Secrets to Great Soil

Elizabeth P. Stell, Author
Elizabeth P. Stell, Author Storey Publishing $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58017-009-3
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
What this book lacks in pizzazz it makes up for in practicality. Although Stell's crisp, no-nonsense presentation is as utilitarian as a sturdy trowel, she packs in an impressive amount of information. Some of the discussions are fairly technical--soil acidity and nutrients, for example--and may initially be daunting to novices, but the lively layout (an abundance of illustrative line drawings, charts and sidebar features such as ""Master Gardening Tips"" and ""Hints for Success"") keeps the material accessible. Stell leaves no stone unturned in exploring her subject, whether instructing on how to identify particular types of soils, remedy deficiencies, improve problem soils or zero in on the needs of specific plants. She's thorough, presenting, for instance, not one or two but half a dozen different composting methods. The book may not dazzle readers with its style, but it's a valuable resource they'll no doubt find themselves turning to time and again. (Feb.)
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