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Secrets To Great Soil (Storey's Gardening Skills Illustrated)

Good soil leads to thriving gardens. Encouraging you to get to know the unique properties of your garden’s soil, Elizabeth Snell shows you how to properly use composted plant materials and animal manure to amend your dirt so that it is perfectly suited to your growing goals. Covering a variety of mulching and fertilizing techniques, Snell provides all the information you need to give your garden a healthy foundation of rich, nutrient-filled soil that will ensure a bountiful harvest. 

Series: Storey's Gardening Skills Illustrated

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 2, 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1580170080

ISBN-13: 978-1580170086

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #157,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #11 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Soil #133 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Vegetables #143 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Gardening

I went to the library today to see if they had anything new. I've read about every book our small library has which pertains to gardening. Out of the corner of my eye I happened upon "Secrets to Great Soil." It looked interesting; I checked it out. I am now here at .com to purchase this book. I've been organic gardening for 25 years and in all these many years have not found a book which thoroughly lists organic, inorganic, and synthetic fertilizers in a format which is easy to discern. It is easy to read for anyone, regardless the experience. Both novice and advanced gardeners will enjoy this journey of soil science along with the explanation. I am deeply moved by all the work which went into this highly recommended publication.

Simply a marvelous book that is so easy to use. Addresses many questions the gardener may ask about soil nutrition, structure, pH level and how to adjust them. I have been a gardener for thirty five years but questions about soil and what to do to make the best of a particular situation arise still. This book has become a wonderful resource for me. Chaptered and indexed for easy accessibility. Very thorough in its information for both organic and formulated solutions. Highly recommend.

I think this is a good book for beginning gardeners who are just starting to get a sense of what makes great soil. It covers the basics in a thorough, organized way. More experienced gardeners aren't going to find much new here, though having it all in one place is helpful. As the part-owner of a commercial organic farm, some information I was hoping for is just not here: how do you remedy soil structure problems on a large scale? How do you handle cover crops when a pitchfork isn't adequate? But for the backyard garden this book is perfectly adequate. Some standouts are the sections on managing soil diseases without chemicals and triple-bin composting. A good resource.

I bought several books on soil recently. This one is by far the best. Not only is there a wealth of information, it is arranged in an orderly way with illustrations, charts, and sidebars with hints for success. I especially appreciate the helpful charts. "Types of Mulches," for example, lists 35 different kinds, their appearance, insulation value, relative cost, thickness, weed control, water penetration, soil moisture retention, speed of composition and special comments about each one--all arranged in an easy to read and compare chart. Another nice chart is "Useful Conversions" at the end of the book that shows kilograms to pounds, cubic centimeters to cubic inches, hectares to acres, millimeters to feet, etc.One thing that sometimes surprises me is how much space gardening books devote to making compost, and this one is no exception. Here's a tip for turning kitchen scraps into compost/mulch that's fast and easy. Take an old blender, or as I do, use an extra blender container for this: Roughly chop all vegetable & fruit peels and add them to the blender along with clean egg shells, coffee & tea grounds (no meat products or oils!) plus a dried hot chile or two to discourage pests and enough cold water to liquefy. Blend into a slurry. Dump the mixture around plants, shrubs and trees you wish to improve. Simple.

Wealth of information about my favorite topic of late -- soil. For a beginner, it provided some much needed information on tools, composting and managing diseases and nutrients in the soil. The added bonus for me was information on crop rotation and managing a calendar.

This book is one of the most informative books anyone can buy if you are composting and vegetable gardening, the best of all the books I have ever read. This should be in every gardeners library.


Very informative book for the outdoor gardner that is interested in his soil. We have great soil for our garden, but with this book we can take it to the next level. We are not expert gardners and this book is written in laymans language, so for us it is great. I don't know if a seasoned professional would like the book, but for the backyard hobbiest, worth the cost.

Secrets to Great Soil (Storey's Gardening Skills Illustrated) Gardening:The Simple instructive complete guide to vegetable gardening for beginners (mini farming,Preparedness Gardening,Vertical Gardening,Gardening ... Gardening, Organic Gardening, aquaponic) Gardening in Clay Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-140 (Storey Publishing Bulletin) Gardening in Sandy Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-169 (Storey Publishing Bulletin, a-169) Improving Your Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-202 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Hydroponics: Secrets Of Hydroponic Gardening - A Practical Guide For Beginners To Learn Everything About Hydroponic Gardening (Greenhouse Gardening, Organic Gardening, Basics Of Gardening) Hydroponic Gardening: How To Grow 40 Pounds of Organic Produce 50% Faster With No Soil And No Yard (hydroponic gardening, aquaponics, square foot gardening, ... container gardening, urban homestead) Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to Soil and Composting: The Complete Guide to Building Healthy, Fertile Soil (Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guides (Houghton Mifflin)) Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 2. Microbiological and Biochemical Properties (Soil Science Society of America Book, No 5) (Soil Science Society of America Book Series) Gardening: Air-Cleaning House Plants to Purify Your Home - DIY Home, Home Gardening & Indoor Gardening (Healthy Home, Gardening for Beginners, Container ... Hacks, Healthier You, Outdoor Gardening) Gardening: Organic Gardening Beginners Guide: Growing Vegetables, Herbs and Berries (Gardening, Beginners Gardening, Organic Gardening, Vegetable) Winter Gardening for Beginners 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Planning, Planting & Growing Your Winter Flowers and Vegetables (Companion Gardening, ... Gardening, Gardening, Raised Bed Gardening) Greenhouse Gardening: How To Effectively Grow Fruits, Vegetables, And Plants All Year In A Greenhouse Efficiently (Gardening, Planting, Companion Gardening, Gardening Guide, Greenhouse Gardening) Making Natural Milk Soap: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-199 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, a-199) Grafting Fruit Trees: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-35 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Grow the Best Tomatoes: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-189 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Natural & Herbal Family Remedies: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-168 (Storey Publishing Bulletin, a-168) Easy-to-Build Adirondack Furniture: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-216 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Pruning Trees, Shrubs & Vines: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-54 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition: Breeds, Care, Health (Storey's Guide to Raising)