This has got to be one of the most readable and useful gardening books I have read in a long time and believe me, I read a lot.
Organic gardeners have long espoused the adage “feed the soil” but I wonder how many of us really understand what is going on down there with microbes. This book tells it all! Healthy soil is teeming with life and “Teaming with Microbes” not only describes the complex universe of soil dwelling organisms including their indissoluble relationships with plants but also tells us how to apply this knowledge (which they call “soil food web science”) to our farms and gardens.
The book is bursting with the latest information on the microbes which inhabit the netherworld related in simple non technical language. What is more, the 19 soil food web gardening rules which are described in detail in the second half of the book are the very best practices which I have ever seen described.
Being a long time practitioner of mulching I had observed that certain plants, mostly annual vegetables, didn’t seem to respond as well as perennials. And even though I have read extensively on the subject, I was still proceeding by trial and error in the cold humid climate of northern Quebec with a tendency to blame the climate. After reading this book not only do I understand why – rule number 1: some plants prefer soils dominated by fungi; others prefer soils dominated by bacteria, but I also now know how to correct for this by creating a bacteria dominant soil. For those who need fungi dominated soil, they tell you how too. I hope this has aroused your curiosity for there are 18 more rules!
As far as I am concerned, this is a must read for anyone who gardens. In fact, even though it is written using simple language that anyone can understand, I would put in on the curriculum of all agriculture courses so that our future leaders in agriculture would appreciate what soil life is all about. Moreover, the authors hail from Alaska so I have no doubt that the practices described are appropriate for Canadians all across this country and not just in the banana belts of southern Ontario and southern BC.
You can find this book and many more in the COG Library here.
Books are shipped across Canada for free!