Howard Garrett

Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor

  • Nationally syndicated Organic Gardening talk show host
  • Arborist and specialist in natural organic tree care
  • Columnist for the Dallas Morning News
  • Author of 15 books on organic gardening, landscaping and pest control
  • Chairman of Texas Organic Research Center (TORC)
  • Organic Advisory Board Texas Department of Agriculture 
  • Artist

Howard Garrett’s experience includes landscape contracting, greenhouse growing, golf course planning and maintenance, and organic product development. He is an organic marketplace leader and consults on natural organic gardening, landscaping, farming, pet health, pest control and natural living.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in park administration and landscape architecture from Texas Tech University in 1969. After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Howard began his career at Club Corporation of America where he worked from laborer to assistant course superintendent. 

In 1985, the birth of his daughter Logan was the turning point of his career into organic gardening, landscaping, farming and ranching. 

By 1988 he had committed his entire career to research, education and promotion of organic products and practices. He has taught organics to homeowners, helped convert of numerous commercial projects such as the Frito-Lay National Headquarters in Plano and Bayou Bend in Houston. 

His work includes research on planting techniques, tree heath, use of native and well adapted introductions and water saving solutions. Organic projects in the studies have realized 40-50% cost savings in water use. He is currently helping hemp growers with organic soil detox and non-toxic growing techniques.

Howard can be heard Sundays from 8 - 11am on KSKY 660AM and in over 240 markets across the nation. His Organic Answers column appears on Wednesdays. His books cover many subjects related to organic gardening and healthy living. He produces the popular web site and speaks across the country to events, clubs and businesses such as the Mother Earth News Fairs. (see Speaking Requests).

Among his landscape projects are Corporate Headquarters such as shown above, Dallas Junior League Headquarters and Greenway Parks residential development both shown below. 
Organic Landscaping

Organic Landscaping

Howard's Books:

The Organic Manual is a non-regional guide to organic gardening. It explains how to work with nature to promote healthy gardens without the use of toxic chemicals or artificial fertilizers. 

Organic Management for the Professional is the first comprehensive guide to "going green" in large-scale landscaping. Nationally recognized organic gardening expert Howard Garrett not only explains in detail how to manage projects with natural organic techniques, but also presents the material in clear, simple terms so that commercial and institutional property owners can understand what to ask of their landscape architects, contractors, growers, and maintenance people.

Texas Gardening the Natural Way - the Complete Handbook is the latest and most comprehensive book.  It contains over 800 photos of 600 native and adapted plants, insects and their control, diseases and their control, and complete planting and maintenance instructions.

Howard Garrett's Texas Organic Gardening is written especially for Texans, explaining how to use native plants, vegetables and fruits. It also covers soil improvement and maintenance instructions for production of organically healthy lawns, gardens and landscapes without harmful chemicals.

Plants for Texas is a book on native and introduced ornamentals and food crop plants for Texas. It is arranged in alphabetical order rather than chapters and cross referenced for ease of finding detailed information on landscape plants, fruits, vegetables, cover crops and herbs. 

Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening and Edible Landscaping is a book about food crops for Texas including vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.

Texas Bug Book, co-authored with Malcolm Beck, is an instructional book covers the protection and use of beneficial insects and detailed information on how to organically or biologically control troublesome insects. 

Texas Herb Book written with Odena Brannam covers the landscape, culinary, and medicinal uses of Texas native and introduced herbs. 

Howard Garrett's Texas Trees covers over 100 varieties of native and introduced trees along with state of the art planting and maintenance instructions. It includes color photos and detailed descriptions of the flowers, fruit, bark, foliage, fall color, preferred habitat, maintenance needs and interesting notes.

Plants for Houston and the Gulf States is a comprehensive book on the landscape plants of Houston and the Gulf Coast.

Plants of the Metroplex was the first book, self published from 1975 to 1994. It contains over 300 color photos of landscape plants for Texas together with information on the cultivation, uses and problems of each plant with practical pointers for beginning gardeners on such basics as soil preparation, planting, watering, fertilizing and pest control.

Dear Dirt Doctor is a book covering the most asked questions from the Dallas Morning News and radio.

Dirt Doctor Newsletter is an online weekly newsletter that covers up-to-date organic information and the most commonly asked questions and answers on organics. 

Organic Answers is a weekly column in the House and Garden section of the Dallas Morning News that has been running since 1989. It covers a wide range of topics including organic gardening, landscaping, pest control, health matters and environmental issues. is the web site devoted to the Natural Way, a journey to healthy living. Subjects covered include plants, pets, livestock, landscaping, gardening, farming, ranching, organic pest control and nutrition.

Organic  Landscaping & Gardening
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