Lawn & Garden

Best Lawncare Books For Beginners

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Every home has a lawn that needs to be cared for. Most first time homeowners rarely know how to care for grass or trim hedges, and this can be frustrating to learn on your own.

Thankfully there are tons of great books written on these topics that you can study from. And in this post I’ve curated the 15 best books on modern lawncare from organic grass to unique mowing patterns.

If you want a bright green lively lawn these books will help you get there one page at a time.

Scotts Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard

Professional landscapers and turf managers all share their thoughts in this massive resource for homeowners.

Scotts Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard covers 220 pages of guides and tips on everything you’ll ever need to know about lawncare. Topics include grass seeding, fertilizing, aerating, watering, and problem solving when things aren’t going so well.

Each chapter is packed full of professional advice include newbie mistakes to avoid. Boston Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellnor even chimes in with his advice on what makes a great lawn.

It is true that yard care can be a lot of work. But it can also be fun once you know what you’re doing. And this is one book that’ll help you get there.


The Lawn Bible

Another amazing resource I recommend is The Lawn Bible which is perhaps the most detailed guide to lawncare ever written.

It’s only about 280 pages long but those pages are crammed full of expert advice, tips for newbies, and common problems(with solutions) for any occasion.

The author is none other than David Mellor, groundskeeper at Fenway Stadium and one of the more knowledgeable people when it comes to maintaining a great lawn. If there’s anyone who has the expertise to compile a lawn bible it’s gotta be David.

Early chapters cover the basics of grass and how it thrives. But you’ll quickly move into practical steps to help make your lawn the brightest, greenest, and happiest it’ll ever look.

Out of all the books in this list I think The Lawn Bible is a must-have staple for every homeowner. It’s a resource you’ll come back to time & again for tips and refreshers on various topics.


The Organic Lawn Care Manual

Pests and weeds are commonplace in the average lawn. But harmful chemicals and pesticides aren’t always the answer.

In The Organic Lawn Care Manual you’ll learn how to take care of your lawn the organic way. The goal is to keep a beautiful lawn that doesn’t harm mother earth while also keeping your lawn safe for pets and kids.

Most interesting are the chapters on grass anatomy and the basics of soil composition. Once you understand why grass grows and what sorts of nutrients you need it makes your job a whole lot easier. This book can help you find the right organic materials and tools, even for people on a budget.

One other benefit is for pool owners who have an in-ground pool. It’s a good idea to use organic compounds that’ll keep your groundwater(and pool water) free of nitrates.

There are millions of reasons to get into organic lawn care and this book is a top choice. It’s a foolproof guide for anyone looking to go even more green with their grass.


Picture Perfect: Mowing Techniques for Lawns, Landscapes, and Sports

You may be surprised at how many lawn mowing techniques there are. Different mowing styles leave patterns that can shape the look & feel of your yard.

Picture Perfect is yet another book written by the infamous Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor. In this 160-page guide you’ll learn all about the mowing techniques used in playing fields and larger lawns across the country.

This is especially useful for landscapers who want to leave behind a job that wow’s clients. Nothing says a job well done quick like a finely trimmed lawn.

Early chapters talk about grass fertilization and lawncare so this does work as an intro guide. Then in the middle of the book you’ll dive into mowing patterns and how to look at lawncare as its own art form.

You’ll never find anything quite like the patterns listed in this book. They’re unique, easy to follow, and they’ll leave a lasting impression on your lawn and the whole neighborhood.



If you want a simpler look into custom lawn patterns then grab a copy of Lawnscapes: Mowing Patterns to Make Your Yard a Work of Art.

This is a surprisingly short book with only 80 pages and a few dozen designs. But this is the perfect introductory guide to new homeowners who don’t have much experience working the lawn.

I really want to stress that this book covers the absolute basics of lawnmowing and pattern creation. It is very much a how-to book, however it only goes so far and really tries to hold your hand the entire way.

First time homeowners would benefit most by learning the different patterns like checkers, stripes, and circles. Most of these exercises rely on sit-down mowers but you could get by with a push operated mower too.

All-in-all a fantastic book for beginners. Not so great for anyone with more experience.


