Soil Science for Gardeners
166 Pages

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Soil Science for Gardeners


Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
166 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


Build healthy soil and grow better plants

  • Author has been gardening for 40 years and owns a 6-acre botanical garden with over 3,000 varieties of plants
  • Author's blogs, Garden Myths and Garden Fundamentals, have a large following of 500,000 visitors
  • Author Youtube video series to augment the book and a promotional mini e-book
  • Well-known lecturer and speaker to Master Gardener groups, horticultural societies, orchid societies, and garden shows
  • He is the author of three previous garden books that have sold over 4,500 copies
  • The definite science-based guide to soil health for gardeners, market gardeners and small-scale farmers
  • Myth buster for your garden, author debunks commonly held misconceptions about gardening and soil health
  • Written in three sections – fundamental knowledge of soil processes, variety of soil problems, a personalized plan for improving the health of your soil
  • Differs from other gardening books because
    • it uses a science-based approach to explain the chemical, physical, and biological aspects of soil
    • it looks closely at the rhizosphere, a thin layer of liquid and soil that surrounds plant roots
    • it includes new topics and information on mycorrhizal fungi and soil microbes
    • it contains more extensive physical and chemical explanations
    • it has the most up-to-date information on soil health
  • Written in a problem-solving style that enables readers to assess and fix common soil issues
  • Endorsements: Guy Barter, Royal Horticulture Society; Lee Reich, author; Ken Druse, award-winning author; Mark Cullen, Canadian gardening celebrity; Joe Lamp'l, US gardening celebrity
  • Selected to be in the Mother Earth Wiser Living series
  • New Society Publishers are committed to the highest environmental practices in the industry, including: printing all their books in North America, on 100% post-consumer recycled FSC-certified paper, using vegetable-based, low-VOC inks; and offsetting their emissions to make all of their business operations carbon neutral and is proudly B Corp certified. Their books are so Green you could eat them!

Academic: Courses on soil, horticulture, landscape architecture, biology, ecology, and plant science

Canada: Speaker at Canada Blooms, FarmSmart; teaches gardening fundamentals at the University of Guelph and garden design for the City of Guelph; garden articles published in Ontario Gardening and horticultural society magazines, including a monthly column for Ontario Rock Garden Society.

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.

Coverage includes:

  • 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.

What Is Soil Health?
Using the Book

1. Soil Basics
    Components of Soil
    Origin of Soil
    Soil Particles
    Soil Texture
    Importance of Particle Size
    Air and Water
    Aggregation and Soil Structure
    Soil pH

2. Plant Nutrients
    What Is Salt?
    Movement of Nutrients in Soil
    Essential Plant Nutrients
    Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

3. Soil Life
    Energy Food Web
    The Power of Large Molecules
    Ratio of Fungi to Bacteria
    Chemicals in the Soil
    Pathogen Control
    Identification of Microbes

4. Bacteria
    What Do They Eat?
    Where Do They Live?
    Role in Disease Prevention
    Ideal Environment
    Role in Building Soil Aggregates
    Conditions that Harm Bacteria
    Nitrogen Fixation

5. Fungi
    What Do They Eat?
    Where Do They Live?
    Fungi at War
    Fungal Parasites
    Mycorrhizal Fungi

6. Other Organisms

7. Organic Matter
    Decomposition: Converting Dead Things into Humus
    Truth About Humus
    Too Much Organic Matter

8. Rhizosphere
    Root Exudates
    Soil Enzymes
    Effect of Desiccation
    Soil pH Levels
    Dynamic Microbe Population
    Plants Are in Control

9. Identifying Soil Problems
    Why Do We Fertilize?
    Soil Testing
    Plants as Indicators of Soil Problems
    Plant Tissue Analysis
    DIY Test Kits
    Determining Soil Texture
    Crusted Soil
    Quantification of Microbes
    Level of Organic Matter

10. Gardening Techniques That Affect Soil
    Working the Land
    Cover Crops
    Raised Bed Gardening
    Crop Rotation
    Companion Planting

11. Solving Chemical Issues
    Buffer Capacity
    Increasing pH
    Decreasing pH
    Saline and Sodic Soils
    Increasing CEC
    Synthetic vs Organic Fertilizers
    Understanding Fertilizers
    Synthetic Fertilizers
    Organic Fertilizers
    Fad Products

12. Solving Microbe Issues
    Controlling Pathogens
    Compost Tea
    Best Practice for Increasing Microbe Populations

13. Increasing Organic Matter
    Options for Adding Organic Matter
    Cover Crops
    Bokashi Compost

14. Dealing with Structural Problems
    Drainage Issues
    Modifying Soil Texture
    Clay Soils
    Sandy Soils

15. Developing a Plan for Soil Health Improvement

16. How Detailed Should You Get?

17. Soil Health Assessment
    Chemical Tests
    Soil Sampling Instructions

18. Soil Health Action Plan
    Soil Health Assessment
    Action Plan
    Action Plan Follow-up

Appendix A: Soil Health Assessment Form
Appendix B: Action Plan for the Year
About the Author
About New Society Publishers



Published by
Published 07 April 2020
Reads 1
EAN13 9781771423199
Language English
Document size 2 MB

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