Teaming with Microbes

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2/24/2010
  • Publisher: Timber Pr
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Smart gardeners know that soil is anything but an inert substance. Healthy soil is teeming with life ' not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web ' the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. By eschewing jargon and overly technical language, the authors make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 9
Prefacep. 11
The Basic Sciencep. 17
What Is the Soil Food Web and Why Should Gardeners Care?p. 19
Classic Soil Sciencep. 8
Bacteriap. 43
Archaeap. 52
Fungip. 61
Algae and Slime Moldsp. 75
Protozoap. 80
Nematodesp. 85
Arthropodsp. 89
Earthwormsp. 96
Gastropodsp. 102
Reptiles, Mammals, and Birdsp. 105
Applying Soil Food Web Science to Yard and Garden Carep. 107
How the Soil Food Web Applies to Gardeningp. 109
What Do Your Soil Food Webs Look Like?p. 114
Tools for Restoration and Maintenancep. 124
Compostp. 131
Mulchp. 143
Compost Teasp. 148
Mycorrhizal Fungip. 162
The Lawnp. 172
Maintaining Trees, Shrubs, and Perennialsp. 182
Growing Annuals and Vegetablesp. 189
A Simple Soil Food Web Garden Calendarp. 199
No One Ever Fertilized an Old Growth Forestp. 203
Appendix. The Soil Food Web Gardening Rulesp. 205
Resourcesp. 207
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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