These books to grow your own food are a good idea, even if you can’t be totally self-sufficient. Even if all you have is a windowsill, balcony or small patio kitchen, you can usually grow a little of the food you eat. Use no-dig methods, to protect earthworms and other creatures. Also see how to grow your own herbs (includes details of pet-toxic herbs).
See plants & trees to avoid near pets (avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch & fresh compost near pets). Use humane safe slug/snail deterrents. See safer alternatives to netting for wildlife, if used. Many plants (inc. yew & oak trees) are toxic to equines.
If growing near the house or in a greenhouse, be sure to keep plants away from pets (cats in particular may knock them over). And never leave foliage near glass windows, as this can confuse birds, who may try to fly inside. See how to stop birds flying into windows to learn solutions to stop this happening. Also see grow food in small spaces and growing food in pots & containers.
- The Super Organic Gardener is a beautiful book on veganic gardening, which goes beyond organic gardening to grow food without the use of fish meal or bone meal (both are toxic to pets and attract rodents). Make your own fertilisers and compost.
- The Vegan Cook & Gardener uses permaculture methods to lower your carbon footprint and use plant materials to grow food with zero miles and avoid chemicals. Learn about self-sufficiency, year-round techniques and includes seasonal recipes for fruits, veggies, herbs, salads and sprouts, plus tips on challenging crops.
- No-Dig Year-Round Harvests has tips for small space growing and indoor gardening, from sow to harvest. Learn how to set up a no-dig garden and make your own compost, water conservation and plant propagation systems. Includes wildlife tips.
- Your Edible Yard is a lovely book about landscaping with fruits & vegetables. It features dozens of colour photos and watercolour planting charts. From saving seeds to food-scaping, learn permaculture principles to build soil and raised beds and integrate culinary vegetables, herbs and flowers. This is your how-to guide to turn a yard into a bountiful feast.
- Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Diary takes you through each week of the annual growing cycle, from clearing weeds and feeding soil, to sowing, harvesting and storing vegetables. Feed soil once a year, and maintain weeds through mulching & hoeing. Charles just accepts that you’ll lose some crops to wildlife – he writes that some rabbits are so tame they ‘wave through the conservatory window while they eat supper!)
- No-Dig Organic Home & Garden shows how to harvest and prepare food year-round and also how to make compost and enrich soil. This approach works in small or large gardens, and includes tips for no-dig gardens on restaurants and private estates.
- The Minimalist Gardener offers no-dig, raised beds, perennial veggies and self-seeding salads as ground cover or mulch, this minimises garden maintenance. Just select plants you like to eat, then combine in polycultures and use companion planting.
- The Zero Waste Garden is the ultimate gardening guide to growing food with minimal waste. Ben shares over 60 unique planning-for-yield guides for key crops, to help you grow for minimum waste and maximum taste. You’ll learn how to make the most of space you have, what to grow and what you can harvest each season. Learn how to waste-free on any size plot.
- The Natural Gardener is a unique book, offering garden wisdom by the waxing and waning of the moon. Let nature tell you how to garden. John is head gardener at a Cornish estate and has 40 years experience of moon gardening. You don’t need special tools.
- Plant Partners is a book on science-based companion planting methods, to help naturally reduce disease, improve soil health and increase biodiversity, for real impacts in your garden. Companion planting has been used for centuries by gardeners.