Planting the seeds of spring

Spring finally seems to be arriving. While we all know in Iowa it is never a good idea to count on the weather to stay the same longer than five minutes, the warmer temperatures do bring to mind getting started on outdoor projects. For many people, gardening is an enjoyable hobby that also produces usable goods, from beautiful flowers to delicious vegetables. The library has a great section on gardening and plants, whether you are a first-time gardener or seasoned pro. Below are some great books to get you started.

“The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food” by Tanya L.K. Denckla

A great resource for those looking to make the switch to a completely organic method of gardening or for those who may just be looking to tweak their current practices. Covering a large variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts, Denckla provides different techniques to fight pests and other diseases.

“The Book of Weeds” by Ken Thompson

This book covers one of the least favorite topics for gardeners: weeds. Thompson provides an easy-to-follow guide on battling those pesky plants that pop up in the wrong places. While no one likes any weeds, the full-color pictures will help you distinguish the harmless annoyances from the truly toxic. With this book in hand you’ll be able to eradicate the weeds and win the war.

“The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer” by Stephanie Cohen and Nancy J. Ondra

This book is for the gardener who loves to consider the aesthetic of their garden. Full of ideas and plans for a variety of spaces, this book will help you choose the right perennials for a healthy and vibrant garden. With practical tips and garden-tested design principles and fundamentals, this is a great book to look over to gather ideas as you plan your garden.

“The Edible Front Yard” by Ivette Soler

If you hate mowing and love fruits and vegetables, this is the book for you Showing you how to transform your front yard from an annoyance that needs to be mowed weekly into a useful space that produces delicious fruits and vegetables while looking great, Soler helps you find the right design for your yard. Choose from options like a carpet of herbs or trellis privacy screen of runner beans to create a little oasis in your front yard.

“The Contained Garden”

For those that are constrained by space in their yard or perhaps live in an apartment, “The Contained Garden” is perfect for finding your gardening solution. With expert advice on plants that thrive in containers and the care they need, this book proves you don’t need space in the conventional sense to still enjoy the benefits of gardening.