Valuable advice from an expert in soil science.
Intended for both small and medium-size gardens, Improving Your Soil reveals the steps to take to achieve the perfect soil base in which to grow plants. With directions on amending poor soil, modifying mediocre earth, aerating compacted topsoil and substrates, and testing pH levels, this book enables gardeners to nurture their plants and promote more abundant growth.
The features of good soil include proper structure and nutrients that encourage healthy plant growth. Soil in "good tilth" is loamy, nutrient-rich and friable because it has an optimal mixture of sand, clay and organic matter that prevents severe compaction. Improving Your Soil shows gardeners how to improve the soil in their garden to encourage good seed bedding and a strong root system for proper nutrient disbursement throughout various soil depths.
Flower gardeners and vegetable gardeners will all benefit from the tips and methods in Improving Your Soil.
The detailed information is complemented with line drawings, diagrams and illustrations that demonstrate various soil issues and how to resolve common problems. With information on remedying specific problems with particular plants, Improving Your Soil will be an often-consulted resource for all gardeners.
Keith Reid is a soil scientist who works as a manager at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada assessing and advising growers about soil issues.
I'm part of a small minority who finds soil to be endlessly fascinating. Most people have a more prosaic interest in soil and, if they think about it at all, it is as a medium for growing plants. The most typical question about soil I hear is "What can I do to my soil to make my crops grow better?"
Soil scientists have been studying soil since the beginnings of scientific agriculture in the mid-1800's but we have barely begun to understand the intricate interplay between the air, water and minerals that make up soil. Each new discovery seems to create as many questions as answers.
This book is designed to help you manage your soil better so that you can grow a more bountiful garden by putting the right fixes in the right places. Soil does not exist in isolation. Unless it was delivered by a dump truck, the soil in your garden is a product of the parent material that was deposited thousands of years ago interacting with the cycles of rainfall, seasonal freezing and thawing and the plants that grew in soil. Over time, the plants influenced the soil, which in turn modified the environment for the plants.
My goal in writing this book is to demystify soil and offer practical methods that will allow you to grow a better garden. But I also hope this book will open your eyes to the many wonders of what goes on under your feet.