The Garden Guy: Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening in the Desert Southwest

Dave Owens’ sequel to his best-selling book, Extreme Gardening, is jam-packed with more of his great gardening ideas that work especially well her in the Desert Southwest. This book is broken down by months, in an easy-to-read, handy organic gardening manual a calendar of what to do and when to do it. It answers such often-asked questions as:

How and when do I prepare my lawn for overseeding?

When is the best time of year to spread wildflower seeds?

What’s a houseplant that even the “brownest” thumb should have?

How do I amend my soil organically?

What is the magic ingredient that no garden should be without?

What is a must to plant along with my roses?

and much, much more!

Read and follow Dave’s guidelines and you’ll learn exactly how to create an outdoor atmosphere that will amaze even the most experienced gardeners.

Community Review

  • I was a complete novice gardener recently committed to creating a sustainable lifestyle for myself and my family. I had several general gardening books, but none I felt I could truly trust to give me the right advice for desert gardening. I purchased Extreme Gardening as well as The Garden Guy, both by Dave Owens. With these two books, I had my first ever successful gardening experience. I had nearly given up, thinking I had a perpetually brown thumb. This seasonal guide (The Garden Guy) helps me to know what I should be doing, when. Dave takes all the guess-work out of gardening.

    Some people seem to think that raised-bed gardening is some kind of fad. Just try it Dave’s way, and you’ll never go back to anything else. It’s so muss & fuss-free! His books have the answer to practically any question I could think up, which is great for a previously frustrated novice.

    Dave Owens knows his stuff!

  • Anyone gardening in the hostile desert knows how tough it is to garden. Can’t say this book makes it easy, however, it sure makes it easier !

    Some of his ideas are so simple, yet so effective. For example, stop fighting with uncooperative clay soil – put an old hay bale on top of the clay, and grow there !! It works, and over time the hay or straw softens the clay, too….Can’t imagine not having this book as I garden…

  • Surprised at how useful this book is! Has a ton of information on organic growing of all sorts of food and medicinal crops, and goes into great detail about such things as soil emoluments, natural pest control, even seed varieties, and I expect it will be a very useful reference volume this spring. Though I bought it for planting in a USDA zone 7b in North Central Texas, I may be moving to a USDA zone 7a in Maryland and feel absolutely certain it will be just as useful to me there, due to its wealth of info and excellent presentation. One comical note: A product named ‘Garrett Juice’ is recommended throughout this book for various uses on crops, and the author is named J. Howard Garrett! However I don’t mind his promoting his product (if it is) because the book is really worth having. Easy five stars!
  • This is a great book if you are just starting the organic approach. It is a very informative reference book for anyone it’s one I’ll have a long time. I wish I had this book years ago before I stated gardening. I’ll probably buy some of his other titles.
  • Outlines many details for the care of plants, vegetables, fruits native to Texas, what kept me from giving the fifth star was the very little soil prep discussion, did not discuss above ground planting which is what were going for. I have to purchase another book to help me iron out details such as location, size of garden, how to build, soil education etc. Other than that its a good book to have.
  • I haven’t tried a vegetable garden of my own yet, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do since we bought our house. My mom had a vegetable garden growing up, but that was in Minnesota. I didn’t know what I could grow or when I could grow it, and this book really outlines everything you need to know on growing a vegetable garden in Texas, and organically. Having read this book, I feel that I can become an expert gardener! Or at least a few steps up from novice 🙂
  • Mr Garrett is a Texas authority on all things organic so I figured this book would be a nice addition to my gardening arsenal. However, the book copyright date is 1999 with no updates. It just seemed a little out of touch and out of date. The basic information was good but I hoped for much more.
  • my library ordered this book for me and i was excited to learn something new. unfortunately, this edition is from the 90’s and mr. garrett hasn’t bothered to update or add any new information. what is troubling about an old book (esp. for new, beginning gardeners) is that he recommends adding peat moss to his soil mix. there is enough data out there about peat moss to know that it is a no-no in organic gardening. when i went to his facebook page to ask if he planned on updating, revising the book so we could have a new edition, he did not bother to answer. very sad indeed because as someone that has made a great impact on organic gardening, he doesn’t seem interested in advancing the cause.

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