Grow Your Soil by Diane Miessler
- Diane Miessler
- 165 pages
Grow Your Soil! - Harness the Power of the Soil Food Web to Create Your Best Garden Ever
Every gardener knows that the key to a good garden is rich, fertile soil. But that’s only the beginning, which begs the question of what is soil, exactly? What makes it good? How does it get that way?
Soil is a living, breathing organism that feeds everything on the planet.
After all, anyone who has ever planted a patch of flowers or vegetable garden 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.
Lifelong gardener Diane Miessler shows you how to build your soil’s health in an engaging, entertaining way geared for the backyard gardener. She shares the techniques that she uses - including cover crops, constant mulching, and a simple 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.
Table of Contents
- Foreword by Dr. Elaine R. Ingham
- Beauty, Magic & Tomatoes: Why I Garden, and How the Soil Food Web Helps
- 10 Suggestions for Creating Healthy, Living Soil
- Making Soil: Building a “House”
- 1 - The Skinny on Soil: What Makes Soil Good & How Does It Get That Way?
- What Is Soil?
- What Makes Good Soil Good?
- What Good Is Good Soil?
- 2 - Building a House: Start with the Roof (Mulch & Cover Crops)
- Cover Crops
- 3 - Build the Walls: Organic Matter & the Soil Food Web That Sticks It Together
- Soil Organic Matter
- The Soil Food Web: A Gardener’s Best Friend
- Biodiversity 101: Microbes
- Biodiversity 102: Algae, Bugs, Worms, and More
- 4 - Install Ventilation, Plumbing & a Nice Pantry: No-Till Growing, Paths & CEC
- Step Away from the Rototiller!
- Make Paths
- What Is CEC?
- How to Increase CEC
- 5 - Feed the Inhabitants: Photosynthesis, Minerals & Soil Testing
- Photosynthesis: Empty but Necessary Calories
- Macronutrients & Micronutrients
- To Test or Not to Test
- 6 - Compost and Compost Tea: It’s Not Rocket Science
- Benefits and Tools
- Is It Compost or Is It Mulch?
- How to Build a Compost Pile Maintaining a Compost Pile: It Needs Your Love
- When Is It Done?
- Growing Pains
- Fungally or Bacterially Dominated?
- Worm Bins
- Frequently Asked Questions, Answered
- Compost Tea for a Non-Rocket Scientist with a Bucket
- 7 - Where Do I Start? Building a Garden That Feeds Itself
- Step 1: Pick a Spot
- Step 2: Get Water to It
- Step 3: Decide where You’ll Walk
- Step 4: Soften the Soil
- Step 5: Pull Stuff Up, Throw Stuff Down
- Step 6: Mulch
- Step 7: Plant Stuff
- 8 - Housework & Home Repairs: How Not to Make Your Neighbors Hate You
- Maintenance = Mulch
- Putter, Don’t Work
- Metric Conversions
From the soil to the seed to the food you eat - we'll help you grow your best garden!