7 Organic Gardening Books to Read This Winter

Looking for some good winter reading? Check out these helpful and informative organic gardening books to pass the time & improve your gardening skills!

If the winter cold has you trapped indoors and dreaming of your summer garden, why not spend the time brushing up on your garden knowledge to prepare for spring garden season?

One of the awesome things about gardening is that the learning never stops! There are always new techniques and facts that can help you improve your results, control pests, grow healthier plants, and increase your harvests, all while building healthy soil and supporting the natural ecosystem with sustainable gardening methods. Not to mention all of the exciting different varieties of fruits and veggies there are to learn about! 🙂

Here are 7 organic gardening books to give you inspiration and guidance in your gardening endeavors – whether you’re an experienced gardener, or just getting started:

Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening bookRodale’s Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden

By Deborah L. Martin

The quintessential guide to organic gardening, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening is the perfect guide to get you started off on the right foot if you are new to gardening. This beginner-friendly book will show you how to lay out your garden, where and how to dig, and plenty of handy tips and tricks to help guide you to success. This is one of the best gardening resources for those just starting out.

Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic GardeningRodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener

By Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, and Ellen Phillips

If you’re looking for more in-depth information, or want an all-encompassing garden book that will answer all of your burning organic gardening questions, take the next step with Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.

This book is often called the go-to resource for every organic gardener. Even novices will love its accessible advice on all things plants, and experienced gardeners will find inspiration in the included photos of the latest garden trends.

Mini-Farming bookMini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

By Brett L. Markham

If you’re ready to go all the way and tackle growing a good portion of your own food, this is an essential guide – especially if you’re working with just a small piece of property.

In Mini Farming, you’ll learn how to create your own mini-farm and become more self-sufficient – even if you are working with less than one acre of land. In fact, according to this book, you can grow a large percentage of your own food – and even earn some extra income – on just 1/4 acre!

This book also covers topics like farm planning, food preservation, and crop rotation, taking self-sufficiency to the next level.

Square Foot Gardening bookAll New Square Foot Gardening: A Small Space Revolution

By Mel Bartholomew

Speaking of growing food in small spaces, those with limited garden space will especially enjoy Mel Bartholomew’s classic, Square Foot Gardening – the first gardening book I owned when I started my first apartment garden!  This revolutionary method of growing vegetables allows gardeners to grow more organic fresh produce in less space and with less work than traditional row gardens.

This newly updated edition includes lots of charts, illustrations, photos, how-to tips, and veggie-specific growing guides to help make growing your own food easier and more fun – for beginners and advanced gardeners alike. You’ll learn tips for growing food in urban areas with little-to-no yard, utilizing vertical space, managing pests using natural and organic methods, installing automatic watering systems, and more.

Teaming with Microbes bookTeaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web

By Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis

Ready to get dirty? This book will take you deep into the soil food web and explain why healthy soil is the key to successful organic gardening.

Teaming with Microbes walks you through the science behind soil. You’ll learn fascinating insights on organic gardening, and why a robust underground ecosystem containing worms, insects, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms is necessary to grow a truly healthy, productive, and flourishing garden.

Bug-Free Organic Gardening bookBug-Free Organic Gardening: Controlling Pest Insects Without Chemicals

By Anna Hess

One of the first questions every gardener asks when considering organic growing is, “How will I deal with pests?” Bug-Free Organic Gardening has answers.

You’ll learn how to balance your garden’s ecosystem so that beneficial insects and other natural elements will help manage pests for you. You’ll learn how to use organic and natural pest control techniques such as succession planting, barrier methods, the importance of timing your plantings to bypass bugs, and more. And you’ll also find specific methods for dealing with aphids, slugs, Japanese, beetles, tomato hornworms, and more – all without resorting to chemical pesticides which could be harmful to both you and the environment.

The Four-Season Harvest bookThe Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long

By Eliot Coleman

This was one of the first organic gardening books I purchased after moving to Ohio. Having grown up in the garden – but in a much warmer climate – I was unsure what would grow well in the upper Midwest, and I hated relying on bland supermarket veggies the whole winter long. Eliot’s book was a godsend for me, and is a wonderful resource for anyone growing in a cooler climate (Eliot lives in Maine) and wanting to enjoy homegrown produce even during the winter months.

The Four-Season Harvest is packed with useful information on how to grow fresh produce year-round throughout North America. You’ll learn how to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables using simple and inexpensive backyard cold frames and unheated hoop houses.

It’s still amazing to me just how hardy some plants are, and how many will actually make it through the winter without much effort!

Whether you’re brand new to gardening, an experienced gardener who is looking to switch to organic methods, or simply a garden aficionado who wants to brush up on your gardening knowledge, these organic gardening books are helpful and entertaining reads to add to your reading list this winter – and they’re sure to improve your gardening results come spring!


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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