Download and read online Teaming with Nutrients in PDF and EPUB A 2014 Garden Writers Association Media Award Winner Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener’s perspective. Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients and the mechanisms involved. In his trademark down-to-earth, style, Lowenfels explains the role of both macronutrients and micronutrients and shows gardeners how to provide these essentials through organic, easy-to-follow techniques. Along the way, Lowenfels gives the reader easy-to-grasp lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany needed to understand how nutrients get into the plant and what they do once they’re inside.
Download and read online Teaming with Microbes in PDF and EPUB Healthy soil teems with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and the soil becomes increasingly dependent on artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative: by strengthening the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms—gardeners can create a nurturing environment for plants. Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. It clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web, and explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. With Jeff Lowenfels’ help, everyone—from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants—can create rich, nurturing, living soil.
Download and read online Teaming with Fungi in PDF and EPUB From the bestselling author of Teaming with Microbes and Teaming with Nutrients Teaming with Fungi is an important guide to mycorrhizae and the role they play in agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponics. Almost every plant in a garden forms a relationship with fungi, and many plants would not exist without their fungal partners. By better understanding this relationship, gardeners can take advantage of the benefits of fungi, which include an increased uptake in nutrients, resistance to drought, earlier fruiting, and more. Learn how the fungi interact with plants and how to best to employ them in your home garden.
Download and read online The Intelligent Gardener in PDF and EPUB Beyond organic-- a practical guide to nutrient-dense food.
Download and read online Life in the Soil in PDF and EPUB Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.
Download and read online Growing the Midwest Garden in PDF and EPUB Plant selection and garden style are deeply influenced by where we are gardening. To successfully grow a range of beautiful ornamental plants, every gardener has to know the specifics of the region’s climate, soil, and geography. Growing the Midwest Garden, by Edward Lyon, the director of Wisconsin’s Allen Centennial Gardens, offers an enthusiastic and comprehensive approach to ornamental gardening in the heartland. This guide features in-depth chapters on climate, soil, pests, and maintenance, along with plant profiles of the best perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and bulbs.
Download and read online How Plants Work in PDF and EPUB The more you know, the better you grow! Plants are capable of interesting and unexpected things. Why do container plants wilt when they’ve been regularly watered? Why did the hydrangea that thrived last year never bloom this year? Why do slugs wipe out the vegetable garden instead of eating the weeds? Plant physiology—the study of how living things function—can solve these and most other problems gardeners regularly encounter. In How Plants Work, horticulture expert and contributor to the popular blog The Garden Professors, Linda Chalker-Scott brings the stranger-than-fiction science of the plant world to vivid life. She uncovers the mysteries of how and why plants do the things they do, and arms the home gardener with fascinating knowledge that will change the way they garden.
Download and read online Hybrid in PDF and EPUB Disheartened by the shrink-wrapped, Styrofoam-packed state of contemporary supermarket fruits and vegetables, many shoppers hark back to a more innocent time, to visions of succulent red tomatoes plucked straight from the vine, gleaming orange carrots pulled from loamy brown soil, swirling heads of green lettuce basking in the sun. With Hybrid, Noel Kingsbury reveals that even those imaginary perfect foods are themselves far from anything that could properly be called natural; rather, they represent the end of a millennia-long history of selective breeding and hybridization. Starting his story at the birth of agriculture, Kingsbury traces the history of human attempts to make plants more reliable, productive, and nutritious—a story that owes as much to accident and error as to innovation and experiment. Drawing on historical and scientific accounts, as well as a rich trove of anecdotes, Kingsbury shows how scientists, amateur breeders, and countless anonymous farmers and gardeners slowly caused the evolutionary pressures of nature to be supplanted by those of human needs—and thus led us from sparse wild grasses to succulent corn cobs, and from mealy, white wild carrots to the juicy vegetables we enjoy today. At the same time, Kingsbury reminds us that contemporary controversies over the Green Revolution and genetically modified crops are not new; plant breeding has always had a political dimension. A powerful reminder of the complicated and ever-evolving relationship between humans and the natural world, Hybrid will give readers a thoughtful new perspective on—and a renewed appreciation of—the cereal crops, vegetables, fruits, and flowers that are central to our way of life.
