The winter months can be a little dreary in the northwest. Between the rain and cold (but not cold enough to get a lot of beautiful snow cover) it’s easy to forget that gardening can be an enjoyable task! Well while you are stuck inside, here are three top herb gardening books to check out to pass the time. At the end, I’ve included a bonus freebie amazon book for you to check out!
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Herb Gardening for Washington and Oregon
by Marianne Binetti and Laura Peters
This excellent resource has all the information you need to get started growing herbs in the northwest. The first twenty percent of this great resource covers herb garden design, preparing the garden, planting herbs, caring for your herbs, propagation, and more. I particularly enjoyed the section about the prevention and control of those darn pests and diseases. Last year I had a huge infestation of white aphids that loved to chew on my basil leaves! And while it doesn’t go into specifics, it is a give a good starting point for your Integrated Pest Management plan.
Where this herb growing resource shines is in its last eighty percent. It is a compendium of over a hundred herbs that grow in the northwest. From anise to wild strawberry and everything in between. Each herb has two to four pages dedicated to it. It includes information on how to grow the herb, any tips specific to that herb, recommended varieties of the herb, how to harvest and process it, and how to use it. All in all it is an excellent resource that will get you started growing all kinds of herbs in the northwest!
Pacific Northwest Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year
by Christina Pfeiffer and Mary Robson
While there isn’t a whole lot of information specific to herbs in this book, it does have a lot of great information about our neck of the woods. Each month gives an overview of how to plan, what to plant, how to care, fertilize, water, and problem-solve. It has a very nice section on how to start your own seeds indoors.
I really like that this book has divided the information by months. It brings focus to the busy months and gives hints and tips for what to do when I might otherwise think there is nothing to do.
The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs
by Amy K. Fewell
The last of these three gardening books is part growing guide, part cookbook, part diy how-to, and part medical textbook! This a complete overview of the topic of herbs. From growing herbs, to using herbs, even preserving herbs, everything is covered. There are so many recipes for so many things in here. I can’t wait to try some of the herbed butter and chai tea recipes!
My favorite chapter is Chapter Three: Seed Saving; Drying and Storing Herbs. I always seem to have an overabundance of flowers and leaves after harvest. This will come in so handy and I’ll be able to use my preserved herbs well into winter when I would otherwise have to buy them.
I’m sure you found at least one of these gardening books interesting enough to check out!
Container Gardening Month by Month: A Monthly Listing of Tips and Ideas for Creating a Professional Container Garden is a nice little free ebook. The author and therefore much of its information is geared toward Northeastern gardens, but most of the principals can be used in the Northwest.