44 Best Gardening Books for a Better Garden in 2021

If you can read the best gardening books for a better garden in 2021, would you?

Of course, you would!

garden books

But if you search the best gardening books on Amazon you’ll find too many options.

Because of this, I have created the 44 Best Gardening Books that you ACTUALLY WANT to read.

It includes all types of gardening and ways to enjoy the books!


44 Best Gardening Books

Best Self-Sufficient Gardening Books (#1-2)

1. Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

Mini Farming Book

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If you live in the city, have a small yard, or lack the time for gardening then this book is a must-read.

This is one of the best gardening books for beginners with little gardening experience.

Specifically, it will help guide you through buying and storing seeds, establishing raised beds, composting, garden planning, etc.

If you want to learn how to get 85% of your family’s food off of just a quarter acre then this book is a buy.

2. The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne

urban homestead

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If you want to build a modern homestead then this is one of the best gardening books!

In particular, this is a great tutorial for learning how to become fully self-sufficient.

It covers growing food on your patio, keeping city chickens, fermenting food, and composting worms.


Best Fruit Gardening Books (#3-4)

3. The Fruit Gardener’s Bible: by Lewis Hill

Fruit Gardener's Bible

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If you have read Fruit Gardening books before then you know that they can be extremely lengthy and sometimes confusing!

Not this book! It is an easy read with images and few pages. It will teach you how to be a better organic fruit gardeners.

Lewis Hill has grown over 20,000 trees on his property in Vermont and will teach you the best fruit growing techniques!

4. Grow a Little Fruit Tree by Ann Ralph

Grow a Little Fruit Tree

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This is the perfect book for gardeners who want to grow small fruit trees.

The author will teach you how to cultivate small, but bountiful fruit and provide instructions on pruning.

Furthermore, she teaches you how to keep gardening manageable during your busy life.


Best Aquaponic Gardening Books (#5-6)

5. Aquaponic Gardening: by Sylvia Bernstein

Aquaponic Gardening Book

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Wow, if you are like me and don’t know anything about Aquaponic Gardening then you’ll want to pick up this book.

It has EVERYTHING!!!

By far, one of the best gardening books I have read.

This is a great do it yourself manual.

Specifically, it talks about how to fertilize plants with wastewater from fish in a closed system.

In addition, it gives you all the tools and tips to create your very own aquaponic system.

What I love about this book though is that it talks through the location, components, fish, plants, and literally everything you need to be successful.

Do you know how you know it is good though? It is written by the Vice Chairman of the Aquaponic Association.

6. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Aquaponic Gardening by Meg Stout

The complete Idiot's Guide to Aquaponic Gardening

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This is a great comprehensive guide. Specifically, it will take you all the way from choosing a setup to selecting fish and vegetables.

What you will like most about it though is that it gives step by step instructions with pictures.

In addition, you will learn how to resize and move your garden from inside to outside.

Because of these factors, I consider it one of the best gardening books.


Best Composting Books (#7-8)

7. Worms Eat My Garbage: by Mary Applehof

Worms Eat My Garbage Book

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If you have never composted before or if you want to try a new type of composting then this is a great starting book to vermicomposting.

It provides you with illustrated instructions, which is key for vermicomposting.

Furthermore, it tells one how to set up and maintain small-scale composting.

In addition, it talks through bin types, worm species, care, and feeding.

Best of all, the author shares over three decades of experience on how to effectively harvest and leverage the compost!

8. Let it Rot: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell

Let it Rot Book

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If you are looking for a Composter Bible from an experienced gardener then you have found it!

This is one of the best gardening books for setting up a composting system.

Not only will it change the way you look at garbage, but it will help you improve your garden. Furthermore, one of the constant reviews is just how incredibly comprehensive it is.

The best part is that this book will help you save time, money, and increase overall yield! It literally has everything you are looking for.

Related: Winter Composting (10 PROVEN Tips)

Related: Ultimate Composting Guide: What to Compost


Best Flower Books (#9-10)

9. Florest Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden

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This book was actually written by a florist who is also a farmer. It is a great book if you want to be inspired.

This is also great if you want easy tips for all climates and spaces.

