The following are some resources we have found handy in our gardening and canning experiences. This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase the linked products, at no extra cost to you. This helps me pay for the website (and add to my growing seed collection and giant sunhat collection).
If you are local to the White Lake area, make sure to check out The Book Nook in Montague, Michigan. Stop in for a gardening book, stay for some coffee and a delicious treat!
- Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louis Riotte- This book is great reference book if you are looking to add companion planting to your garden. In it, you will find which plants “behave” well together and which ones don’t. It’s laid out in a reference style, so you can easily flip to the plants you intend to put in your garden and find good companion plants (and plants who do not play well). Carrots Love Tomatoes also has sections on garden techniques, soil improvement, pest control, poisonous plants and garden plans.
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C Smith– I received this book as a Christmas gift and read it front to back. You may not think a gardening reference book could be so riveting, but it’s very down to Earth, written for everyone for the beginning gardener to the more advance gardener looking to learn more tips. What I like best about this book is how thorough the reference section is. You can flip to, say, tomatoes, and find out the best germination temperature, the best growing temperature, nutrient requirements, rotation considerations, soil temperature, sowing from seed versus buying from a nursery. If you buy one vegetable gardening book, THIS should be it!
- Fruit Gardener’s Bible by Lewis Hill and Leonard Perry- This book is an excellent resource for growing fruits and nuts. In it you will find information on growing many types of fruiting plants, from soil preparation, pruning tips, pollinating needs, and even the expected bushels to expect when the plant is fully mature. It’s easy to follow, and a great resource to have on hand for beginners and more advanced gardeners alike.
- The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips- If you are interested in starting your own fruit orchard, or just want more information on tending to an already existing fruit tree, this book is a must. Michael Phillips gives very detailed information on everything from orchard design, organic pest control, holistic approaches to disease, permaculture principals and biodiversity.
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving Techniques and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth- This book was recommended to me by a Master Gardener at a presentation during the Central Michigan Seed Swap. The book has a wealth of information for those gardeners who want to save the seeds of their beautiful vegetable plants for planting the next growing season or for sharing with others.
- MSU Extension- If you haven’t visited your state’s extension website, you’re missing out! MSU has a TON of information growing just about anything in Michigan. Last winter, I even took an online Webinar on gardening, which was a great experience that I highly recommend for beginning gardeners. In the webinar, they gave great information on starting a garden, information on soil testing, Smart Gardening, and everything from gardening in containers to starting a community garden.
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds- Not only is their website great for ordering seeds, it also gives a ton of information about each variety they offer. You can order a catalog for free, which is also a good resource for gardeners.
- Seed Savers Exchange– This non-profit is doing amazing things for protecting and preserving heirloom seeds. In their words, “Seed Savers Exchange takes threats to biodiversity seriously. We maintain a collection of more than 20,000 heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and plant varieties, including over 1,000 varieties of heritage apple trees”. We buy a lot of our seeds from them, knowing what we buy is helping preserve seeds for generations to come.
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds- First of all, order their free catalog. It’s stunning! We love Baker Creek for their variety of quirky, rare and hard to find seeds. Every year we choose some fun plants to add to the garden, especially because the quirky plants keep our kids interested in gardening. We also love Baker Creek because they donate a lot of seeds (like thousands of packets!!) to non-profits around the country like communities or schools looking to start a garden. They even donate seeds to people in areas devastated by natural disasters who might have lost their gardens or farms, or who simply need a way back to food security. Now THAT’S something we can get behind!
- Small House Farm– A small, family run company in Sanford, Michigan, Small House farm offers seeds, oils, body care products and nuts and seeds for snacking. We met this amazing family at the Central Michigan Seed Swap. I LOVED that they have a story behind every seed, preserving not just the seeds, but the hands that loving tended to those seeds for generations. Small House Farm is also a great resource if you are looking to start a seed library or seed swap in your area.
- MIGardener- This comes on recommendation from a friend. Seed packets are $0.99 and are sourced through their own plants and through small family seed farms. They also have a very useful YouTube channel with videos on all things gardening.