We're always on the lookout for new gardening knowledge, but as Book of Ecclesiastes says 'there is nothing new under the Sun' the best horticultural knowlwedge is out there, you just need to know where to find it.
These five classics are a great starting point. They comprise a list of the books that I tend to reach for more often than they sit on the book shelf, I even have some on my kindle so I can reference them more readily. They are five of the best vegetable gardening and homesteading books that belong on every gardener’s bookshelf.
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
Edward C. Smith is the best-selling author of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible and The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Sylvia, have lived off the grid in Vermont, in a house they built on land they cleared by hand. Together, the grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in their 2,000 square feet of gardens and containers.
40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead
Garden structures: Raised beds, planters and arbors, self-watering beds, grow-light stand, soil blocks
Fences and pens: Fence post basics, picket fence, solar electric fence, installing and stretching fences, hen pen and hurdle, gates, PVC hen pen
Housing chickens: Basics for housing chickens, building a coop and run, complete material and cutting lists, exploded views, building an A-frame chicken tractor Building sheds: Basics for building, goat shed, saltbox garden shed, backyard-homestead shop, roofing alternatives
Alternative energy sources. Solar and wind power.
Aquaponics and hydroponics: Understanding aquaponics, and hydroponics, basics of a DIY aquaponic and hydroponic systems
Building beehives, Plumbing and wiring: Plumbing basics, freeze-proof watering options, outdoor wiring, supplemental lighting and on and on.
All New Square Foot Gardening II: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space
Square Foot Gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden in very limited space.
That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than two million books teaching how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Mel developed his techniques back in the early 1980s and has been teaching them around the world ever since. In the process, he has made improvements and refinements, and has continually adapted his practices to keep pace with modern times.
Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
This is an Old Classic that initiated the Companion Gardening Craze, ot is as relevant today as it was when first written over 30 years ago.
Plant parsley and asparagus together and you’ll have more of each, but keep broccoli and tomato plants far apart if you want them to thrive. Utilize the natural properties of plants to nourish the soil, repel pests, and secure a greater harvest. With plenty of insightful advice and suggestions for planting schemes, Louise Riotte will inspire you to turn your garden into a naturally nurturing ecosystem.
Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time
Craig LeHoullier lives and gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina. A Rhode Island native, he caught the gardening passion from his grandfather, Walter, and dad, Wilfred. Craig achieved his PhD in chemistry at Dartmouth College, which resulted in a 25 year career in pharmaceuticals that ended in 2008.
In 2005 he added amateur tomato breeding to his garden resume, and continues to co-lead the Dwarf Tomato Breeding project, responsible for creating 90 (and counting) new compact growing varieties for space-challenged gardeners. His writing career kicked off with a 2012 request from Storey Publishing to write a book on tomatoes, resulting in Epic Tomatoes
Savor your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier provides everything a tomato enthusiast needs to know about growing more than 200 varieties of tomatoes, from planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. He also offers a comprehensive guide to various pests and tomato diseases.
"Incredibly photographed and beautifully laid out, Epic Tomatoes will inspire and delight." (Niki Jabbour, author of Groundbreaking Food Gardens and The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener)
"When Craig recommends a variety, we listen!" (Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange)