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Teaming With Microbes

Teaming With Microbes

The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web

Book - 2010 | Revised edition
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This book provides information on ways to strengthen and cultivate the soil food web to grow healthy plants without the use of chemicals. 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. The book 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 the author'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.
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2010
Edition: Revised edition
ISBN: 9781604691139
Call Number: 631.4 L917t 2010
Characteristics: 220 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Lewis, Wayne 1942-- Author


From Library Staff

When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in... Read More »

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Dec 14, 2020

An informative but dry read! This is way over the heads of most gardeners and difficult to plow through. I certainly added to my soil knowledge and garnered a hightened sensitivity to what needs to live in my soil but…what a slog!

This book reads more like a microbiology textbook and less like a how to.

Jan 02, 2019

If you are a gardener, this is a must read! I will never look at my garden, nor the soil in my yard the same way again! This book is fascinating and the authors make difficult concepts easy to understand - written for the lay person. I actually couldn't put the book down. Even if you are not a gardener, but interested in nature, this book is highly recommended! 5 stars from me!

Sep 26, 2011

A must read for all organic gardeners. The authors did a great job of simplifying complex concepts. It's an easy read but packed with interesting information. This book gave me a new respect and deep understanding for soil and changed the way I garden for ever.


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