This is your down-to-earth, complete manual for achieving great gardening results with your own rich, organic soil.
How do you recognize healthy soil? How much can your existing soil be improved? What are the best amendments to use for your soil? Let Building Soil answer your questions and be your guide on gardening from the ground up. Fertilizing, tilling, weed management, and irrigation all affect the quality of your soil. Using author Elizabeth Murphy’s detailed instructions, anyone can become a successful soil-based gardener, whether you want to start a garden from scratch or improve an existing garden.
If you want methods that won’t break your back, are good for the environment, and create high-yielding and beautiful gardens of all shapes and sizes, this is the book for you! Create classic landscape gardens, grow a high-yielding orchard, nurture naturally beautiful lawns, raise your household veggies, or run a profitable farm.
A soil-based approach allows you to see not just the plants, but the living system that grows them. Soil-building practices promote more ecologically friendly gardening by:
With a detailed discussion and comparison tables on a range of organic fertilizer choices, Building Soil is a simple book full of practical, up-to-date information about building healthy soils. Simple methods perfect for the home gardener’s use put healthy, organic soil within everyone’s reach. You don’t need a degree in soil management to understand this book; you only need a yard or garden and the desire to improve it at the most basic level.
Elizabeth Murphy has a passion for growing food that led her to a master's degree in soil science from University of California, Davis, where she researched soil organic matter storage and a farmer's ability to improve it. She has worked as a faculty instructor for Oregon State University Extension's Small Farms Program, where she taught and consulted with gardeners and farmers about best management practices to build healthy soils. Since 2006, she has owned a half-acre garden in southern Oregon, which she considers her laboratory for experimenting with sustainable soil management and gardening practices for landscapes and vegetables. Currently, she lives in Tacoma, Washington.
"Libraries that don't already own Keith Reid's Improving Your Soil or Elizabeth Stell'sSecrets to Great Soil will want to snap up this book for their green-thumb patrons." - LJ Xpress Reviews
"In her book, Murphy shows you how to recognize healthy soils, then offers a series of easy steps to help you get your own soil under control. And she covers all the bases: mulching, compost, weeds, fertilizers, organic matter, water, cover crops, you name it." - Garden Design Online
"Murphy has compiled decades of research and real-life experience into a new go-to resource, "Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach", a hands-on guidebook designed specifically for home gardeners. In her first book, Murphy breaks some new ground in making soil building - and understanding - much simpler." - Sacramento Bee
"Even for experienced gardeners there is plenty to learn from this handy book" - SEEDS Magazine