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Dirt Doctor Bio

Howard Garrett

Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor

  • Nationally syndicated Organic Gardening & Living radio talk show host - Salem Radio Network
  • ASLA Member American Society of Landscape Architects
  • TBAE Member 1973 - 2013 Registered Landscape Architect
  • Arborist - Member of International Society of Arboriculture ISA
  • Columnist for the Dallas Morning News - Organic Answers
  • Author of 14 books ( 2 more in production)
  • Chairman of Texas Organic Research Center (TORC) a 501(c)3 corporation
  • Member of the Organic Advisory Board Texas Department of Agriculture 

Howard Garrett, has an impressive career with extensive experience in landscape contracting, greenhouse growing, golf course planning and maintenance, and organic product development. Howard has devoted his life to establishing a leadership role in the natural organic marketplace. He provides advice on natural organic gardening, landscaping, pet health, pest control and natural living.

He received his 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 started his business career at Club Corporation of America where he was a laborer and assistant golf course super intendant.          
In 1985, the birth of Howard's daughter Logan was the turning point in his education into organic gardening, landscaping, farming and ranching. By 1988 he had committed his entire career to the research, education and promotion of organic products and practices. In addition to teaching organics to homeowners, he began the conversion of numerous commercial projects such as the Frito-Lay National Headquarters in Plano. His work also includes research on natural organic planting techniques, 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.

Consulting clients include Carrington Labs and their aloe vera growing operation in Costa Rica; Muenster Milling Company, a producer of natural pet food; Greenway Parks - an exclusive residential development; Radio Shack National Headquarters; Tierra Verde Golf Club; Texas Instruments,  Iscar Metals and Sabre Corporation. Product consulting clients include Alpha Bio Systems and others.

Howard is available for Interviews, events, seminars and corporate education (see Speaking Requests).


Among his landscape architectural projects are Frito Lay National Headquarters such as shown above, Dallas Junior League Headquarters and Greenway Parks residential development both shown below. For other shots of Howard's landscape design and consulting projects, click on the following connection to the Library:
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 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.
Howard Garrett's DIRT is an online magazine that covers up-to-date organic information and the most commonly asked questions and answers on organics. 

The Natural Way 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. The paper has a circulation of approximately 460,000.  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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