The best books on organic gardening

Who am I?

I've been gardening my whole life, starting on my Italian grandfather's farm in Connecticut. As an adult, I've always been an organic gardener and constantly looking for new ways to garden more in tune with Nature, disrupting the soil less while still producing an abundance of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Certainly, I've learned from experience but also learned from my University education and 10 years of working for National Gardening magazine interviewing expert gardeners across the country. My wife Wendy and I are mostly self-sufficient in vegetables and berries from spring until fall. I also love trying new types of edibles such as honeyberries, tromboncino vining squash, and cucamelons in the garden.  


I wrote...

The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening: Grow Beautiful Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers - The Easy Way! Layer Your Way to Healthy Soil-Eliminate Tilling

By Charlie Nardozzi,

Book cover of The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening: Grow Beautiful Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers - The Easy Way! Layer Your Way to Healthy Soil-Eliminate Tilling

What is my book about?

With the step-by-step instructions in The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening, you’ll discover how to build healthy, easy-to-plant garden soil by adding layers of organic matter using one of several different no-dig techniques. This simple approach lets you grow more food and blooms than ever before, and leave the gas-guzzling tiller behind forever. Plus, when you don't disturb the soil, weed seeds stay buried deep where they can't germinate and carbon is kept sequestered in the ground. No-dig gardening techniques also lead to reduced watering needs and a healthy population of beneficial soil microbes that help feed your plants by breaking down organic matter and releasing nutrients. Produce fresh, homegrown veggies, herbs, and flowers for your table—with no back-breaking work required!

The books I picked & why

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Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden

By Jessica Walliser,

Book cover of Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden

Why this book?

Plant Partners takes the mystery out of companion planting. Based on scientific research, Jessica shows which plant combinations help ward off insects, weeds, and diseases, while allowing your vegetables to grow strong and yield well. The book begins by talking about all the elements you'll need for a successful organic garden. These include soil preparation, cover crops, and plant supports. Then she dives into the best companion planting schemes that really work in the garden. 


The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Method

By Edward C. Smith,

Book cover of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Method

Why this book?

Using his “W-O-R-D” method (Wide beds, Organic methods, Raised beds, and Deep beds), Ed Smith described in detail how to grow a productive, vegetable garden organically. I like Ed's emphasis on soil building, using raised beds, and composting to create the habitat in your yard for beneficial insects and soil creatures, while reducing the need for spraying for pests. He also runs through an A to Z of his favorite vegetables and how to grow them.


Organic Gardening for Everyone: Homegrown Vegetables Made Easy - No Experience Required!

By Calikim,

Book cover of Organic Gardening for Everyone: Homegrown Vegetables Made Easy - No Experience Required!

Why this book?

CaliKim has created a large following on her YouTube channel for vegetable gardeners struggling to grow food in small spaces. Her book emphasizes her practical and direct approach to growing food, starting with tips on seed starting to ways of harvesting. Living in a dry climate, the book emphasizes ways to efficiently water veggies and deal with extreme weather for the best production. I like how CaliKim has good advice on ways to transplant and care for your garden vegetables.


The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook: Identify and Solve Common Pest Problems on Edible Plants - All Natural Solutions!

By Susan Mulvihill,

Book cover of The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook: Identify and Solve Common Pest Problems on Edible Plants - All Natural Solutions!

Why this book?

This book really dives deep into organic pest controls. Susan begins by talking about the idea of Integrated Pest Management and spells out the approach and benefits for the garden and gardener. Then she dives into profiles of more than 30 common insect pests and their controls. She also profiles the good guys too, highlighting beneficial insects. What I like is the section on common organic pest controls and how to properly use them. There's even a section on making traps and barriers to physically keep insects away from your plants. 


The No Dig Organic Home & Garden: Grow, Cook, Use, and Store Your Harvest

By Charles Dowding, Stephanie Hafferty,

Book cover of The No Dig Organic Home & Garden: Grow, Cook, Use, and Store Your Harvest

Why this book?

Charles is a long-time No-Dig Practitioner in England and offers some great advice on how to set up a no-dig organic garden for year-round growing. The emphasis is on the soil. I like how Charles spends a large section of the book talking about soils and making compost. Healthy soil will prevent lots of common problems in your vegetable garden. Besides showing how to grow organic vegetables with the no-dig method, there also are sections on harvesting, preserving food, cooking, and making your homestead more self-sufficient. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in organic gardening, vegetables, and gardening?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about organic gardening, vegetables, and gardening.

Organic Gardening Explore 18 books about organic gardening
Vegetables Explore 26 books about vegetables
Gardening Explore 68 books about gardening

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Grow Your Own Vegetables, Grow Now, and Walden if you like this list.