Grow Your Soil!

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-02-18
  • Publisher: Storey Books

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Growing awareness of the importance of soil health means that microbes are on the minds of even the most casual gardeners. After all, anyone who has ever attempted to plant a thriving patch of flowers or vegetables knows that what you grow is only as good as the soil you grow it in. It is possible to create and maintain rich, dark, crumbly soil that’s teeming with life, using very few inputs and a no-till, no-fertilizer approach. Certified permaculture designer and lifelong gardener Diane Miessler presents the science of soil health in an engaging, entertaining voice geared for the backyard grower. She shares the techniques she has used — including cover crops, constant mulching, and a simple-but-supercharged recipe for compost tea — to transform her own landscape from a roadside dump for broken asphalt to a garden that stops traffic, starting from the ground up.

Author Biography

Diane Miessler is the author of Grow Your Soil! She is a certified permaculture designer, a soil science enthusiast, and a gardener with more than 50 years of experience. She has a monthly column in The Union, a newspaper that serves Nevada County, California.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Elaine R. Ingham
Beauty, Magic & Tomatoes: Why I Garden, and How the Soil Food Web Helps
10 Suggestions for Creating Healthy, Living Soil
Making Soil: Building a "House"

1  The Skinny on Soil: What Makes Soil Good & How Does It Get That Way?
  What Is Soil?
  What Makes Good Soil Good?
  What Good Is Good Soil?
2  Building a House: Start with the Roof (Mulch & Cover Crops)
  Cover Crops
3  Build the Walls: Organic Matter & the Soil Food Web That Sticks It Together
  Soil Organic Matter
  The Soil Food Web: A Gardener's Best Friend
  Biodiversity 101: Microbes
  Biodiversity 102: Algae, Bugs, Worms, and More
4  Install Ventilation, Plumbing & a Nice Pantry: No-Till Growing, Paths & CEC
  Step Away from the Rototiller!
  Make Paths
  What Is CEC?
  How to Increase CEC
5  Feed the Inhabitants: Photosynthesis, Minerals & Soil Testing
  Photosynthesis: Empty but Necessary Calories
  Macronutrients & Micronutrients
  To Test or Not to Test
6  Compost and Compost Tea: It's Not Rocket Science
  Benefits and Tools
  Is It Compost or Is It Mulch?
  How to Build a Compost Pile
  Maintaining a Compost Pile: It Needs Your Love
  When Is It Done?
  Growing Pains
  Fungally or Bacterially Dominated?
  Worm Bins
  Frequently Asked Questions, Answered
  Compost Tea for a Non-Rocket Scientist with a Bucket
7  Where Do I Start? Building a Garden That Feeds Itself
  Step 1: Pick a Spot
  Step 2: Get Water to It
  Step 3: Decide where You'll Walk
  Step 4: Soften the Soil
  Step 5: Pull Stuff Up, Throw Stuff Down
  Step 6: Mulch
  Step 7: Plant Stuff
8  Housework & Home Repairs: How Not to Make Your Neighbors Hate You
  Maintenance = Mulch
  Putter, Don't Work

Metric Conversions


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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