Hello Summertime! For this month’s column I thought I would use my skills as a librarian to share a few useful gardening books for those of you who are gardening novices such as me. It is indeed a bit late to plan a garden from scratch for this year, but it’s always good to plan ahead.There are hundreds of great books and resources out there, consider this a starting point for gardens to come.
While I admit I have not personally read a lot of gardening books from cover to cover, I do see a lot in my travels as a public librarian. One book that I have on my holds list is The Regenerative Garden: 80 practical projects for creating a self-sustaining garden ecosystem by Stephanie Rose. Any small steps I can take towards sustainability at home means a better future not only for my garden but for the planet as well. This book provides projects that help you look at all of the elements of gardening, from soil care to natural pest control and several other topics in between. If organic gardening is intriguing to you, this may be the book for you.
If you are curious about the ins and outs of vegetable gardening, The Vegetable Gardening Book by Joe Lamp’l is one to check out. Joe Lamp’l is an award winning television presenter and podcast host with a plethora of veggie knowledge to impart on anyone hoping to learn from him. He gives you ideas on how to lay out a garden, detailed profiles of his favorite crops, and lots of tips and strategies to give you the best vegetable yield you can grow.
If weeds are your nemesis, perhaps give Weed-Free Gardening by Tasha Greer a try. Tasha outlines clear instructions on implementing weed control on even the toughest of unwanted garden guests. The book is divided into four parts: weed prevention, maintenance, reconciliation and creating peace in the garden. There may be some tips to help you out with your present garden, and also methods to try in the spring to prevent them from occurring. This book is also from an organic gardening perspective, so RoundUp need not apply.
Brand new to the concept of gardening? Perhaps How to Become a Gardener by Ashlie Thomas might be more your speed. In this book, Ashlie promotes self-empowerment as you take control of your family’s food needs through cultivating your own garden. This appears to be both an instructional and inspirational title that will give practical tools to grow the best food, and also help through the challenges that growing a garden can give a person and how to overcome them. This book is for folks with acres of land or a back patio, versatile and multifaceted and worth a look for sure.
Finally, one can never go wrong with the latest edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It has been in print in some form or fashion for over 225 years, and has been the source for farmers of all types. This book comes out in print about every September, but also is available online every day at almanac.com. There is so much information crammed into a small book! Planting times, gardening tips, weather forecasts, sunrise and sunset, moon cycle dates, and more. The founder of the Almanac, Robert B. Thomas is quoted as saying “Our main endeavor is to be useful, but with a pleasant degree of humor” which is what the Almanac still strives to achieve every day. This is certainly a must have for anyone interested in the world around them.
Hopefully these titles have given you inspiration to go to your local library, bookstore or the Green Valley Book Fair and see what is on offer for you to read. If the library is your preferred place to find books (it’s certainly mine!) you are always welcome to ask the staff where the gardening section is. If you are an introvert like me and somewhat familiar with the lay of the land of your nearest branch, the gardening books are generally found in the 600s, with 635 being the more precise area to start if you are looking for how-to guides and garden plans. Happy reading, and happy summer!