25 Must Read Books for the Prairie Gardener | Shifting Roots

25 Must Read Books for the Prairie Gardener

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Gardeners in the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba face unique gardening challenges.  Our harsh winters and short growing season mean that typical gardening advice doesn’t always work in our region.  Here are 25 prairie gardening books that were written with us in mind.  Or anyone who lives in zones 2 or 3.  Enjoy!

Growing Vegetables and Fruit

Canadian Vegetable Gardening

by Douglas Green

An excellent guide for beginning Canadian vegetable gardeners.

Vegetable Gardening for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba

by Laura Peters

I love the Lone Pine series of books and this one is no exception.  If you have a vegetable garden in one of the three prairie provinces, it doesn’t get more specific to you than this.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener

I debated sharing this link, because I’ve just started experimenting with winter gardening for myself and don’t know if it will actually work.  The author hails from Nova Scotia, which has a milder climate.  However, it’s something that really intrigues me, and I think we could successfully use the authors techniques until at least November.

P.S.- this book image is the only one that is copyrighted, so I did not include it.  If you’re interested in purchasing it, the title link will take you there.

Edible Plants for Prairie Gardens

by June Flanagan

I think when most people begin to garden, they do it because they want to grow their own food. This book breaks down the best varieties for the prairies.

Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens

by Sara Williams & Dr. Bob Bors

I am super excited for this book to come out December 1st.  If you’ve been reading this blog at all this summer, you know I’m obsessed with prairie-grown fruit.

Related: For the Love of Berry Picking

Planning Your Landscaping on the Prairies

The Short Season Yard

By Lyndon Penner

Make the most of our short growing season.

Short growing season? No problem. Learn how you can make the most of it.Click To Tweet

Garden Design for the Short Season Yard

by Lyndon Penner

Finally a landscaping book specifically for the prairies!

Use Plants Native to the Prairies

One of the biggest challenges to new prairie gardeners is figuring out what will actually grow in zone 2 or 3. Look no further than these four books.

Want the shortcut?  I collaborated with the members of 28 Most Hated Perennials and 53 Favourite Perennials for zones 2 and 3.  I also have a beginners guide to gardening when you feel like you have no clue.

Native Plants for the Short Season Yard

by Lyndon Penner

Top picks for the prairies, as well as the chinook region around Calgary, which has it’s special challenges.

Native Plants for Prairie Gardens

by June Flanagan

Gardening with Prairie Plants

by Sally Wasowski

Take the mystery out of choosing plants for your prairie garden.Click To Tweet

Creating the Prairie Xeriscape

by Sara Williams

General Gardening Guides

Chances are that not everyone reading this post is from the prairies.  These pics are for you if you live elsewhere in Canada or the Midwest.

Canadian Gardener’s Guide

edited by Lorraine Johnson

The New Canadian Garden

by Mark Cullen with Marette Sharp

The Northern Gardener: Perennials that Survive and Thrive

by Barbara Rayment

Gardening Niches

The Prairie Winterscape

by Barbara Jam and Nora Bryan

I confess that I am one of those people who hibernates during winter.  I refuse to embrace the cold.  This book is convincing me that winter can be embraced, even in landscaping.  I can’t wait to try out some of the projects!

Embrace winter gardening on the prairies? Find out how.Click To Tweet

Gardening, Naturally

by Sara Williams and Hugh Skinner

For those who want to avoid pesticides and chemicals, this book is for you.

Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies

by Hugh Skinner and Sara Williams

Because gardening isn’t just about flowers and vegetables.

Best Groundcovers and Vines for the Prairies

by Hugh Skinner and Sara Williams

The Prairie Rose Garden

by Jan Mather

I love roses, but I’ve never planted them in my garden because my Dad discouraged me from doing so when I just started out.  While his advice was probably right for a newbie gardener, I feel like I’ve since graduated and am ready to tackle this book.

Perfect Partners: Beautiful Plant Combinations for Prairie Gardens

by Liesbeth Leatherbarrow and Lesley Reynolds

It takes a lot of years of gardening and sometimes a pinch of luck to figure out what goes well together in the garden.  Take the shortcut and read this book!

Space-Saving Gardening

Here’s a few books that aren’t specific to the prairies, but good reads for the urban and beginning gardener.  I’ve just begun experimenting with these techniques this year and already am planning to do more next year.

Vertical Gardening

You would be amazed at how many vegetables you can grow up rather than out.  A must-read for the urban gardener.

P.S.-Another copyrighted image.  Click the vertical gardening link to see the book.

Square Foot Gardening

by Mel Bartholomew

Container Gardening for Canada

by Peters, Beck, and Williamson

There are tons of container gardening books, but one that’s specific to Canada?  Be still my heart!!

Companion Planting

Have you ever wondered what plants work best together?  Louise Riotte has two comprehensive books to ensure you never make a companion planting mistake again.

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

by Louise Riotte

Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers

by Louise Riotte

That’s it!  Let me know in the comments which one you want to read first.  Did I miss any?  I’d love to hear about it.

Pin me for later!

Finally, gardening books written just for the Prairies!  If you're a gardener in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba, (or live in USDA hardiness zones 2 or 3) you must read these books!  Advice on vegetable and flower gardening, native plants, companion planting, landscaping, and so much more.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!