Jerry Baker’s Green Grass Magic

Everyone wants a bright green bug-free lawn. But it takes a lot of effort to learn the ropes and bring your grass up to that quality.

Jerry Baker’s Green Grass Magic is a massive 380-page compendium to home lawncare. Author Jerry Baker is a well-known gardening expert who has published more than fifty books on growing veggies, flowers, and of course landscaping.

This incredible guide covers the beauty of grass and teaches you a step-by-step formula to keep those grass blades happy year-round. Of course, there isn’t a whole lot you can do when it’s buried under snow.

But preparing the soil, using proper fertilizer, and keeping pests away are all necessary steps to keep your grass flourishing. If you have a green thumb or just want to learn the fundamentals of lawncare this is an excellent book to start with.

It’s also surprisingly accurate despite being over a decade since publication. Jerry Baker knows his stuff and his tips are just as useful now as they were years ago.


Lawn Care For Dummies

One of the simplest and easiest ways to intro yourself to yard work is with Lawn Care For Dummies.

This is also a massive book totaling close to 370 pages and dozens of chapters. You’ll start by learning the very basics of grass and what sort of environment helps it thrive. Then you’ll dive into all sorts of topics from planting, fertilizing, watering, and fending off common pests.

Every chapter contains multiple sub-chapters that dig deep into the topic at hand. The writing is easy to read and it has lots of tips in the side margins like you find in most “For Dummies” books.

In the very last section you’ll get some tips, resources, and techniques you can apply to your own lawncare practices. A few experts chime in with their suggestions making this book a powerful read for anyone new to lawncare.


Sprinklers & Watering Systems

Great lawns don’t grow out of nowhere. They require time, hard work, and a little chemical known as dihydrogen monoxide(commonly called “water”).

Sprinklers & Watering Systems is a wonderful book that spans the gamut of technologies and watering schedules you can use to create a beautiful lawn. It’s a fairly short read with 200 pages and a few guides to follow along with.

These resources are invaluable to someone just getting into lawncare. You’ll learn about concepts like water zones and automated timing switches to get your grass properly hydrated during the warmer months.

Every guide includes custom illustrations following step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow. The majority of this guide assumes a DIY attitude which is great for gardeners and landscapers.

Just note this is really a basic intro manual for irrigation and water systems. It is not an advanced guide which makes it the perfect read for inexperienced homeowners.


Lawn Gone!

It may seem strange to consider replacing your lawn with a totally different set of plants. But Lawn Gone! makes a solid case for this strategy since it reduces stress and upkeep.

Author Pam Penick is a garden designer and landscaper who frequently writes for online gardening blogs. Her advice follows her expertise in both designing and caring for unique yards. She shares advice on alternatives for grass that almost never need mowing.

You’ll also learn about plants, shrubs, and artificial turf which mostly follow the set it & forget it lifestyle. Many of these plants can even survive in the heat without water. This can drastically reduce your yard work and your water bill.

Best of all Pam wrote this book for a wide audience of complete beginners and expert gardeners.

No matter what your skill level this can help you setup a lawn that’s easy to handle & still looks great.


Lawn Geek

In this massive 350-page guide to lawn care Trey Rogers covers just about every topic you could ever hope to learn. Lawn Geek: Tips and Tricks for the Ultimate Turf From the Guru of Grass is full of quips and handy tips to improve any yard.

Trey has a great sense of humor in his writing that’ll keep you entertained the whole way. But his advice is also sound and it comes from his years of experience as a turf scientist.

You’ll learn about the physics of grass, how it works, what doesn’t work, and what can make your grass thrive. This may seem boring but Trey knows how to keep your attention. Later chapters get into weeding, fertilization, and handling pests that may leave bald spots in your yard.

Weeding can be the biggest challenge and dealing with crabgrass can also be a pain. Thankfully this book covers all this stuff in a lighthearted yet educational way.

Very detailed book, great for the price and definitely a fun read. I highly recommend it for newbies and pros alike.


The Edible Front Yard

One way to manage your yard is to grow vegetables in smaller patches. These may not be full gardens but they can make a difference in your yard care and your lifestyle.

