Organic Gardening Books - Here Are The 6 Best Gardening Books For Beginners And Greenthumbs Alike

These organic gardening books are those that have had the most profound effect on me, and I have read a lot of gardening books. But these books are the best of the best, in my opinion.

Botany / Plants Book


The Secret Life of Plants. The authors of Secrets Of The Soil put out amazing organic gardening books and this classic is a look at the world of plants and their relationship to us. It goes into how plants can think, how they respond to music, and how they respond to being loved/being threatened, yet sprinkled throughout are many lessons we can actually use in the garden. Anyone who believes plants are sentient beings will love this book. A must read.

Microorganism Book

Teaming with Microbes. Healthy organic soil is teeming with life - not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. These guys make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from us organic gardening and farming addicts to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals. I highly recommend this as one of the organic gardening books for you.

Organic Soil Management Book

The Non-Toxic Farming Handbook. This book is not only for farmers! It is a successful integration of diverse techniques and technologies of classical organic farming, Albrecht-style soil fertility balancing, and Reams-method organic soil and plant testing and analysis, and it is great for organic home gardeners. It covers fertility inputs, in-the-field testing, foliar feeding, refractometers, tillage, livestock nutrition, moon cycles and subtle energies, and more.

Permaculture Book

Gaia's Garden. This is one of my favorite organic gardening books for beginners. It describes an organic gardening system that combines the best features of wildlife habitat, edible landscapes, and conventional gardens into a self-renewing landscape that lets nature do most of the work. It has many good design principles, so it is partially a design book. This is my favorite introduction to permaculture because it is a fun read that really simplifies the topic. It's not as comprehensive as Mollison's works, but a great intro. I love this book.

Vegetable Gardening Book

The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food. This is one of those organic gardening books that shows you how to select, grow, harvest, and store more than 765 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts. Not all that much info on growing from seed and transplanting, but a pretty darn big encyclopedia of food plants and good information on vegetable garden layout.

General Organic Gardening Book

Working With Nature - Shifting Paradigms. This organic gardening book was the first written by one of my gardening mentors, Heide Hermary, founder of Gaia College. It describes ecologically sound organic soil and water management practices and introduces the concept of landscape health management. It summarizes some of the most important information from other books listed on this page, and more importantly, it makes connections between seemingly disparate topics.

Organic Gardening Books - Here Are The 6 Best Gardening Books For Beginners And Greenthumbs Alike

If you are interested in organic gardening books and would like to see my full list of the 50 absolute best gardening books, check it out here:

Phil Nauta is a SOUL Certified Organic Land Care Professional and holds a Certificate In Organic Landscape Management from Gaia College and a Certificate In Sustainable Building And Design From Yestermorrow in addition to a Permaculture Design Certificate. He has taught for Gaia College and been a director for The Society For Organic Urban Land Care. He had run both an organic landscaping business and an organic fertilizer business before starting Smiling Gardener to teach others what he has learned.