Urban gardeners face some special challenges, the biggest of which is lack of space. These 25 gardening books cover all the bases to build the beginner urban gardener’s confidence. I’ve assembled a collection that covers general gardening knowledge, companion planting, composting, small space gardening, and more.
Also, I couldn’t resist adding a few just for my Canadian readers. When you’re done, check out my list of the 25 best gardening books for prairie gardeners or anyone in USDA hardiness Zones 2 or 3.
General Gardening Knowledge
How to Create a New Vegetable Garden by Charles Dowding
A great place to start and figure out the ins and outs of vegetable gardening.
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith
Roses Love Garlic by Louise Riotte
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louis Riotte
Vegetables Love Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler
RELATED: 6 Truths New Gardeners Need to Know, Goodbye Bugs! 14 Flowers to Companion Plant in Your Vegetable Garden
Square Foot, Vertical, & Container Gardening
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
This book is arguably considered the bible of square foot gardening.
Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell
Learn how to grow up, not out and grow beautiful produce in small spaces.
Container Gardening by the Editors of Fine Gardening
The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible by Edward C. Smith
Because you know that part of your garden is going to be in pots on your patio.
Raised Bed Revolution by Tara Nolan
Trelises, Planters, & Raised Beds by the Editors of Cool Springs Press
Get some out-of-the-box ideas for all your container gardening. (I couldn’t resist that pun.)
Plan the Perfect Garden
Get your free Garden Planner and worksheets and start creating the garden of your dreams.
Curious about how much your urban garden could produce in a year? Check out my results! When you’re done, see how my friends turned an unused side yard into a successful urban garden.
Unique Urban Gardens
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone
While this idea may be a bit of a stretch for most of you reading this post, I think the idea of using unused backyards for vegetable gardening is a fabulous one. Though I don’t personally want to make a business out of it as Stone suggests, I would like an extra yard or two to grow my pumpkins and squash.
Groundbreaking Food Gardens by Niki Jabbour
This is not your average gardening book. Explore unusual gardens that will have you re-thinking how you want to landscape next year. There’s a different kind of garden for every kind of gardening.
Nature’s Garden by Samuel Thayer
Lots of cities have edible wild plants growing by neighbouring lakes, rivers, or park areas. Now you can be the one to point out (and eat!) the wild strawberries.
Composting for a New Generation by Michelle Balz
I try my best to compost, but I know I could be doing more. This book is a big inspiration to do so!
Attracting Beneficial Bugs by Jessica Walliser
Gardening, Naturally by Sara Williams
While this book is intended for Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, there’s lots of information that can be applied to other regions.
Organic Gardening by Charles Dowding
Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza
For all of you wanting to try lasagna gardening.
Year-Round Urban Gardening
Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
Because it’s possible to have a harvest way longer than 3 months.
Week by Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook by Jennifer Kujawski
It’s really handy to have everything laid out week by week, especially when things get busy in late summer.
Indoor Kitchen Gardening by Elizabeth Millard
Apartment dwellers rejoice! This one is for you.
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour
Books About Canning
There are so many amazing canning books out there, it’s hard to narrow it down! Here are two good choices to get you started.
Complete Canning Guide by Better Homes & Gardens
The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes by Amy Bronee
Related: The Beginners Guide to Home Canning: What You Need to Know, Must Have Equipment for Home Canning
Just for Canadian Urban Gardeners
Guide to Canadian Vegetable Gardening by Douglas Green
Growing Food in a Short Season by Melanie Watts
There you have it! 25 books to get you through the cold of winter while you dream about your garden. Need a resource for buying plants? I’ve compiled a list of 35+ seed and gardening companies, plus links to the complete list of all the garden/seed companies in both Canada and the US.
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.