With this book, you will have a guide to growing, harvesting, and best of all arranging flowers.

In addition, the beautiful pictures will educate all gardeners and hobbyists on how to arrange lavish garlands and lovely centerpieces.

Talk about a great read to both educate yourself and spend a relaxing rainy day inside.

10. The Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers by Christopher Brickell

Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers

This book has it all.

Over 8,000 plants and flowers for any climate.

Furthermore, it provides step by step instructions on how to cultivate, prune, and care for your flowers.

And best of all is that it tells you what to plant for every possible situation.

In addition, you can easily navigate through the book by colors, season, and size!


Best Mushroom Books (#11-12)

11. Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets

Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

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When growing, harvesting, and using mushrooms you have to be extra careful since so many are harmful and even deadly.

This book will help you learn how to harvest 31 mushrooms species. Furthermore, it will provide great troubleshooting you may need.

Again, expertise is invaluable when growing and harvesting mushrooms. Luckily for us, the author has served as a consultant for the University of Arizona and has over 30 years of scientific experience.

What I love about this book is that it gives you the confidence needed to grow mushrooms and is the perfect gift for chefs, health enthusiasts, and gardeners alike.

12. Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter

organic mushroom farming

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This is an amazing book for anyone looking for a low-cost and easy mushroom growth strategy.

This book will give a tutorial on how to grow and harvest mushrooms both indoors and outdoors.

In addition, it will give you information on the infrastructure and materials needed for mushroom growing.


Best Greenhouse Books (#13-14)

13. Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion by Shane Smith

greenhouse gardener's companion

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If you are looking for one of the best gardening books you have found it.

Written with great stories and instructions to help you take gardening from a summer hobby to a year-round lifestyle.

This is not only one of the most comprehensive greenhouse books, but overall gardening books.

It is perfect for all levels.

It walks the reader through construction, heating options, design, pest management, and so much more.

What makes this book really stand out is that it will teach you how to take something that can potentially be expensive and time-consuming and turn it into something that is easy and fulfilling.

14. Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

Four-Season Harvest

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This is another one of the best gardening books if you want a different take on greenhouse gardening.

It gives you great suggestions for backyard cold frames and plastic greenhouses without heat.

Not only this, but it gives new ideas of winter vegetable gardening. Furthermore, it gives some great vegetable cuisine tips!


Best Herb Books (#15-16)

15. Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung

homegrown herbs

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Homegrown Herbs is one of the best gardening books to help you make the choice of what herbs fit best in your garden.

It profiles 101 herbs, talks about the pros and cons of each, and the best way to grow them.

In addition, it provides great information on seed selection, planting, caring, crafts, and what meals to use them in.

If you are a beginner herb gardener then I highly recommend this read!

16. The Cook’s Herb Garden by Jeff Cox

The Cook's Herb Garden

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With over 150 herbs discussed, this is one of the best gardening books for the herb gardener.

Specifically, it gives you step by step photographs on how to plant, nurture, harvest, and cooking herbs.

Whether you grow herbs on a window ledge or in your basement, this book will not disappoint.


Best Houseplant Books (#17-18)

17. The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant

the complete houseplant survival manual

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While I consider myself an advanced gardener, I can tell you one thing for sure: Houseplants are a whole other animal!

Luckily for us and all those who struggle to keep their family’s houseplants alive, this book is the perfect encyclopedia to not only keep plants alive but help them thrive.

This straightforward book provides personality profiles, growing needs, and troubleshooting tips for over 150 plants.

I have even heard that the author has given out tips from time to time to readers who still struggle with houseplants.

18. Urban Jungle by Igor Josifovic

Urban Jungle

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If you are looking for a DIY book then you have found it. This will give you great ideas for styling and planting indoors.

In addition, this is a great manual and inspiration, which walks you through 5 different types of “greenhouses“.

If you are looking for one of the best gardening books as it relates to greenhouses then read this!


Best Succulent Books (#19-20)

19. Succulents Simplified by Debra Lee Baldwin

succulents simplified

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Just like houseplants, succulents are incredibly beautiful and also difficult to grow. So what’s a gardener to do?

I would recommend purchasing Succulents Simplified!

