Hoping to grow your own food this summer? Or have perfect flower beds? Follow advice from experienced gardeners and start with a plan! It doesn’t matter if this is your first attempt, or if your garden is on its 40th growing season—before you start digging, pick up a book or two for tips, techniques, and inspiration.

If you are hoping for a fantastic harvest:

The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener by Eliot Coleman
Grow Something Different to Eat by Matthew Biggs
The Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden by Brie Arthur

If you would like your yard to be the envy of the neighborhood:

The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design a Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs by Leslie Bennett
Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams by Bobbie Schwartz
Twilight Garden: A Guide to Enjoying Your Garden in the Evening Hours by Lia Leendertz

If you’ve struggled to keep plants alive:

The Beginner's Guide to Starting a Garden: 326 Fast, Easy, Affordable Ways to Transform Your Yard, One Project at a Time by Sally Roth
What's Wrong with My Vegetable Garden?: 100% Organic Solutions for all Your Vegetables, from Artichokes to Zucchini by David C. Deardorff
Beginner Gardening Step by Step by DK Publishing

If all you have is a sunny window:

Countertop Gardens: Easily Grow Kitchen Edibles Indoors for Year-Round Enjoyment by Shelley Levis
Indoor Edible Garden by Zia Allaway
Indoor Kitchen Gardening: Turn Your Home into a Year-Round Vegetable Garden by Elizabeth Millard (ebook only)

If you have young gardeners helping you:

Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden by Renata Fossen Brown
The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons by Kari A. Cornell
The Best-Ever Step-by-Step Kid's First Gardening: Fantastic Gardening Ideas for 5-12 Year Olds, from Growing Fruit and Vegetables and Fun with Flowers to Wildlife Gardening and Outdoor Crafts by Jenny Hendy