Gardeners in the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba face unique gardening challenges. Our harsh winters and short growing season mean that typical gardening advice doesn’t always work in our region.
Here are 25 prairie gardening books for you to enjoy that were written with cold-climate gardeners, or anyone gardening in Zones 2 or 3, in mind!
GROWING VEGETABLES & FRUIT
Canadian Vegetable Gardening by Douglas Green
An excellent guide for beginner Canadian vegetable gardeners.
Vegetable Gardening for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba by Laura Peters
I love the Lone Pine series of books and this one is no exception. If you have a vegetable garden in one of the three prairie provinces, it doesn’t get more specific than this.
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour
This author hails from Nova Scotia, which has a milder climate. However, I think we could successfully use the author’s techniques until at least November.
Edible Plants for Prairie Gardens by June Flanagan
When many people begin to garden, they do it because they want to grow their own food. This book breaks down the best varieties for the prairies.
Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens by Sara Williams & Dr. Bob Bors
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I’m obsessed with prairie-grown fruit.
Related: 28 HARDY FRUITS YOU CAN GROW IN ZONE 2 AND 3, 10 EASY TO GROW VEGETABLES FOR BEGINNERS (PLUS 5 YOU’LL WANT TO AVOID), HOW TO PICK THE BEST TOMATO VARIETIES FOR YOUR GARDEN, 5 SECRETS TO GROWING BETTER PEPPERS FROM SEED,
PLANNING YOUR LANDSCAPE ON THE PRAIRIES
The Short Season Yard by Lyndon Penner
Make the most of our short growing season.
Garden Design for the Short Season Yard by Lyndon Penner
Finally a landscaping book specifically for the prairies!
Related: 35+ CANADIAN SEED COMPANIES & NURSERIES TO ORDER THE GARDEN OR LANDSCAPE OF YOUR DREAMS, TOP 10 FLOWERS AND PLANTS FOR LANDSCAPING, HOW TO LANDSCAPE YOUR FRONT YARD SO YOUR NEIGHBOURS ARE GREEN WITH ENVY
USING PLANTS NATIVE TO THE PRAIRIES
One of the biggest challenges for new prairie gardeners is figuring out what will actually grow in Zone 2 or 3. Look no further than these four books.
Native Plants for the Short Season Yard by Lyndon Penner
Top picks for the prairies, as well as the chinook region around Calgary, which has its special challenges.
Native Plants for Prairie Gardens by June Flanagan
Gardening with Prairie Plants by Sally Wasowski
Creating the Prairie Xeriscape by Sara Williams
Want the shortcut? I’ve compiled a list of the 28 Most Hated Perennials and my 53 Favourite Perennials for Zones 2 and 3. I also have a beginner’s guide to gardening for when you feel like you have no clue.
Related: 25 Drought Tolerant Native Plants for the Prairies, 5 Benefits to Landscaping with Low Maintenance Native Plants
GENERAL GARDENING GUIDES
Chances are that not everyone reading this post is from the prairies. These picks are for those who live elsewhere in Canada or the Midwest.
Canadian Gardener’s Guide edited by Lorraine Johnson
The New Canadian Garden by Mark Cullen with Marette Sharp
The Northern Gardener: Perennials that Survive and Thrive by Barbara Rayment
Plan the Perfect Garden
Get your free Garden Planner and worksheets and start creating the garden of your dreams.
GARDENING MAGAZINES & SERIES
The Prairie Winterscape by Barbara Jam & Nora Bryan
I confess that I am one of those people who hibernate during winter. I refuse to embrace the cold. This book reminds me that winter can be embraced, even in landscaping.
Gardening, Naturally by Sara Williams & Hugh Skinner
For those who want to avoid pesticides and chemicals, this book is for you.
Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies by Hugh Skinner & Sara Williams
Because gardening isn’t just about flowers and vegetables.
Best Groundcovers and Vines for the Prairies by Hugh Skinner & Sara Williams
The Prairie Rose Garden by Jan Mather
Perfect Partners by Liesbeth Leatherbarrow & Lesley Reynolds
It takes a lot of years of gardening and sometimes a pinch of luck to figure out what goes well together in the garden. Take the shortcut and read this book!
Here are a few books that aren’t specific to the prairies but are good reads for the urban and beginning gardener.
Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell
You would be amazed at how many vegetables you can grow up rather than out. A must-read for the urban gardener.
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
Container Gardening for Canada by Laura Peters, Alison Beck, & Don Williamson
There are tons of container gardening books, but one that’s specific to Canada? Be still my heart!
Related: Avoid These 8 Mistakes for a Better Vegetable Container Garden, Create this Relaxing Garden Room Entirely with Container Gardening
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
Roses Love Garlic by Louise Riotte
Vegetables Love Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler
Did I miss any of your favourites? I’d love to hear about it. While you’re at it, let me know in the comments which book you want to read first!
And if you’re looking to add one more title to your list, check out my Growing Roots Gardening Guide to transform you from garden newbie to confident gardener.