I don’t consider myself a natural gardener; my green thumbs are more of the school of trial and error variety. Starting out, I just followed the directions on the seed packets. Now, I supplement with good books that teach me what I need to know and inspire me to try new things. What I lack in natural botanical insight is made up for with these garden resources and a hefty dose of wonderful Santa Barbara weather.
By John Jeavons
This is my favorite resource for my vegetable garden; I’ve read it cover to cover three times. It emphasizes the soil structure and how that greatly impacts your success in the garden. It also discusses companion planting (and also list garden antagonists), which is super cool. Green beans and strawberries thrive better when they are grown together, who knew?
By Tina Davis
This book was a gift from mom. It goes month by month with interesting planting projects through the seasons for children. The old-fashioned illustrations are charming and beautiful, inspiring you to spend time with your kids in the garden. (Hint: It would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift).
From Rodale, the publishers of Organic Gardening magazine
My resource for composting— all the stuff you want and need to know and even a little more than that. It’s a great introduction if you want to start composting and a great resource if you are having composting issues.
By Ruth Stout and Richard Clemence
Originally published in 1971, this gardening classic is the best at a no-nonsense approach to gardening, with practical and easy inspiration for starting a family garden. This book is now out of print, but you can find it through used-book resellers. It’s worth the search.