Skip to Content

The Best Gardening Books for Beginners

Sharing is caring!

Are you a first-time gardener and want to learn some useful information on setting up your first garden? 

It can seem overwhelming to start a garden because a lot goes into it, but it doesn’t have to feel that way! Grab a good book, dive in, and learn all there is to know about gardening! 

Learning to grow your own food will be life-changing! A good gardening book will help you with any questions you may have along the way.

What Can Gardening Books Teach Me?

Gardening books can teach you a lot of detailed information and beginner gardeners can learn many helpful tips and tricks from gardening books. 

You can learn what the best plants are to plant for different seasons throughout the year. Most books will have step-by-step instructions on how to set up a garden and what the garden layout can look like. Some will have detailed instructions on a layout (mostly for ornamental plants for landscaping). You can get inspiration and information on how to have healthy soil, how to compost, and so much more! 

Using books as a means of learning new information for gardening is the best way to learn and if you are a visual learner, even better! Most of the gardening books mentioned below will have beautiful pictures and step-by-step photos explaining and showing how to do things in your garden. 

Where Can I Find Gardening Books?

​Of course, you can find helpful books for gardening at major bookstores like Barnes & Noble or Books A Million (or any major bookstore where you live). Personally, I like to buy books secondhand if I can. A great place to get books is at the library if you don’t want to purchase them. You can also find books at thrift stores or secondhand books stores! 

​If you are looking for a certain book, it can be easier to find it online at secondhand stores like eBay or Thrift Books. There is nothing wrong with giving a book a second life!

9 Best Books for Beginner Gardeners

These books are filled with practical information to start a home garden. Whether working with a small space, garden beds, container gardening, or a large outdoor space, these books will teach you everything you need to know. 

These several excellent gardening books are written specifically for beginners and cover a wide range of topics, from basic gardening principles to specific plant care techniques. Below are some of my favorite books to learn the best gardening tips. 

1. “Herbs” by Jessica Houdret

From the look of this book, it doesn’t have much to offer. But that is why you don’t judge a book by its cover! It is the best book for new gardeners to decide what herbs to grow in your garden. It has information on the history, habitat and cultivation, related species, uses for the herbs, and medicinal and culinary uses. I also love that it gives examples of how to lay out your herb garden for the best results. This simple guide has plenty of information to help you start your first garden!

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

A comprehensive A-Z of herbs and their uses with 700 color photographs

Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 05:02 pm GMT

2. “Herbs: Imaginative Tips & Sensible Advice for Cooking, Growing, and Enjoying” by Pat Ross

​I love this book because it explains how to cook and enjoy the herbs you grow. There are multiple recipes for dressings, soups, vinegars, and more! I have tried many of the recipes and it is such a helpful resource if you are unsure of how to use your herbs. There are also practical tips for planting, preserving, and storing herbs.

Herbs : Imaginative Tips & Sensible Advice for Cooking, Growing, and Enjoying
Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:35 pm GMT

3. “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” by Edward C. Smith

This comprehensive guide has a lot of information! It covers everything you need to know about growing vegetables, including planning, planting, maintaining soil health, pest control, and harvesting. It’s a great resource for beginners and seasoned gardeners alike. This is the perfect book if you want to learn all aspects of gardening. It also focuses on gardening beds.

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible

2nd Edition: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil

Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:36 pm GMT

4. “The New Organic Grower” by Eliot Coleman

This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in organic gardening. It provides practical advice on soil preparation, selecting crops, pest management, and more, all from an organic perspective.

Organic methods are very important and can be learned from this wonderful resource. If you are hoping to one day be a market gardener (taking things you’ve grown to sell at market) then learning organic methods is the way to go. Most people want to buy organic vegetables that have not been around pesticides and herbicides. 

The New Organic Grower

3rd Edition: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 30th Anniversary Edition

Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:38 pm GMT

5. “A Starter Garden: The Guide for The Horticulturally Hapless” by Cheryl Merser

This is a great book to help you start your first ornamental garden. It has tips on which tools you need, which type of shrubs to plant, and how to maintain them year-round. If you want to transform your yard into a beautiful ornamental garden, Cheryl Merser has all the information you need to make that happen! 

A Starter Garden: The Guide for the Horticulturally Hapless

he basics of ornamental gardening, from what tools to buy and how to plant shrubs, perennials, herbs, annuals, and roses, to finishing touches and year-round maintenance

Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:41 pm GMT

6. “The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening” by Monty Don

This is one of my favorite books that offers a comprehensive guide to gardening. It’s nice when a book covers all the topics that you need to know! It covers various aspects of gardening, including planning, planting, propagation, and garden design. If you are looking to gain a well-rounded understanding of gardening principles then this book is for you! 

The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening
Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:47 pm GMT

7. “Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden” by Deborah L. Martin

This beginner-friendly guide covers the basics of organic gardening, including soil health, composting, pest management, and plant care. It’s written in a clear and accessible style, making it easy for beginners to understand. If you need step-by-step guides on how to manage your garden, this book is easy to read and understand! 

Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden
Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:51 pm GMT

8. “The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook” by Jennifer Kujawski and Ron Kujawski

This book is amazing! It breaks down tasks into weekly schedules which offers a practical approach to vegetable gardening. It’s great for beginners who appreciate a structured approach to gardening and want guidance on what to do throughout the growing season. Gardening can seem daunting with many tasks, but this book helps to break them down and make them more manageable. 

The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season
Shop Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/08/2024 06:53 pm GMT

9. A vegetable gardening book based on the state you live in

I have a Georgia plant guide which is very helpful for knowing which plants work in my particular climate. Check your local extension office for book recommendations for your area.  

These books provide valuable insights and practical tips to help beginners get started on their gardening journey. 

Depending on your interests and gardening goals, you may find one or more of these books particularly helpful in building your gardening knowledge and skills.

Do you have some favorite gardening books? Be sure to share in the comments below so I can check them out! I am always looking for new books to learn more about gardening. 


Catherine is a blogger at KISS Expedition ( who helps people find solutions to simplifying their busy lifestyles to enjoy more of what they love doing. She is an eco-friendly advocate who seeks a more simple and natural lifestyle.