“Guide to Tennessee Vegetable Gardening”, Walter Reeves & Felder Rushing 

“Homegrown Humus - Cover Crops in a No-Till Garden”, Anna Hess.  Cover crops are a simple, inexpensive way to the soil's organic matter, fight weeds, prevent erosion, attract pollinators, and keep the ecosystem in balance.

“Gaia’s Garden”, Toby Hemenway.  Examines various aspects of permaculture, building and maintaining soil fertility and structure, conserving water, providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals as well as growing an edible “forest”.

“The Broad Fork, Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits”, Hugh Acheson.  This vegetable-centric guide to seasonal offerings shares 200 ways to “get friendly with your produce so you can cook and shop happily.”  Written from the vantage point of nearby Athens, Georgia.

“Butterflies of Tennessee”, Rita Venable.  An easy to use handbook which helps identify butterflies in all their stages as well as the plants that feed, host and shelter them.

"Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife", David Mizejewski.  This 2 nd edition is full of great ideas and photos and brings up - to - date information on the most effective ways to enhance our local ecosystems by using native plants that wildlife depends up on for survival . relationships.


“Founding Gardeners”, Andrea Wulf.  A look at the founding fathers from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen, and farmers.


“Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies”, Xerces Society Guide.  Provides information on how to build nesting structures and create a welcoming habitat for a variety of pollinators.

“Tending Your Garden: A Year-Round Guide to Garden Maintenance", Gordon & Mary Hayward.  Beautiful photographs illustrate how and what the Haywards do in their Vermont garden from earliest spring until snowfall: pruning trees and shrubs; planting, staking, and dividing perennials; and edging, deadheading, and weeding. They also include many tips for reducing maintenance.

“The Naturally Bug-Free Garden, Controlling Pest Insects WITHOUT Chemicals”, Anna Hess.  Hess shows how to bring a garden ecosystem into balance so that beneficial insects and larger animals do the work of pest control for you.

The following books, field guides, articles and magazines were recommended by a Bradley County Master Gardener. If you have a favorite gardening related book, guide or magazine, please let us know through the "Contact Us" page.

Insects, Pests, Weeds & Disease:

“The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden”, William Alexander.   A fun read about Bill Alexander’s quest to have a backyard vegetable garden and small orchard and the ensuing battles with varmints, weeds, weather and neighbors.

“June in the Gourd Patch", Celia Shaneyfelt, Bradley County Master Gardener.  Read the article here.

"July in the Gourd Patch",  Celia Shaneyfelt, Bradley County Master Gardener.  Read the article here.

“Noah's Garden, , Restoring the Ecology of our own Backyards", Sara Stein.  Science writer Stein calls our attention to the critical role yards play in supporting biodiversity. 


“A Sand County Almanac”, Aldo Leopold.  Widely cited as one of the more influential nature books ever published, provides verbal portraits of the natural world exploring the diversity of unspoiled American landscape.

“The New Vegetable & Herb Expert”, Dr. D.G. Hessayon

“The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region”.  Extensive listing and descriptions of wildflowers with photographs in their natural habitats.  Covers states east of the Rocky Mountains.

“Weeds of the South”, Charles T. Bryson and Michael S DeFelice.  Provides detailed information about common weeds in southern locations with photos, a key to plant families, glossary of frequently used terms and indexes of scientific and common plant names.

“Month-By-Month Gardening TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY", Judy Lowe. Judy has written a number of ,gardening books and was the garden editor for the Chattanooga Free Press.  A Master Gardener, in this book she outlines the tasks each month for your garden, even when to plant and harvest gourds. 


“Lawn Gone! Low-maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for your Yard”, Pam Penick.  A colorful guide sharing the basics of
replacing a traditional lawn with easy-care, no-mow, low-water consumption options that saving money.  Provides guidance from start to finish.

“Bee's on a Bicycle: Finding Home & Heart in Small & Significant Ways”, Cath Shaw Truelove.  An international best seller, Cath shares her wit in her adventurous and heartfelt journey though life experiences encouraging others in a call to action to find, release and redefine themselves, doing much more with less. Cath was a guest speaker at a Bradley County Master Gardeners meeting.

