The holidays are for relaxing at home and getting cozy. With the way things are going in our world, we have very little choice but to buckle down this year. Enjoy your quiet time by diving into some of these great gardening books.

Prepare yourself for the many growing seasons ahead; each one of the following reads will make you a better gardener; we promise! 

Complete Container Herb Gardening

If there’s one thing that drives us crazy, it’s paying ridiculous amounts of money for so-called “fresh” herbs at the grocery stores. From basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary to oregano, chives, cilantro, and more, herbs are nutritious, delicious, and incredibly easy to grow! Let Complete Container Herb Gardening by Sue Goetz be your companion through the process!

A certified horticulturist and herbal guru, Goetz has written an easy-to-follow guide on growing these edible plants in containers; no backyard required! For both beginner gardeners and more experienced ones alike, this book offers tips for maximizing yield and flavor and recipes for mixing and matching herbs in various pots to create unique combinations. Looking for a tasty selection of culinary herbs? There’s a container for that. More interested in aromatherapy combos, a holistic medicine cabinet, or natural beauty? There are herbal arrangements for those too! Planting, growing, and reaping the many benefits herbs have to offer has never been so easy. Herb nerds rejoice! 

Stay Grounded

Let’s face it; 2020 has been a challenge. But one of the positives to come out of the global pandemic and worldwide lockdown is a resurgence in backyard “victory” gardens. People with no experience whatsoever are looking to become more self-sustainable by growing their food. Stay Grounded: Soil Building for Sustainable Gardens by Rosefiend Cordell is the perfect read for those looking to understand better what it takes to create a thriving garden.

It’s all about working from the ground up and building the soil. The earth our plants grow in is a living organism that needs to be fed nutritious food; Cordell offers plenty of tips for improving topsoil quality and increasing its fertility. The best part? The process doesn’t cost a fortune! This gem of a book offers plenty of advice on establishing the juiciest compost pile with kitchen scraps. Live on the wild side and read the chapter on the 60 weird things you can compost. After reading this book, you’ll be well on your way to being the eco-friendly gardener you’ve always wanted to be. 

Houseplant Party

In the age when a gathering is a big no-no, you’ve been invited to a party! Don’t worry; it’s a houseplant party, and it’s totally safe. Lisa Eldred Steinkopf is back with yet another fantastic read for anyone looking to brighten their indoor spaces with greenery. Houseplant Party: Fun Projects & Growing Tips for Epic Indoor Plants is what DIY and plant parents everywhere have been waiting for. This one-of-a-kind guide offers readers a glimpse at some of the easiest plants to add to their home offices, windowsills, or bedside tables.

From peace lilies and air plants to Venus flytraps and ponytail palms, learn the ins and outs of caring for different varieties. Beyond that, channel your inner interior decorator with fun and simple projects like a test tube wall planter, a stress-reducing succulent zen garden, a bedside aquatic garden, and more. We’re all spending a lot of time indoors these days; why not beautify your space with greenery and have fun with it at the same time? 

The Beginner’s Guide To Mushrooms

When it comes to foraging food out in the wild, there’s no room for error. That’s why handbooks like The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Mushrooms: Everything You Need to Know, from Foraging to Cultivating is such a great find. Whether you know what you’re looking for out in the forest or have never picked a mushroom in your life, this book will up your mycology game. Mushrooms are generating a lot of interest these days for their health benefits and medicinal properties, as well as their incredible ability to regenerate the environment.

Veteran mycologists Britt Bunyard and Tavis Lynch offer more than just fungi basics; they provide simple steps on correctly identifying mushrooms, cultivating them at home, and how to use them in the kitchen year-round. This beginner’s guide will have you reaching for expert mycology status in no time. 

The Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is tried and tested; gardeners everywhere depend on it for growing advice. The Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook offers a wealth of information on hundreds of varieties of edible plants, when they should go into the ground, and the companions they like best. If you’re designing a new veggie patch or want to reconfigure your existing one, this is the book for you. Learn about no-dig gardening and soil tests, how to start seeds, and which plants do best in raised beds or small containers.

Each page offers wit and wisdom that might encourage you to grow specific plants. Did you know a slice of pumpkin pie before bed might help you sleep? Me neither. Follow tips on how to maintain various crops best, harvest, and store them. Are pests and diseases causing you problems? There’s a chapter for that, too, along with sections on critter control, proper watering techniques, and fertilizer facts. There are even several blank pages where you can make notes throughout the growing season. A whole lot of advice wrapped up into a cute little book. 

Click here for more of Garden Culture’s book recommendations. Happy reading!

Garden Culture Magazine

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