Whether you love tending your landscape or you just want a nice lawn with minimal effort, there’s a lawn care book that can help you. The best lawn care books for homeowners give you all the essential information backed up with photos and graphics to guide you.
Scotts Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard (2007)
Scotts and Nick Christians
Scotts highly rated comprehensive field guide to lawn care covers planting, fertilizing, mowing, and watering. The section dedicated to troubleshooting and dealing with weeds, diseases, and pests helps you keep your lawn healthy. The book offers a range of lawn care approaches, from a minimalist maintenance plan to a more rigorous program for an immaculate lawn. Professional-level tips are shared in layman’s terms and accompanied by practical images, tables, and charts. The book also comes in a waterproof spiral-bound format for outdoor use.
Much of the information, along with additional features, is included in Scotts’ My Lawn app. If you already have the app, you might find the book redundant.
Toro Expert Guide to Lawns (2008)
Joseph R. Provey, Kris Robinson, and Van Cline
If you’re ready to take your lawn to the next level, this book can help you get there without spending a lot of time or soaking your lawn in chemicals. Beyond the basics of starting and maintaining a lawn, you’ll get in-depth, step-by-step guidance on testing and enhancing your soil, holding down weeds and insects through environmentally safe methods, and improving your lawn’s drought resistance. Within the book’s 176 pages, you’ll find 350 color photos and 101 color illustrations. The information is thorough enough for a professional, but straightforward enough for a beginner.
Everything Lawn Care (2001)
A complete guide to the essentials of lawn care, this 275-page book teaches you how to choose the best grass for your climate, apply seed and sod, fertilize, water, mow and edge, and winterize. You’ll learn how to deal with weeds, pests, and diseases through both conventional and organic methods. A former specialist nursery owner, Green shares professional knowledge in basic terms through easy-to-follow instructions, clear charts, and a full-color photo insert. The guidance he offers focuses on establishing a lawn care routine that meets your lawn’s needs and fits your lifestyle.
The Lawn Care Bible (2003)
David R. Mellor
Aimed at serious lawn care enthusiasts, The Lawn Care Bible goes well beyond the basics. Mellor draws on his experience as a sports turf expert and Director of Grounds at Fenway Park to share knowledge and tips for those who don’t mind investing considerable time and money to get the perfect lawn. The essentials of grass type selection, seeding, watering, fertilizing, mowing, and weeding are all covered, along with more advanced topics such as determining your soil type.
Illustrations and suggestions aid you in identifying and getting rid of common pests. You’ll also find tips on identifying weeds, but guidance on getting rid of them is scant. The section on mowing patterns, one of Mellor’s claims to fame, helps you give your lawn a professionally manicured touch.
Leave Me a Lawn: Lawn Care for Tired Gardeners (2017)
Under her gardening pen name, former horticulturist Melinda R. Cordell delivers serious lawn care advice with a playful sense of humor. This 124-page book covers a wide range of lawn care topics, including grass types, fertilizing, watering, mowing, and managing pests and diseases. You’ll learn practical tips and tricks for saving time on maintenance, improving your lawn’s drought resistance, and cutting back on chemicals. It’s targeted at the average homeowner who wants a healthy, beautiful lawn with minimal fuss, so it gets you up to speed on the basics, but avoids technical matters.
The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn (2007)
Sustainable landscaping expert Paul Tukey walks you through everything you need to know to grow an organic lawn. You’ll learn how to choose a grass that will thrive in your climate, create rich soil, water for drought resistance, and fertilize and control weeds in environmentally sustainable ways. Technical information is clearly organized and explained, and instructions are easy for beginners to follow. If you’re not starting your lawn from scratch, you’ll appreciate the tips on turning a conventionally grown lawn into an organic one. The monthly Lawn Care Calendar, which outlines organic lawn maintenance by regions, will help you keep your organic lawn healthy.
Definitive Guide to Organic Lawn Care Paperback (2020)
Developed from the personal notebook of a career golf course superintendent, this guide manages to cover a lot in its 161 pages. It goes beyond quick tips and delves into the science behind maintaining a healthy lawn through organic methods. You’ll learn how the products you use affect your soil microbiology and, in turn, your grass. Even if you’re not ready to go fully organic, you’ll benefit from the guidance on choosing and using environmentally sustainable lawn care products. While the technical information is clearly presented, there’s a dearth of illustrations.
Jerry Baker’s Green Grass Magic: Tips, Tricks, and Tonics for Growing the Toe-Ticklinest Turf in Town! (2004)
This 384-page guide is all about getting a healthy lawn without breaking the bank. It offers advice on the basics of mowing, watering, and other lawn care musts for each season, but the highlight of the book is the selection of recipes for homemade tonics using common household items. You’ll learn how to use baking soda, Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), cayenne pepper, dish soap, and mouthwash for a lusher, greener lawn.
While some readers report finding success with the lawn tonics, overall, the suggestions are somewhat dated. While the recipes are specific, suggested application rates are sometimes vague. The tonics must be used with care to avoid harming the soil’s microbiology.
Lawn Problem Solver by Ortho (2007)
This little 96-page guide is dedicated entirely to troubleshooting your lawn, resolving any issues you spot, and preventing problems from coming back. A wealth of color images and detailed descriptions of each lawn problem makes it easy to compare what you see in your lawn with what’s in the book, even if you’re a novice at lawn care. The layout is organized for efficiency, so you can quickly find what’s going on with your grass. Its straightforward presentation makes it a perfect gift for new homeowners. Thanks to the waterproof vinyl pages, you can take the book outdoors without worrying about damage from water or dirt.
Lawn Care for Dummies (1998)
Despite its age, this 368-page manual remains one of the best lawn care books for homeowners, thanks to the sheer volume of beginner-friendly information it provides. Whether your goal is a low-maintenance lawn or perfectly manicured greens, you’ll find tips that can help you achieve it. With three parts that cover designing your lawn, choosing grass, and preparing the soil, it’s an ideal source if you’re starting a new lawn. The sections on maintenance and on fighting pests and disease emphasize environmentally friendly methods.
You’ll find guidance on issues lawn care books often overlook, such as drought protection, in-ground irrigation systems, and dealing with lawn clippings and leaves.