The key to growing healthy, beautiful plants is good soil. This practical all-region guide helps you understand the unique characteristics of your garden’s soil and build its natural fertility using organic and sustainable methods. Written by soil and horticulture experts from across North America, it emphasizes the importance of nurturing a diverse ecosystem of beneficial soil organisms, using recycled and renewable organic amendments and mulches, planting nutrient-enhancing cover crops and ornamentals, and selecting plants that adapt with ease to your site conditions.
If you’d like to grow your own food but don’t think you have the space, look up! In urban and suburban areas across the country, farms and gardens are growing atop the rooftops of residential and commercial buildings. In this accessible guide, author Annie Novak’s passion shines as she draws on her experience as a pioneering sky-high farmer to teach best practices for raising vegetables, herbs, flowers, and trees. The book also includes interviews, expert essays, and farm and garden profiles from across the country, so you’ll find advice that works no matter where you live. Featuring the brass tacks on green roofs, container gardening, hydroponics, greenhouse growing, crop planning, pest management, harvesting tips, and more, The Rooftop Growing Guide will have you reimagining the possibilities of your own skyline.
Our capacity to maintain world food production depends heavily on the thin layer of soil covering the Earth's surface. The health of this soil determines whether crops can grow successfully, whether a farm business is profitable and whether an enterprise is sustainable in the long term. Farmers are generally aware of the physical and chemical factors that limit the productivity of their soils but often do not recognise that soil microbes and the soil fauna play a major role in achieving healthy soils and healthy crops. Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soilborne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture provides readily understandable information about the bacteria, fungi, nematodes and other soil organisms that not only harm food crops but also help them take up water and nutrients and protect them from root diseases. Complete with illustrations and practical case studies, it provides growers and their consultants with holistic solutions for building an active and diverse soil biological community capable of improving soil structure, enhancing plant nutrient uptake and suppressing root pests and pathogens. The book is written by scientists with many years' experience developing sustainable crop production practices in the grains, vegetable, sugarcane, grazing and horticultural industries. This book will be useful for: growers, consultants, agronomists and soil chemists, extension personnel working in the grains, livestock, sugarcane and horticultural industries, professionals running courses in soil health/biological farming, and students taking university courses in soil science, ecology, microbiology, plant pathology and other biological sciences.
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.
From the world-famous Brooklyn Botanic Gardens comes a unique, all-region handbook that introduces gardeners to the many beautiful native plants that thrive in tough growing conditions--with little or no maintenance. It profiles spectacular trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, vines, and bulbs that naturally cope with disturbed and depleted soils, extremes of sun and shade, regular buffeting by strong winds, and other challenging environments. In addition, unlike many tough species, these don't have invasive tendencies but support sustainable ecosystems. Written by the finest experts on the subject, this practical guide provides a bounty of information on everything from site-appropriate designs to propagation and care.
The newest of the Botanica's Gardening series, this authoritative encyclopedia covers all aspects of organic gardening. 'Botanica's Organic Gardening' is a richly textured, stylish, visually stunning, and comprehensive guide to organic gardening. It is designed not only to help the reader create a beautiful, productive, and chemical-free garden, but also a lifestyle in harmony with the earth. Includes a series of four comprehensive, easy-to-use guides to growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, and ornamental flowering plants.