best vegetable gardening books

The Best Vegetable Gardening Books in the UK



Whether you’re looking for a full step by step guide to getting started in vegetable growing, or simply to buy a gift for a gardener friend, sometimes a website like Lets Grow Cook isn’t enough.  There are heaps of vegetable gardening books available covering all sorts of detail and planning.  The best vegetable gardening books cover season by season plans, they give details on where and how to grow certain vegetables and they inspire you to dream of what you can achieve in your garden.  We’ve brought together the best of the books about growing vegetables and vegetable gardening books here – with our favourites that are focused totally on the science, seasons art and delight of growing vegetables.

The Best Vegetable Gardening Books

There are hundreds of thousands of books on vegetable gardening.  Often it’s the style of the writing, the practicalities and the photographs that make them successful.  In providing our shortlist of the best books on vegetable growing and gardening we’ve gone for books that are:

  • Practical and no-nonsense
  • Focused on the UK climate and environment
  • Tried and tested – so they might have an older publish date, but if it works…
  • Focused on vegetable gardening
  • Cover how we grow vegetables- in allotments, in gardens, in yards, containers and pots. Sometimes in a small greenhouse, but always with a small budget and a lot of love.

What we’ve tried to do is provide several books that are general – and from well-renowned experts and organizations and then we’ve dived into specifics, so you’ll find our recommendations on our

  • Best vegetable gardener planning book
  • Best allotment vegetable gardening book
  • Best vegetable gardening in raised beds book
  • Best vegetable gardening hydroponics book
  • Best vegetable gardening in containers book
  • Best small spaces vegetable gardening book
  • Best vegetable gardening in greenhouses book

The Vegetable Gardeners Bible:  Edward Smith

There’s no better place to start when it comes to books on vegetable gardening than the Vegetable Gardener’s Bible.  Edward Smith’s classic is a modern class and for beginners, it’s a great place to start.  This book not only gives you very practical advice, but its also very clear, and you can see demonstrable differences by implementing some of his tried and tested techniques.

You want detail?  There is immense detail here, plus he doesn’t just focus on the vegetables that everyone knows, but there are details about less well-known varieties too.  Buy the Vegetable Gardeners Bible here. 

RHS Step-by-Step Veg Patch: A Foolproof Guide to Every Stage of Growing Fruit and Veg:  Lucy Chamberlain

The RHS is one of our go-to resources when it comes to vegetable gardening and it’s no surprise that their step by step book is full of invaluable advice.  The author, Lucy Chamberlain has been growing her own vegetables since her teens and maintains near self-sufficiency today with her own veggie patch. 

There are extremely explicit step by step instructions on more than 50 different vegetables that you can grow – with full photos and extremely practical details on sowing, planting out, feeding and harvesting.  This RHS book on growing vegetables also covers growing vegetables in raised beds, in the ground, in the containers and on balconies!    Buy the RHS Step by Step Veg Patch book here.     

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing Vegetables at Home

Sustainability is key to this book which offers the basics of starting your vegetable garden and outlines the pros and cons of raised beds versus in garden vegetable growing.  It’s a light read but provides detailed information on making soil mixes, transplanting seedlings all the way through to harvesting throughout the seasons. 

This easy to read and digest book covers the detail on the most popular vegetables in the UK – what work well as companion plants and how to deal with issues in the vegetable garden.  Buy Vegetable Gardening for Beginners here. 

RHS Grow Your Own Veg & Fruit Year Planner: What to Do When for Perfect Produce

Another favourite from the RHS is the fruit and vegetable year planner book.  Getting started growing vegetables is tough, there is SO much choice and there are so many decisions to make.  This vegetable gardening book lays it out simply for you.  It starts with what to grow when and where – and it covers allotments to gardens to terraces and containers. 

Seasonal chapters explain what to do and when and how you can take your vegetable growing to the next step.  These aren’t fancy new techniques, they’re tried and tested and they work.  And this is a fabulous book to use to plan your vegetable garden.  Get started now and buy the Grow Your Own Veg Planner here. 

