In no particular order, we’re recapping 15 great books from 2010 for the gardener on your holiday shopping list. Any one of them would be a great holiday gift for the green thumb on your list. We’ll feature a book a day starting December 7
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web
by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis
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. The use of chemical fertilizers injures the microbial life that sustains healthy gardens. Plants then become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial, often toxic, substances. The alternative to this vicious cycle is to strengthen the soil food web, the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants.
Teaming with Microbes (Timber Press, 220 pages, $24.95) extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. First, it describes the activities and organisms that make up the web. Next, it explains how gardeners can cultivate soil life through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. This revised edition updates the original text and includes two completely new chapters. One is about mycorrhizae while the other covers archaea, single-celled organisms once thought to be allied to bacteria.
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.