Build healthy soil and grow better plants
Robert Pavlis, a gardener for over four decades, debunks common soil myths, explores the rhizosphere, and provides a personalized soil fertility improvement program in this three-part popular science guidebook.
Healthy soil means thriving plants. Yet untangling the soil food web and optimizing your soil health is beyond most gardeners, many of whom lack an in-depth knowledge of the soil ecosystem.
Soil Science for Gardeners is an accessible, science-based guide to understanding soil fertility and, in particular, the rhizosphere – the thin layer of liquid and soil surrounding plant roots, so vital to plant health.
Soil biology and chemistry and how plants and soil interact
Common soil health problems, including analyzing soil's fertility and plant nutrients
The creation of a personalized plan for improving your soil fertility, including setting priorities and goals in a cost-effective, realistic time frame.
Creating the optimal conditions for nature to do the heavy lifting of building soil fertility
Written for the home gardener, market gardener, and micro-farmer, Soil Science for Gardeners is packed with information to help you grow thriving plants.
Pavlis (Building Natural Ponds), owner of the botanical garden Aspen Grove Gardens, in Ontario, Canada, brings fresh life to a dry topic, digging deeply into the science of soil health in this understated and informative manual. Writing that "growing plants is very easy if you understand the soil below them," Pavlis instructs on scientific basics ("there is more biodiversity in the top foot of soil than anywhere else on Earth"), weighs in on such garden practices as tilling and mulching, and gives advice on developing a personalized plan ("Don't do things in the garden because someone told you it is a good idea; do them because you know how they impact plant growth"). Pavlis is skeptical about professional soil testing, while making suggestions for several different DIY tests (including burying a pair of white cotton underpants; if the soil is microbe-rich, the microbes will eat the cotton). Sidebars do quite a bit of myth busting, such as of the oft-touted ratio of "browns to greens" in compost, or that "soil is a living organism" that requires "feeding." Full of valuable information for both home and professional gardeners, Pavlis's step-by-step primer breaks down a complex topic in a manner both entertaining and easily understood.