Allotment Month By Month: Grow your Own Fruit and Vegetables, Know What to do When

This is our favourite book for growing vegetables in allotments.  Ok, so it also covers fruit as well, but its an awesome read and excellent guide to using allotments to their biggest potential.  It provides really clear advice, discuses crop rotation, dealing with pests and how you can use specific techniques to get a head start and get around problems in allotments

The title says it – month by month – and that’s exactly what it provides and it’s designed specifically for the UK growing seasons, so you’ll get the best details on sowing, harvesting, pesticides.  We love it.  Buy your copy of Allotment Month by Month here. 

Veg in One Bed: How to Grow an Abundance of Food in One Raised Bed, Month by Month

This is our favourite book on vegetable gardening in raised beds, but its also about so much more than that.  The author, Huw Richards focuses on organically and cheaply aiming to become more self-sufficient in gardening, while doing it in a raised bed.    There are clear photographs and full detail about how to grow in what part of the raised bed and when.

Richard’s “no-dig” techniques are great for those who might be a little less mobile or to want to make it SERIOUSLY easy on themselves with vegetable gardening.  This is a great plan for growing all the vegetables you need throughout the year in just one bed.  Buy Veg in One Bed here

RHS Grow Your Own Crops in Pots: with 30 Step-by-Step Projects Using Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)

At Lets Grow Cook we LOVE growing vegetables in pots and this is our positively favourite vegetable gardening in containers book.  One of the reasons we love growing vegetables in pots and containers is their portability – not just within the garden or yard, but between different properties too!   This RHS book focuses on full-on growing vegetables in pots and containers.

It’s full of techniques that every container vegetable gardener should know and contains directories on companion plants and the best ways to grow more than 60 vegetables (oh and there are a few fruits and herbs in here too!).  We love it.  Buy your copy of the RHS Grow Your Own Crops in Pots here. 

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens

Growing vegetables in a small space is a huge skill, and author Andrea Bellamy provides some pretty ingenious ideas on how you can maximize the produce you get from the tiniest of places.  So whether you have a balcony, a terrace, a window sill or a tiny garden this is the vegetable gardening book for you!

There are heaps of photos describing and showing how to implement Bellamy’s ideas and how you can maximize the harvest from small space gardening.  Even if you have a larger space, you’ll relish the ideas as you’ll end up getting so much more from each space!  These ideas really helped us when we were stuck for space and growing vegetables.  Buy Small Space Vegetable Gardening now!  

Hydroponics for Beginners: Start Growing Vegetables at Home Without Soil

This is a fabulous guide to not just getting started in growing vegetables with hydroponics but how to do it without making the mistakes that the author did!  You’ll find out what you’ll need to buy and what you don’t as well as how no to waste electricity and figure out the best ways to grow the best vegetables suited to hydroponics.

All that and there’s none of the mess of soil and compost too!  Getting started with hydroponics does require some investment, but this book helps to cut out the unnecessary expenses and make all of your purchases the most cost-effective.  It’s an invaluable guide.  Buy Hydroponics for Beginners here. 

Greenhouse Gardening – A Beginners Guide To Growing Fruit and Vegetables All Year

Starting with how to get the best greenhouse for your needs – and whether it should be glass, plastic or even a polytunnel, this guide is the perfect overview – and detail on everything you need to know about greenhouse growing of vegetables.  You’ll learn about airflow, cooling and how to manage humidity in your greenhouse to ensure that your vegetables don’t spoil.

The book focuses on not just managing growing vegetables in your greenhouse but also how to prepare it for each season, and protect it from the more variable weather elements.  It will also help you with the challenges of greenhouse ownership and how to overcome them.  Get start growing vegetables in a greenhouse now by buying Greenhouse Gardening here. 

Final Words on Vegetable Gardening Books

My profile on some social media channels reads “Reader, Writer, Gardener”.  I’m never sure which order it should be in, but I positively devour books and always have.  That there are so many books on vegetable gardening is only a mild concern for me.  What’s important is finding the best, so believe me its been a labour of love working through all of the vegetable gardening books and picking out not just my favourite, but also what I think delivers the best advice and the best value for money.  These books on vegetable gardening that I’ve selected are practical, easy to read, they’re totally focused on the UK climate and UK gardens and I hope they’ll help you with your vegetable growing as much as they have me.

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