This is one of the best gardening books for gardeners, crafters, and DIYers.

Furthermore, it is a great introduction to low-maintenance plants and provides gorgeous photos for over 100 plants.

In addition, the author will walk readers through how to grow these plants in any environment, including yours!

My favorite part is that it gives step by step instructions for projects to use them for, such as centerpieces, vertical gardens, and so much more.

20. Idiot’s Guide to Succulents by Cassidy Tuttle

Idiot's Guide to Succulents

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Another great Idiot’s Guide Edition. It gives great instructions on how to select, pair, pot, and care for Succulents.

In addition, it gives a snapshot of over 100 popular succulents and different crafts you can do with them.


Best Marijuana Books (#21-22)

21. Marijuana Horticulture by Jorge Cervantes

marijuana horticulture

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If you live in a state where marijuana is legal and you want to know everything there is to grow it then you have found the perfect book.

With over 1000 photographs, over 30 years of experience, and printed in 5 languages, the Marijuana Horticulture book provides one with simple, effective, and time-saving techniques.

Specifically what makes this one of the best gardening books is that the author continues to update it.

Furthermore, this specific version tackles greenhouse and outdoor growing techniques.

Not only this but with over 300 contributors you are getting some of the best information around!

22. Marijuana Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal

Marijuana Grower's Handbook

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This book is great. The book provides the most efficient technology to save time, labor, and energy.

It has over 500 pages of full-color illustrations about how to cultivate bountiful buds.

It also provides information on the selection, setting up, and harvesting of marijuana.


Best Kids Gardening Books (#23-24)

23. Gardening Projects for Kids by Jenny Hendy

gardening projects for kids

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If you love gardening and want to get your kids involved in garden projects then look no further!

This is a great book that will keep your kids busy for hours at a time.

With over 60 projects and amazing pictures, this book teaches kids how to grow plants and flowers and make memorable keepsakes!

Likewise, if you are lucky they may just be willing to teach you something they learn from this book.

24. Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Brown

Gardening Lab for Kids

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If you are looking for great gardening ideas for kids then you found it.

This book gives over 50 plant-related activities for all ages and experience levels.

Specifically, reading this book will give fun ideas about plants, seasons, and foods that all kids will enjoy outside.


Best Vegetable Gardening Books (#25-26)

25. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith

the vegetable gardener's bible

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Wow! This may be my favorite book on this list and by far one of the best gardening books out there.

Out of all 40 books, this by far has the most comprehensive information on vegetables, organic methods, and how to grow an abundance of vegetables no matter the size of your garden.

Furthermore, the newest edition of this book (as seen above) now includes how to grow salad greens, European, and Asian vegetables.

In addition, it goes into expansive details on how to extend your gardening into the winter months.

Also, it is an incredibly easy read too and no matter if this is your first year growing vegetables or your 50th I guarantee you’ll learn something.

26. All New Square Foot Gardening II by Mel Bartholomew

all new square foot gardening II

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If you are a DIYer with a small space then I highly recommend purchasing this book.

It is a great guide for making improvements and refinements on small gardening, including vertical gardening information.

In addition, it talks you through what materials are needed, how to make it fun for kids, and so much more information to help you get as much bang for your buck with small spaces.

Finally, this book and the Vegetable Gardener’s Bible could easily get you through a decade of gardening. It truly is one of the best gardening books.


Best Soil Books (#27-28)

27. The Intelligent Gardener by Steve Solomon

the intelligent gardener

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Understanding soil is complex and takes almost a science degree to fully understand.

Lucky for us there is The Intelligent Gardener. This is the perfect guide for understanding how to replace soil to produce the most and highest nutrient soil.

Furthermore, it provides step by step instructions, along with web-based spreadsheets.

I have yet to find any other gardening books that are willing to provide you with so many different ways to learn. 

This alone makes it one of the best gardening books out there.

One of my favorite parts about this book though is that it debunks many misleading and false statements we may run across on the internet.

28. Teaming with Microbes by Wayne Lewis

Teaming with Microbes

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This is an incredible book for those who want to learn what activities and organisms are needed to nurture their plants.

