Back in his younger days, Jerry was an undercover cop in Detroit, Michigan, posing as a gardener, tree trimmer, landscaper, and seed salesman. While recovering from a job-related injury, he decided to turn to the more tranquil pursuit of gardening. Through a lot of hard work, he eventually became Americas #1 expert on lawn, garden, and plant care.
Jerry's folksy humor, practical know-how, and homespun philosophy are in part
derived from his Grandma Putnam, a Native American who first taught him to talk to plants. Jerry lived with her for several of his most formative years, and it was she who showed him many of the tips, tricks, and tonics for common plant ailments and gardening problems that he is now famous for. With a time-worn almanac in one hand and a dog-eared Bible in the other, Grandma Putt instilled in him a deep respect for Mother Nature, and all things green and growing.
Since his days with Grandma Putt, Jerry has been on a mission to spread her gardening gospel, along with the thousands of gardening tips, home remedies, and amazing cures he's picked up along the way.
Jerry first gained a measure of fame and notoriety with the publication of his runaway bestseller, Plants Are Like People
, in 1972.
He was also the guy who started the national craze of talking to your plants with the publication of a book by the same title the following year. Since then, Jerry has written more than 50 books, and more than twenty million copies have been sold, including his most recent bestsellers, Terrific Garden Tonics
, Supermarket Super Products
, and Kitchen Counter Cures
, all of which can be found in our online Bookstore
Starting in the 1970s, Jerry was a frequent guest on TV shows like Dinah's Place, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show,
and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
He hosted his own TV show, Plants Are Like People,
on KMOX (a CBS affiliate) in St. Louis, MO. He also often appeared as a gardening expert on TV morning shows like Kennedy and Company
in Chicago and on the ABC affiliates’ morning shows in New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
In 1987, Jerry, his son Jeff, and his son-in-law Kim, started American Master Products, Inc.
(AMP), a direct marketing company based in Wixom, Michigan. AMP owns and manages the Jerry Baker brand, developing content and private label products in the areas of home hints, health tips, and gardening solutions. Three generations of Bakers are now involved with the company, including Jerry's two youngest grandsons.
Over the years, Jerry served as a product spokesperson for a number of national lawn and garden companies including Jacobsen Lawn Mowers, Hudson Sprayers, U.S. Gypsum, and Plantabs. His big break came from his affiliation with the Garden Weasel, where he was the spokesperson in promotional materials, radio and TV ads, print, and point-of-purchase displays. Jerry became widely recognized for his signature line in the Garden Weasel TV commercial, "If you’re into gardening like I am..." In 1982, Jerry became the national gardening spokesperson for Kmart Corporation’s Garden Centers, a relationship that lasted until 1996.
In the 2000s, AMP produced a series of Jerry Baker gardening programs that ran on Public Television stations in the USA and Canada. They were pledge drive specials, which featured Jerry's down-home wisdom and commonsense solutions to all sorts of gardening problems. These shows are now available on DVD
, and various video segments
can also be viewed on this website and YouTube. From 1987 to 2007, Jerry hosted his own national call-in radio show called On the Garden Line,
which was produced by Westwood One and broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting Network.
The Jerry Baker website was launched in February 1998. Since then, Jerry has shared even more great home, health, and garden tips, tricks, and tonics than ever before.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same. No matter where you live or how much fancy equipment you have, gardening is still gardening. Grandma Putt once said that all a fellow (or gal) needs is the good earth, a handful of seeds, a little grow-how, and a desire to get back to basics. It was that simple back in her day, and its still that simple today.
Jerry has got a lot to be thankful for, and he owes a large debt of gratitude to a lot of folkshis parents, his Grandma Putt, his family, and last, but certainly not least, all of you who have faithfully followed him over the years.
As he recently said "Without my fans' support, I couldnt have gotten involved in all of the things that Ive done. Like a true green thumb gardener, youve helped me develop, grow, and flourish as a person, educator, and entertainer, for which Im very grateful. So I have but two heartfelt words to say: THANK YOU!