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Some Great Gardening Books

When we’re shopping for gardening books, it can be hard to choose. Here are some titles that are suitable for novices and experienced gardeners.

“Home Gardener’s Problem Solver” is the new expanded edition of a classic Ortho title. This book offers a quick and easy way for gardeners to diagnose and treat plant problems. Published by Meredith Books, this user-friendly guide has the symptoms and solutions for over 1500 plant problems. These cover everything from poor growing conditions and weather to animal damage. With over 600 pages, it is hard to find a more comprehensive book on the subject.

A separate section is devoted to each plant group, such as tree fruits. By using the color coded bars along the top margins of the pages, you can quickly find the appropriate section.

Each section begins with a general introduction to the most common problems for that group. This also covers specific problems for each individual plant species. The plants are listed alphabetically by common name. For quick reference, there are handy charts, including one for fruit tree diseases.

This book offers several ways to identify your plant’s problem. Start with the section for that particular plant group. Or go straight to the section for that kind of problem, such as plant diseases.

“Gardening 1-2-3” is an ideal book for novice gardeners. This Home Depot title covers everything from choosing plants and gardening techniques to plant care and landscaping. Featuring over a thousand color photos, this quality hardcover was published by Meredith Books. It provides all the basics in an easy to follow style.

It walks you through the entire gardening process, beginning with how to determine your growing conditions and region. This title has step-by-step, illustrated gardening projects. Readers will learn how to prepare the soil, how to transplant, propagate plants, and care for their plants.

This title covers edible crops and ornamentals. It devotes particular attention to specialty gardens, such as wildflower gardens and native plant gardens.


The extensive plant encyclopedia takes up about half of the book. The plants are arranged alphabetically by common name. The plant profiles cover everything the gardener needs to know. These include a plant description, its growing needs, routine care, landscape use, recommended varieties, and a color photo.

Growing conditions vary greatly from one region of the country to another. That’s where regional gardening books and state gardening guides come in handy.

None of the other state gardening books can match “Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac.” With over 500 pages, this flexbound, down to earth title was published by Texas A & M University Press. This features watercolors by noted artist Aletha St. Romain. For novice gardeners, this can’t be beat. This covers all the basic gardening techniques.

To find out what is in bloom or what needs done in the garden, just turn to the appropriate month. Though this was written for Texas gardeners, those in neighboring states will find it very useful as well.

Throughout the book are handy charts, plant lists, and tables as well as sidebars with quick gardening tips.

A broadcaster and writer, the author wears many hats. He is the Texas Master Gardener program coordinator and extension horticulturist with Texas A & M.



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