“Garden Revolution”, Larry Weaver and Thomas Christopher.  “This beautiful book shows us that guiding natural processes rather than fighting them is the key to creating healthier landscapes and happier gardeners. An essential addition to our knowledge of sustainable landscapes.” From Doug Tallamy, author of “Bringing Nature Home”. 


“Pollinator Friendly Gardening”, Rhonda Fleming Hayes. Identifies pollinators describing their synergies with various plants, information useful to help you grow a naturally healthy garden.

Handbooks & Field Guides

“The Forest Unseen, A Year's watch in Nature”, David G. Haskell.  Through science and poetry, the author examines the complexity and beauty of a Cumberland Plateau old growth forest.

“Planting in a Post -Wild World”, Thomas Rainer & Claudia West.  Practical guide on how to create plant communities that reflect natural systems and thrives within man’s built world.  West presented concepts from this book at an annual Chattanooga Wild Ones Symposium.

“Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs", Whitney Cranshaw.  A comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the common insects and mites affecting yard and garden plants in North America.

Recommended Reading

“Gardening with Native Plants of the South”, Sally and Andy Wasowski.  Shares the advantages of ‘going native’ and identifies Southern native plants that are easy to find and use.  Loaded with illustrations and photographs.

“The Market Gardener, A Successful Grower's Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming”, Jean-Martin Fortier.  This book has practical information on setting-up a micro-farm by designing biologically intensive cropping systems growing mixed vegetables systematically with attention to weed and pest management, crop yields, harvest periods, and pricing with minimal capital outlay through use of hand tools, appropriate machinery, and minimum tillage practices.

“The Xerces Society Guide to Attracting Native Pollinators”  In this book, you’ll find ideas for building nesting structures and creating a welcoming habitat for an array of diverse pollinators that includes not only bees, but butterflies, moths, and more. But it’s much more than a resource on how to improve habitat for native pollinators. It is a step by step guide for changing our stewardship of the earth and how we can make a difference in protecting our pollinators. Take action and protect North America’s food supply for the future, while at the same time enjoying a happily bustling landscape.


“Wildflowers of the Smokies”, Peter White.  A pocket-sized field guide with color photographs & descriptions of the Smoky Mountains’ wildflowers, including hiking trails where they can be found. 

Native Plants:

Fruit & Vegetable Gardening:

“Essential Perennials”, Ruth Rogers Clausen and Thomas Christopher.  Provides guidance to on which plants can bring beauty and survive in conditions you can provide.

“Intimate Garden, Twenty Years and Four Seasons in Our Garden", Gordon & Mary Hayward. The authors share with readers how to make their own gardens welcoming and personal, making them a reflection of their needs and dreams.  The Hayward's share that "successful gardens grow naturally out of their owners; great garden design is honest, authentic, and unself-conscious." 

“The Private Life of Plants”, David Attenborough.  Based on the BBC program of the same title, Attenborough travels to mountain ranges, deserts, beaches, and home gardens showing us things we might never have suspected about the vegetation that surrounds us.

Tennessee Gardener, A magazine with local information useful to this region with articles written by leading gardening experts, famous authors, nursery owners, state extension agents and master gardeners.


“Monarchs & Milkweed”, Anurag Agrawal.  Recommended by Ann Brown, this book  takes readers on an unforgettable exploration of one of nature's most important and sophisticated evolutionary relationships. .

“Natural Pest and Disease Control”, Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis & Deborah L. Martin.  Covers symptoms and organic solutions for 200 popular plants, including flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and fruits with an insect-and-disease encyclopedia, photo identification and a detailed descriptions of plant damage.

“Guide to Tennessee Vegetable Gardening", Walter Reeves & Felder Rushing.  Provides gardening recommendations including space saving techniques and well as planting/harvesting charts for cool and warm season vegetables.

“Month-By-Month Gardening in Tennessee & Kentucky”, Judy Lowe

"Bringing Nature Home", Douglas Tallamy.  Articulates on the interdependency of living relationships.


“The Hidden Life of Trees:  What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World”, Peter Wohlleben and Tim Flannery.  An international best seller, based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries, the authors make the case that the forest is a social network.

“The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden”, Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy.  Provides strategies for creating and maintaining a beautiful, diverse and layered landscape.

“Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change", Larry Weaner & Thomas Christopher.  This book shows ways to create healthier landscapes which results in happier gardeners.