The best books for gaining garden know-how

Pam Peirce Author Of Golden Gate Gardening, 3rd Edition: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area & Coastal California
By Pam Peirce

The Books I Picked & Why

Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees

By Ann Ralph

Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees

Why this book?

Ann Ralph, formerly in charge of the fruit tree section of Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, has written a short, easy to use, book on caring for fruit trees. It should come with every fruit tree sold, since its text and illustrations so effectively teach the methods of planting, pruning, and ongoing care that will produce delicious fruit. 


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Roots Demystified: Change Your Gardening Habits to Help Roots Thrive

By Robert Kourik

Roots Demystified: Change Your Gardening Habits to Help Roots Thrive

Why this book?

Once you have looked at the root drawings of common garden edible and ornamental plants in this book, you will become able to imagine what is going on in the underground part of plants. This ability will help you water by hand or set up a drip system. It will also help you to plant successfully, mulch well, and use the best weeding methods for different plants. The book includes text and diagrams that teach how to set up a drip irrigation system. 


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My Weeds: A Gardener's Botany

By Sarah B. Stein

My Weeds: A Gardener's Botany

Why this book?

While you will learn much about the nature and management of weeds from this book, you will also find yourself painlessly learning the basics of botany-- the parts of plants, how they live, how seeds evolved, how ecosystems evolve. While she keeps weeds at bay, Stein favors a garden, as do I, in which the desirable plants may self-sow a bit. It is a gardening philosophy that is current and can produce lovely, serendipitous gardens. 


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The Informed Gardener

By Linda Chalker-Scott

The Informed Gardener

Why this book?

The author, who was for many years an extension urban horticulturist and associate professor at Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, does gardeners a great service by taking on common garden myths about fertilizer, mulch, transplanting, staking, compost tea, watering and many more potentially confusing topics. In this and her subsequent books, she skillfully debunks myths with current research and her professional experience.


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The Climate Conscious Gardener

By Janet Marinelli

The Climate Conscious Gardener

Why this book?

This little book, part of a series put out by the Garden, will show you the best ways to offset climate change in your gardening and landscaping. It includes tips on materials, energy efficiency, and increasing carbon sequestration. A chapter by Amanda Knaul and Susan K. Pell covers the climate footprint of homegrown food. 


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