at growing your own fruit, then Orin Martin and Manjula Martin’s Fruit Trees for Every Garden is the book for you. Gorgeous photography accompanies a guide about what to grow, when to grow it, what works in your region, and more—all organic and focused as much as understanding the “why” of gardening as the “how to.”

Vintage Roses: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden

Dozens of unique, beautiful, and vintage rose varieties take the spotlight in Vintage Roses by Jane Eastoe. Flower aficionados can learn more about these roses, both true “vintage” varieties and newer specimens inspired by old-fashioned blooms, with information about their histories, significance, and how to grow them in your own home gardens.

Kitchen Garden Revival

In Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke, anyone can learn to garden with a purpose. The focus is onhow to use small spaces to create a low-maintenance, beautiful, and genuinely useful garden full of veggies and herbs that you can take right into your kitchen and cook beautiful meals with. Not only will you learn about what crops to grow and when, but the book also guides readers through the process of building a garden and its benefits.

Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live

Gardening doesn’t have to require a huge outdoor space—that’s the premise of Kevin Espiritu’s Field Guide to Urban Gardening. The book is perfect for anyone looking to garden in an unconventional, small, or urban space, focusing on container gardens, hydroponics, raised beds, and other space-saving solutions.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space

Another solution to small-space gardening? Vertical gardens! That’s what Derek Fell describes in Vertical Gardening, a complete guide to maximizing the garden output in every square foot of space. Fell breaks down the advantages to vertical growing (it’s not just about saving space!) and how to successfully grow your own

Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants for Free

Propagation is very trendy right now, but it takes a little skill to get right. Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants for Free by Alan Toogood is the perfect guide for someone looking to try propagation for the first time. The book uses straightforward, scientifically sound instructions along with helpful photos and diagrams to give you all the info you need to fill out your garden with cuttings of your favorite plants

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing Vegetables at Home

If growing your own veggies feels a little intimidating, start with Jilly McSheehy’s Vegetable Gardening for Beginners. Just as the title suggests, the book is a complete and easy-to-read compendium of everything you need to know about choosing and growing delicious vegetables right in your own yard

All New Square Foot Gardening

Mel Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening is the latest edition of a gardening classic. The book is specifically geared at how to maximize garden outpu,t while minimizing the space and resources you need to put into it. Plus, it includes design tips that make your garden both attractive and functional!

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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