The answers provided to Does anyone know of a somewhat comprehensive plant database available online? didn't prove to be much useful for someone that is getting into vegetable gardening. The USDA's database contains information more suitable for identification/taxonomic purposes.

The best online source I was able to find was Dave's Garden. But it still lacks information on things like diseases, and more.

So I'm asking again for a concise database or encyclopedia/reference-book that gives summarized information on how to grow vegetables only, with things like necessary soil nutrients, diseases that can affect each variety, etc. I wish there were like a Wikipedia but for vegetables only, with one page for each plant... easy to lookup. It hasn't to be online; a big good tome would be suitable too. Note that I'm not asking here for basic gardening information (example: how to water plants)... I'm actually asking for "profiles" of vegetables.

Probably, if I didn't find one such reference after searching online, then perhaps there isn't one.


4 Answers 4


You could try PFAF - http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx - Plants for a future, it's a volunteer site with (I think) university of Sheffield assistance - it's focus is permaculture/organics

One of the best dead tree sources is Vegetables by Roger Phillips & Martin Rix, Pan Garden Plants Series, published 1993.

There's plenty of info out there but it would help to know roughly where you are (latitude and altitude would do)


If you are a developer you can check out https://github.com/damwhit/harvest_helper. I have a more well structured database of only 45 common vegetables. Would love it if folks would contribute to the repo and especially the database. Its built in Ruby on Rails and there is a json api as well if you visit http://harvesthelper.herokuapp.com/developers it will tell you how to access it.


Things that come to mind, but which still include things you evidently don't want to see:

Hortus Third (visit a copy at a library to decide if it's for you before spending money.) North American; includes but not limited to vegetables. No pictures, a few line drawings, buckets of text and assumes you know (or will spend the time to learn) the scientific terminology. Indeed, a tome.

Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening - British, includes but not limited to vegetables, nice color pictures. Coverage variable/inconsistent, but a pleasanter winter read than the above.


My personal favorite in Tanya Denkla's A to Z Guide to Growing Organic Food:


This book is laid out by vegetable, with planting requirements and growing suggestions for each. It covers only common vegetable, though, and also covers fruits and herbs.

If you are looking for something more technical, you could also try John Jeavon's How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible:


Both cover only organic methods, but are excellent resources regardless.

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