Recommended Gardening Books

... for Albuquerque’s Unique Climate 

by Mike Dooley

Every area of human interest has its “bible.” As for growing plants in the Albuquerque area, one book stands out. The most valuable “bible” for the gardener in this area is “Down to Earth” produced by the Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardeners. This book stands out because of its local nature and the fact that it touches on all aspects of growing plants in Albuquerque.

Most books on the subject of gardening are written to make money. So to sell a lot of books, they tend to be written on broad subjects. “Down to Earth” is written for our area. This is very significant because our area is unique.

A book about Santa Fe is not very helpful because “the city different” is different. Santa Fe is much colder for longer than we are. Phoenix is desert but it’s “low desert” not “high desert” so it only briefly freezes there. “Down to Earth” also has various master gardeners contribute information on their particular specialty. No one knows everything about gardening, so this approach works well. Finally, the book is further broken down into the seven gardening areas of Albuquerque. You can’t grow the same plants in the East Mountains as you can in the Northeast Heights.

To expand your collection, consider the “Western Garden Book” by Sunset, used by the experts as a reference on specific plants. Add in some of Judith Phillips’ books and now you’re a real Albuquerque gardener! These books can be found at your local nursery or book store.

Happy Gardening!