Building Soils Naturally

By Phil Nauta

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a refreshing take on explaining soil mechanics to the home gardener. Now, the book is “nutrient dense”, meaning there is a lot of information stuffed into this package. For a professional horticulturist like myself, it’s an easy enjoyable read and a great way to refresh my knowledge of organic soil management. It provides good reminders about what goes on our our soil, why and how to remedy problems naturally. For the home gardener or first time organic gardener, it could be a bit…or a lot…overwhelming at first. But stick with it because the conversational writing style makes it easy to go back and re-read any section you’d like to make sure you’ve retained the right information. As with any book like this, you’re going to find some things you might not agree with..and other things that are spot on. It all depends on your level of experience in the garden and your particular climate. There are a lot of activities provided in the book that you can do to “test” what is going on in your soil. Now, some folks may find these tasks are just too much for them to do on their own. Even if you decide not to do all of the tests, the rest of the information in the book will help you make better decisions about what you’re putting down in your garden and how you’re caring for the soil. For us geeky types, we’ll do all of the “experiments”! My very favorite part of the book is the weed reference at the end. By paying attention to the types of weeds you have growing in your landscape, you can better identify what types of deficiencies or excesses you have in your soil. Phil provides a weed-by-weed description of how to manage these weeds and what specific nutrient problem is indicated by their presence. Super handy for us professionals and homeowners alike. I’ll be ordering this book to carry at North Haven Gardens in Dallas, so keep an eye out for it in the store in the next couple of weeks!

Publisher description: “In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, have harvests with amazing taste, and have the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don’t there’s often something lacking in their proper nutrition, they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to “start with the soil.” But healthy soil doesn’t happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution is in Building Soils Naturally, where gardeners will find a hands-on plan of how to create productive, living soil by using a practical holistic approach – crafted right in your garden.”

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