Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web (Revised Edition)
Should be required reading for everyone lucky enough to own a piece of land.
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 become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative to this vicious cycle. We can garden in a way that strengthens the soil food web — the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants.
Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. First, it clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web. Next, it explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. The revised edition updates the original text and includes two completely new chapters — on mycorrhizae (beneficial associations fungi form with green-leaved plants) and archaea (single-celled organisms once thought to be allied to bacteria).
With Jeff Lowenfels's help, everyone — from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals — can create rich, nurturing, living soil.
- Format: Hardcover
- Pages: 220 pp.
- Book dimensions: 6 x 9 in. (230 x 150 mm.)
- Images: 88 color photos, 18 charts and diagrams
- ISBN-10: 1604691131
- ISBN-13: 9781604691139
- Product code: 689113
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"If you want to get a good understanding of how soils really work, and learn how to really feed your soil (and thus, your plants), [this] is a great book that explains it all very well, and also explains how to make really good compost and compost tea. It is concise and uses nonscientific terminology."
—Jared R. McKinley, DrWeil.com
"This very well illustrated hardback is a scientific view of many different kinds of soil microbes which include bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, nematodes, and many others."
—Maureen Gilmer, Palm Springs Desert Sun
"This updated resource will help everyone create rich, nurturing, living soil — from organic gardening devotees to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals."
"Jeff Lowenfels roots for the home team, but not the kind you watch play in a stadium ... he makes a boisterous case for the micro-organisms that live and die under our feet, and in the process feed the plants that feed us."
—Kym Pokorny, Oregonian
"If you are a gardener, this is definitely a book you want to read. And if you are a nature or science geek, you'll find the book extra fascinating."
—So Many Books
"The information in this book is eye-opening and consistently entertaining."
—Florida Survival Gardening
"Takes readers underground to meet the critters that live if you let them under the garden."