The best gardening books to inspire a new perspective this winter

If gardening is a big part of your life in spring, summer, and fall, the arrival of winter gifts you with a lot more free time in your schedule. What’s a gardener to do?

Read voraciously!

Or, at least, that’s what this gardener does.

Winter is the opportunity for us to step back from our gardens and try on some new perspectives. And organic gardening books help us do just that. Every garden writer has a different approach to the craft and their books invite you into their world for a bit.

Gorgeous coffee table books are packed with plenty of eye candy to inspire you to dream about new designs and ideas for your garden. And you can balance those out with plenty of practical, educational books to teach you the new skills you want to develop next season.

As for me, my favorite winter activity is sitting in front of my woodstove with my feet up close to the fire and a book in my hands. There’s no better way to spend a dark and frigid evening in Wisconsin in my opinion.

Since winter is the season of reading, I thought I’d share five of my favorite organic gardening books. Request them from your neighborhood library, make a trip to your local bookstore, or order them online without leaving your home.

Then curl up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket. The woodstove is optional!

Some of the below links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase I receive a small percentage (at no cost to you) which helps support this blog.

favorite vegetable gardening booksThe Year-Round Vegetable Gardener
If you’ve been dreaming about harvesting food from your garden throughout the winter, this book is for you. Niki Jabbour, the author, is one of the people who inspired me to really commit myself to experimenting with extending the season in my own garden.She lives in a cold climate in Canada, so if she can do it, you can, too! And as a bonus, if you follow her on social media you’ll be treated to lots of photos of her snowy, winter garden and the produce she’s harvesting from it. Read some of the great reviews about her book here.


best organic gardening booksGrowing Beautiful Food
By now you probably know that in addition to having a garden that produces a lot of food, I also want my garden to be a gorgeous part of my landscape. I was intrigued by this title because I don’t often see other garden writers talking about the aesthetics of growing vegetables.Matthew Benson runs a small, specialty CSA in upstate New York and is also a garden photographer. The book is a visually striking one to hold in your hands. It’s the perfect eye candy for a gray winter day. Read more about it here.

best organic gardening booksFermented Vegetables
Winter is the perfect time to start experimenting with fermenting since you have a little more free time in your schedule.  This book explains the simple process step by step so that you end up with a high-quality product after several weeks.My first attempt ended up in the compost pile because I didn’t follow the directions of a trusted source like this one. Fermenting is really easy and fun once you get the basics down. I recommend starting with curtido, it’s a more spicy version of sauerkraut.


best vegetable gardening booksEdible Rainbow Garden
Rosalind Creasy is pretty famous in the gardening world. She’s one of the first people who wrote about edible landscaping and she has a passion for growing beautiful vegetables. A woman after my own heart!If you’ve been thinking about incorporating more colorful and interesting vegetables into your garden, check out this book, or one of her many others.

organic gardening booksEdible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist
Permaculture has been a buzz word in the gardening world for over a decade, but it’s a big topic and can be confusing to gardeners. This book breaks down different ideas in permaculture and translates them into concrete projects you can create in your own garden. This is the book that inspired me to build my front yard herb spiral. It’s one of the most asked about features of my garden. You can check out a video of me building that spiral here.



Smart Start Garden Planner: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Season

Over the years I’ve learned that the most successful gardeners take some time before the garden season begins to devise a simple and smart plan for the year.  These gardeners are the ones who grow lots of vegetables very successfully.

Gardening planning doesn’t have to be boring or take a lot of time. My latest book is a fresh and simple approach that keeps planning practical, down-to-earth, and fun!

You’ll work through your plan step-by-step, and at the end, you’ll have a personalized blueprint for what a successful season in your garden looks like. Check it out here.


Don’t let the long, dark nights of winter pass you by without taking pleasure in a big pile of organic gardening books. The off season is a great opportunity to let your mind dream, plan, and imagine all the fun things you’ll do once spring has sprung and you can return to the pleasure of sinking your hands into the soil again.

I’d love to hear your picks for favorite gardening books. Leave a suggestion in the comments under this post.

Want more? Check out my lists of favorite books in my Amazon shop.


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