Grow Your Soil!, by Diane Miessler, Elaine R. Ingham [Book]
Growing awareness of the importance of soil health means that microbes are on the minds of even the most casual gardeners. After all, anyone who has ever attempted to plant a thriving patch of flowers or vegetables knows that what you grow is only as good as the soil you grow it in. It is possible to create and maintain rich, dark, crumbly soil that’s teeming with life, using very few inputs and a no-till, no-fertilizer approach.
Certified permaculture designer and lifelong gardener Diane Miessler presents the science of soil health in an engaging, entertaining voice geared for the backyard grower. She shares the techniques she has used — including cover crops, constant mulching, and a simple-but-supercharged recipe for compost tea — to transform her own landscape from a roadside dump for broken asphalt to a garden that stops traffic, starting from the ground up.
1) Teaming with Microbes for the general gardener. Grow Your Soil! covers much of the same information, but is written in an accessible style that will appeal broadly to gardeners who are less inclined to read in-depth explorations of soil science and are simply focused on improving their soil so that they can grow a better garden.
2) Soil is THE topic of the day. There is greater awareness about the importance of soil health than ever before, especially as the scientific community continues to learn about the role of soil microbes in the productivity of plants.
3) Good soil is good for the environment. Maintaining healthy soil has a huge impact on global warming. The humus in soil is the third-largest carbon sink on the planet, and keeping more organic matter in the ground means less carbon is released into the atmosphere.
Elaine Ingham is an American microbiologist and soil biology researcher and founder of Soil Foodweb Inc. She is known as a leader in soil microbiology and research of the soil food web.