Specifically, you can learn how to cultivate through compost, mulches, and tea compost.

In addition, it is a great read for those wanting to learn how to grow healthy, vigorous plants.


Best Pest Control Books (#29-30)

29. The Gardener’s Guide to Common-Sense Pest Control by William Olkowski

gardener's guide to common sense pest control

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Pests are the absolute worst! They kill beautiful plants and wreak havoc on all the hard work you put into your garden.

This book is an essential guide that every gardener, landscaper, and farmer should have!

It not only gives you a step by step framework on how to control and fight off pests but gives the theory behind it.

I have yet to find another book to do this!

In addition, it provides small, but powerful strategies on controlling and killing pests that don’t always involve chemicals.

30. The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control by Fern Marshall Bradley

The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control

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This book contains symptoms and solutions for over 200 plants. In addition, it includes reliable pictures and an unbelievably comprehensive guide.

The best part is that it provides organic methods to control pests based on scientific-based recommendations.


Best Raised Garden Books (#31-32)

31. The Low-Maintenance Raised Bed Gardening Book by Kimberly Byrne

the low maitenance raised bed gardening book

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If you are looking for a great guide to helping you start a non-traditional garden then this is it!

Specifically, this book talks to the reader through garden design tips for fancy to free beds, how to improve soil, and how to grow more with less.

It will teach you what to plant, when to plant it, and will even guide the reader through low-maintenance tips on eliminating weeds.

What more can you ask for? This makes it one of the best gardening books I’ve read!

32. Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds by Editor of Cool Springs Press

Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds

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If you are looking for unique ways of gardening then this book is your choice.

Specifically, it provides step by step instructions for producing simple and beautiful garden beds.

In addition, it provides scale plans, drawings, and shopping lists.

Also, it has great ideas around trellises, raised beds, planters, and window planters.


Best Winter Gardening Books (#33-34)

33. The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman

the winter harvest handbook

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This is the perfect book for someone who is interested in using innovative, highly successful methods to continue gardening even in the coldest of climates.

The author leans on techniques from hundreds of gardens across America!

He lists amazing plant schedules, crop management methods, marketing ideas, harvesting techniques, and so much more.

The best part is that the book gives ideas for both gardeners with and without greenhouses!

34. The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

year-round vegetable gardening

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Niki provides a great book for simple techniques for year-round gardening.

Specifically, she provides instructions on selecting the best varieties for each season.

In addition, she talks to you through succession planting. And she also gives tips on how to build inexpensive structures for winter gardening.


Best General Gardening Books (#35-36)

35. 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead by David Toht

40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead

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This book has a little of something for everyone.

It will teach you about numerous topics to enhance sustainable living.

Furthermore, it covers popular topics like garden structures, fences and pens, housing chickens, building sheds, using solar power, and building beehives.

What you’ll love about this book though is that it is simple, convenient, and budgetfriendly.

In conclusion, if you are looking at doing more on your own, then look no further!

36. The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madison

The Backyard Homestead

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This is a great book for anyone looking to homestead.

It is a comprehensive guide for growing and preserving yield.

In addition, it talks the reader through raising animals for meat and eggs.

It also talks to the reader through vegetable growing and bee-hiving.

Further, when you throw in canning, drying, and cooking recipes it has everything you need in a book.


Best Beehive Books (#37-38)

37. Building Beehives For Dummies by Howland Blackiston

Building Beehives for Dummies

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One of the classic books out there. This gives step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and dozens of plans for building a beehive.

Specifically, the author talks through using beehives in both suburban and urban areas and what you MUST know.

In addition, it gives instructions on how to construct many different beehives.

Specifically, these include the Warre hive, the Kenya top-bar hive, and the traditional Langstruth hive.

38. Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment by Tony Pisano

Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment

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Another great book that gives you a guide on how to make equipment for your specific climate and setup.

In addition, it provides amazing tips for hives, infrastructures, and how to keep your bees happy all year.

Consequently, when it comes to building beehives it is important to take the necessary precautions.

Because of this, I would personally purchase both beehive books on this list.


Best Garden Design Books (#39-40)

39. The Layered Garden by David L. Culp

The Layered Garden

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If you are interested in learning how to beautifully design your garden then look no further.