Ivette Soler’s The Edible Front Yard is all about curb appeal and working with the space you’ve got. She talks about gardening with passion and not worrying about complex setups with raised beds or garden fences.

Instead you’ll follow along with many guides to help you craft the perfect curbside gardens right in your front lawn. These can work for any size home and they’re also quite eco-friendly.

Designing a front yard garden does take a bit more work than simply maintaining a front lawn. But the tradeoff is that you get fresh fruits & veggies on the regular without needing a massive setup like a greenhouse.

An excellent book for the homeowner who likes a slightly different approach to lawncare.


Beautiful No-Mow Yards

Mowing your lawn is consistent work and it’s certainly not for everyone. Whether you just don’t have the time or if you’re just lazy, there are many alternatives routes for your lawn.

And you can find them all in Beautiful No-Mow Yards by Evelyn Hadden.

This book showcases beautiful yards without traditional grass. It does have a few guides you can follow along and test on your own to see which styles you like best.

So this is really one part inspiration book and one part how-to book. And no matter how you slice it this book is beautiful for rigging a yard that doesn’t require consistent work. You’ll find many different techniques to use like patios, shade gardens, prairie gardens, koi ponds, edible gardens and eco-friendly play areas.

From the many different plants you can grow to the sizes and design patterns you can follow, this book pretty much has it all. With 50 sample lawns to pick from you’re bound to find something here that’ll work as a no-mow alternative.


A Photo Handbook of Weeds

Weeding is a common process in gardening but it’s just as crucial for lawncare. In the Photo Handbook of Weeds you’ll learn how to identify and remove all the various types of weeds you’ll ever see.

Every weed has real photographs to help you identify and compare the specimens in your yard. This book also talks about feeding your lawn and how often you should handle fertilizing/watering to ensure the least amount of weeding.

Weed killers are also discussed in great detail debating between common choices and less-common organic options. There is definitely something here for everybody and it’s a great book for homeowners dealing with weed troubles.

Just note this is a very short book with only 55 pages total. It mostly covers all the weeds with details on their growth & prevention. If you’re happier searching online for info then this book might serve little purpose.

Still it’s a nice resource to have in your bookshelf.


Lawn Problem Solver

The Ortho Lawn Problem Solver is a powerhouse book. It’s spiral-bound and waterproof which makes it great for bringing out in the lawn without risk of damaging any pages.

This hands-on guide can help you solve any problem from improving grass health to healing discolored plants or bald patches in your soil. The first step is always identifying the problem with accuracy.

From there you’ll learn techniques and solutions to help get your lawn back to normal. It’s a pretty straightforward guide and over a total of 100 pages it covers pretty much everything.

I specifically recommend this for landscapers and gardeners who spend most of their time outside. This book is durable and can withstand pretty much any climate.

Excellent problem solving resource to keep outside while you’re working.


Step-by-Step Landscaping

Once you learn the basics of lawn care you may want to go deeper into landscaping. You can pretty up your yard with the right shrubs, flowers, garden stones, or a plethora of other techniques to make your home stand out from the rest.

Step-by-Step Landscaping is the best intro book for beginners who want to take their yard to the next level. It comes with over 700 photos showing off custom landscaping ideas that you can mimic yourself.

But this isn’t just some photo book full of ideas. It’s also a practical how-to guide with 100+ step-by-step tutorials to make your yard gorgeous and full of life. It’ll teach you the many different types of plants, shrubs, and flowers you can use and how they all interact.

You’ll also learn about basic landscaping elements like in-ground edging, building a patio, and building fences around your yard. You can even build garden sculptures and other advanced decorations if you’re daring enough to try.

This is hands-down a brilliant lawn design guide for beginners. Landscaping is a lot easier than you might think, but it does require a base of knowledge first. And this is the best book to help you acquire that knowledge hassle-free.

Every book in this post is phenomenal and I truly recommend every title. But I also know that everyone’s needs are different, so some may appeal to you more than others.

Take another look over this list and if you spot any books to improve your lawncare don’t hesitate to grab a copy.

And if you want a free guide to basic lawncare check out this detailed post from iGardenPlanting or this one from Today’s Homeowner. They’re both great to skim & learn a little before you drop dough on books.

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