Start with the Soil: The Organic Gardener's Guide to Improving Soil for Higher Yields, More.....

Grace Gershuny, Author
Grace Gershuny, Author Rodale Press $24.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-87596-567-3
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-87596-690-8
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Good things begin with good foundations, and so gardeners need instruction in soil maintenance. Yet this book is meant mainly for the super-serious gardener who won't mind wading through a volume that addresses soil in such detail that perhaps only a farmer would need to know it, and does so in words more appropriate for readers of an agricultural journal than for the general public. But the information is all here, in a remarkably thorough discussion that ranges from producing good general soil with humus and compost to strategies of soil chemistry and fertility, as well as covering particular issues of ``problem'' soils and the special needs of vegetables, flowers, lawns, trees and potted plants. Gershuny brings together some fascinating and practical material--about soil mixtures that will heighten color and aroma in flowers and increase production in plants bearing fruit, nuts and berries; a listing of the amazing arrays of manures and what they can accomplish; and the surprising materials that can serve as compost. These important points of entry to the book, however, are not so easy to find in the mass of information. Still, the charts and illustrations are wonderfully useful, and may alone be worth the price of the book. Illustrations not seen by PW . (June)
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