This book walks you through how to recreate amazing garden displays.

Specifically, it teaches you how to layer your gardening and with what plants.

Finally, it talks to you through gardening tips and types for all four seasons no matter where you live.

40. Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla

Gardenista

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This book looks at numerous gardens around the world and how they are effectively designed.

It provides over 100 DIY options for your garden design.

In addition, it has one of the largest resources section I have ever seen.

Finally, this book literally provides you with over 200 resources you can reach out to and tips for true professionals.


Best “Other” Genre Gardening Books (#41-44)

41. Hydroponics for Beginners by David Campo

hydroponics for beginners
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If you are interested in starting hydroponic gardening then look no further than this book.

This book will walk you through what hydroponics is, the proper equipment needed for success, how to set up your garden, and what to properly maintain and care for it.

With easy to read chapters, step-by-step instructions, and numerous tutorial pictures this is an enjoyable read for any gardener.

42. Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens
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Raising chickens can seem complex, confusing, and even frustrating. But not with Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.

In its 4th edition, this book will provide you with everything you could ever want for raising chickens.

This is a best-seller book that will give you up-to-date information on raising chickens, shelter, food, care, etc. Anything you ever wanted to know will be covered in this book.

43. The Bee-Friendly Garden by Kate Frey

the bee-friendly garden
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If you a gardener you probably have come across the problem of not having enough bees to pollinate your crops. But how do you solve this? With a bee-garden of course.

The Bee-Friendly Garden is the ultimate guide to providing you with the best plants that will attract bees and other pollinators.

Some of the highlights of this book include how to have continuous blooms during all seasons, how to increase the quantity and quality of fruit and vegetables, and how to develop better soil through organic methods.

44. Gardening for Butterflies by The Xerces Society

Gardening for Butterflies
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One of the hardest gardening genres to perfect is attracting butterflies.

Let the Gardening for Butterflies by the Xerces Society help make life easy.

This book will provide you with the most endangered butterflies, how to design a habitat to attract and keep them safe, and how to create a beautiful garden in simple and quick steps.


What to Look for in the Best Gardening Books!

gardening books

With so many books on the market and just as many places to buy them, it can be hard to find the right book.

Buy a book that has:

  1. Expert Author – One of the best ways to determine if a gardening book is good is if the author is an expert in their field.
  2. Accolades – Look for awards, bestsellers, & endorsed by organizations.
  3. Ease of Reading – Short, small sentences, and lots of images.
  4. Reviews – While the quantity and quality of reviews should not be your sole factor, they will give you an insight into others’ opinions.


Where Else to Find Gardening Information

gardening books to read

If you have read through all 44 of the recommended best gardening books or you learn better through other educational channels, I recommend the list below.

1. College Courses

Whether you are looking to major in agriculture or searching for a seminar that anyone can attend I highly recommend reaching out to your local university or college.

Colleges and Universities are a great resource to learn more about a specific type of gardening and find gardening opportunities.

In addition, they sometimes even give you the ability to attend free educational opportunities.

One of the best schools out there that offer both in-person and virtual educational learning opportunities is:

The Ohio State University

2. Local farming Projects

Sometimes the best way to learn is through handson experience. Other times it’s through speaking and collaborating with local gardeners, farmers, and homesteaders.

If your community has a gardening club I would highly recommend becoming a member. It’s a great way to meet people with like interests and a tremendous educational opportunity.

In addition, if you are lucky enough to live by local farms I highly recommend reaching out to them to see if they are willing to accept volunteers.

If you are looking for a one of a kind experience I highly recommend:

Countryside Conservancy in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

3. Facebook

Another great resource to learn more about gardening is to join a facebook group.

There are many out there ranging from local homesteads to nationwide gardening clubs. Specifically, this is a great way to meet new people, while learning valuable gardening techniques.

4. Local Library

If all else fails, I highly recommend paying a visit to your local library. They are a wealth of resources that can provide you with more information than just books on gardening.

5. Youtube

Youtube is another great way to learn about gardening and the best gardening books. Don’t just take my word on the best gardening books, take a look at what other gardeners are saying:

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