One of life’s great satisfactions is growing food for yourself. The art of preparing the soil, planting seeds and nurturing seedlings offers an intense connection with where food comes from and the very earth itself. And, if all goes to plan, the harvest of roots, fruits and beans – or whatever you grow – offers deeper flavour, more nutrition and fewer food miles than anything you can shop for. It’s an everyday wonder that anyone with a windowbox to a few acres can enjoy.
Knowing where to start is one thing but continuing the journey to improving yields and making the most of even the most limited space can be tough without expert advice. We’ve gathered together some of the very best books offering practical, friendly advice to veg growers – from beginners to champions.
The best vegetable books to buy in 2021
Find everything you need to be a successful vegetable gardener with this selection of expert guides.
Veg in One Bed
by Huw Richards
When space is at a premium, keeping things simple and knowing how to make the most of every inch is vital. Edwards offers clear, prescriptive advice on what to plant, when, and in what order to save space, time and energy – yet still grow an abundance of the fresh vegetables you most enjoy eating.
RHS Step by Step Veg Patch: a foolproof guide to every stage of growing fruit and veg
by Lucy Chamberlain
Easy to follow and ideal for beginners or for those further along the veg-growing journey who need advice on time and labour-saving techniques for reliable cropping. Well organised with tips for growing crops indoors as well as out, with clear, photographic step-by-steps for various how-tos.
The New Self-Sufficient Gardener
by John Seymour
Seymour has inspired thousands to enrich their lives by living closer to the land and developing a wide range of useful gardening and kitchen skills. This is as much a book to read and inspire – and give you the energy and impetus to make a start – as a practical guide to veg growing, storing, cooking and eating.
Grow your own vegetables
By Joy Larkham
A classic of densely packed yet wonderfully readable information and wisdom for those who want to get the most from their veg-gardening efforts. In-depth and hard-won knowledge on every page, broken down crop by crop.
Allotment Month by Month
by Alan Buckingham
Detailed advice on successful veg growing particularly for those with larger plots, ie allotments, where managing many different vegetables over the course of a year can be daunting. Clearly laid out, this is a supremely practical reference book.
Grow all you can eat in three square feet
How to maximise your space even if you only have a windowbox. Includes projects for all types of gardening spaces: small beds and plots, balconies, roof gardens, windowsills, walls, and patios. Perfect for the urban gardener.
The Great Vegetable Plot
by Sarah Raven
A beautifully photographed and designed book by a renowned gardener, which helps your choose the right veg for your patch – and your tastebuds. Brings joy to the sometimes arduous task of maintaining a successful veg patch.
The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables
by Jessica Sowards
American homesteader Jessica Sowards provides crucial practical know-how for anyone wanting to begin backyard veg growing. From finding the best position for a productive path and preparing the soil, to choosing the right crops for you, this is a useful and inspiring guide for those at the beginning of the veg-growing journey.