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Gardening Books

The major source that Master Gardeners use for gardening information is not a book, but rather the Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) website: 

We know for sure that the information we obtain from that source is researched and tested and very dependable. The site is accessible to the public and contains many free publications which are peer-reviewed by UC ANR specialists and farm advisors:

There are other ANR specialty books that we use, including the manual we used during our certification classes, California Master Gardener Handbook, available for purchase:

For questions on edible gardening, our favorite is the Vegetable Research and Information Center, which includes many links to specific subjects:

The California Garden Web focuses on sustainable gardening practices and uses a question and answer format to present solutions: 

For information on garden pests, master gardeners visit the site of the statewide integrated pest management (IPM) program. On that site is a section on Home, Garden, Turf and Landscape Pests is an excellent source for home gardeners:

And finally, some of our ‘go to’ books are those written especially for the southern California climate, such as:

  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Pat Welsh’s Southern California Gardening
  • Robert Smaus’ 52 Weeks in the California Garden
  • Rosalind Creasey’s series of books on edible gardening (such as The Edible Salad Garden, The Edible Italian Garden, and many more)
  • The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash
  • The Bountiful Container by Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey