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Safe Fertilizer Reviews - Book Review of Secrets to Great Soil
If you’re looking for a book that gives you step by step instructions about how to work with the soil in your yard or garden, and turn it into a plant’s best friend, Secrets of Great Soil is the book for you...

Safe Fertilizer Reviews Book Reviews for Natural Gardeners

Secrets to Great Soil - A Grower’s Guide to Composting, Mulching,
and Creating Healthy, Fertile Soil for Your Garden and Lawn

By Elizabeth P. Stell, Storey Publishing, 1998

Do you have a green thumb?  Chances are, you have great soil.  Nobody even appears to have a green thumb unless they have rich, brown, crumbly soil with lots of organic matter.  If your plants have problems, it is probably a problem with the soil.  If your plants are healthy, it is probably the soil.  Everything starts with the soil.  If you’re looking for a book that gives you step by step instructions about how to work with the soil in your yard or garden, and turn it into a plant’s best friend, Secrets of Great Soil is the book for you.

How do you separate the acceptable but mediocre garden books from the books that you find yourself continually pulling off the shelves to reference?  Well, one way is when you find yourself continually pulling the book off the shelf.  If you are at the book store, trying to decide which book to get, you want to look for books with the following

  • Clear organization
  • Helpful diagrams
  • Comprehensive index
  • Easy to reference tables full of information
  • Timeless information

The book Secrets to Great Soil fits the bill.  There is so much information jam-packed into its 215 pages that it could take you a lifetime of gardening to try all of the techniques and reference all of the information presented in the book.  Better, still, than its comprehensive nature is the format in which the information is presented.  The book is divided into nine chapters, each with sub-headings presenting a specific bit of information with tables, diagrams and step-by-step instructions for implementing the described steps. 

Chapter Outline

Chapter 1        Get to Know your Soil

Chapter 2        Creating Fertile Soil

Chapter 3        Soil-building Tools

Chapter 4        Making and Using Compost

Chapter 5        Mulches, Amendments, and Green Manures

Chapter 6        How to Choose and Apply Fertilizers

Chapter 7        Improving New Sites and Problem Soils

Chapter 8        Fine-Tuning Tips for Specific Plants

Chapter 9        A Soil-Care Calendar

Example of Sub-Topics Covered
Each chapter is filled with sub-categories and step-by-step instructions for tasks like building a compost bin, raising soil pH, increasing Boron levels in the soil, planting and incorporating green manures, improving clay soils, improving sandy soils and more. 

More than Outdoor Gardening
Secrets to Great Soil covers more than just gardening outside.  There are recipes and instructions for mixing and sterilizing your own potting soil or seed starting mixes, and how to plant container plantings so that the soil retains water and nutrients.

For an easy to use, comprehensive reference about soil care for the home gardener, Secrets to Great Soil is the ultimate reference.


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Click here to view the book at Amazon.com.