Download and read online The Ultimate Guide to Soil in PDF and EPUB Grow twice the fruits and vegetables in half the space on the farm, in the backyard, or in your window! Have you noticed the extraordinary flavors and yields emanating from even a small garden when the soil is just right? If you’ve ever been envious of your neighbor’s dirt or just curious about homesteading, then The Ultimate Guide to Soil is perfect for you. The book begins with a personality test for your soil, then uses that information to plan a course of action for revitalizing poor soil and turning good dirt into great earth. Next, you’ll learn to start and maintain a no-till garden, to balance nutrients with remineralization, and to boost organic matter with easy cover crops. Don’t forget the encyclopedic overview of organic soil amendments at the end. Old standbys like manures and mulches are explained in depth along with less common additions such as bokashi compost and castings from worms and black soldier fly larvae. Learn when hugelkultur, biochar, paper, and cardboard do and don’t match your garden needs, then read about when and how to safely use urine and humanure around edible plantings. With an emphasis on simple techniques suitable for the backyard gardener, The Ultimate Guide to Soil gives you the real dirt on good soil. Maybe next year your neighbor will be envious of you! This ebook includes the complete text of Personality Tests for Your Soil, Small-Scale No-Till Gardening Basics, Balancing Soil Nutrients and Acidity, and Soil Amendments for the Organic Garden.
Download and read online Botany for Gardeners in PDF and EPUB A bestseller since its debut in 1990, this indispensable and handy reference has now been expanded and updated to include an appendix on plant taxonomy and a comprehensive index. Two dozen new photos and illustrations make this new edition even richer with information. Its convenient paperback format makes it easy to carry and access, whether you are in or out of the garden. An essential overview of the science behind plants for beginning and advanced gardeners alike.
Download and read online Building Soils Naturally in PDF and EPUB How to Create an Organic Garden That's Exploding with Life, Diversity and Exceptionally Nutrient-Dense Food Whether you're an experienced gardener or just getting started, you are likely to encounter some perplexing (and common) setbacks – certain fruit and vegetable plants that don't produce the amazing taste and big yields that you'd hoped for, ornamental plants that fail to thrive as abundantly as they should, and plant predators that chew your plants to the ground. All of these issues point to plants that aren't at their optimum health. What could be wrong? Plants may be lacking in proper nutrition, missing beneficial microorganism companions, or short of the energy they need to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The advice most often given by those in the know is “start with the soil,” but what specific steps should you take to really improve soil to optimum health? Building Soils Naturally shows how to create productive, living soil using a simple, practical, hands-on plan that includes: • Using compost and microbial inoculants to balance the soil food web, because these organisms nourish and protect plants • Controlling plant predators and weeds forever, without chemicals, by focusing on the root cause of the infestation problem • Soil testing and full-spectrum organic fertilizing, because balancing soil nutrients is crucial for healthy plants Building Soils Naturally outlines proven, sustainable methods for growing healthy food and plants that contribute to a healthy planet and a healthy you. Grow vigorous, more pest-resistant vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants by using complete and balanced nutrients – far beyond the simplistic, imbalanced concept of NPK. Healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting. It happens by using a holistic approach – outlined in this book and crafted right in your garden.
Download and read online Biophilic Cities in PDF and EPUB Tim Beatley has long been a leader in advocating for the "greening" of cities. But too often, he notes, urban greening efforts focus on everything except nature, emphasizing such elements as public transit, renewable energy production, and energy efficient building systems. While these are important aspects of reimagining urban living, they are not enough, says Beatley. We must remember that human beings have an innate need to connect with the natural world (the biophilia hypothesis). And any vision of a sustainable urban future must place its focus squarely on nature, on the presence, conservation, and celebration of the actual green features and natural life forms. A biophilic city is more than simply a biodiverse city, says Beatley. It is a place that learns from nature and emulates natural systems, incorporates natural forms and images into its buildings and cityscapes, and designs and plans in conjunction with nature. A biophilic city cherishes the natural features that already exist but also works to restore and repair what has been lost or degraded. In Biophilic Cities Beatley not only outlines the essential elements of a biophilic city, but provides examples and stories about cities that have successfully integrated biophilic elements--from the building to the regional level--around the world. From urban ecological networks and connected systems of urban greenspace, to green rooftops and green walls and sidewalk gardens, Beatley reviews the emerging practice of biophilic urban design and planning, and tells many compelling stories of individuals and groups working hard to transform cities from grey and lifeless to green and biodiverse.
Download and read online Weeds and What They Tell Us in PDF and EPUB This wonderful little book covers everything you need to know about the types of plants known as weeds. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer discusses the different varieties of weeds, how they grow and what they can tell us about soil health. The process of combatting weeds is discussed in principle as well as in practice, so that it can be applied to any situation. First written in the 1950s, this is still one of the best overviews of the subject available.
Download and read online The Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health in PDF and EPUB A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine. Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut. When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health. They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all—for better or worse—the product of what our microbes eat. This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine—by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.
Download and read online 10 Steps to Gardening With Nature in PDF and EPUB Provides practical guidelines and steps to follow to be successful in a Gardening With Nature program. Gardening With Nature means more than just switching from chemical fertilizers to organic gardening products or implementing sustainable growing practices. "The switch" involves implementing a whole new preventative approach to gardening. Through a question-and-answer format the authors describe how to grow organically and sustainably using this Gardening With Nature approach --