Life in the Soil

A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

Author: James B. Nardi

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226568539

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 2864

Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

Discoveries in the Garden

Author: James B. Nardi

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022653183X

Category: Gardening

Page: 288

View: 6618

Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt. Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.

Essential Soil Science

A Clear and Concise Introduction to Soil Science

Author: Mark Ashman,Geeta Puri

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118685431

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 208

View: 2124

This textbook is aimed at the majority of students, who need to quickly acquire a concise overview of soil science. Many current soil science textbooks still cater for a traditional student market where students embark on three years study in a narrow discipline. The growth in modular degree schemes has meant that soil science is now often taught as self-standing unit as part of broad based degree program. Students pursuing this type of course are increasingly reluctant to purchase expensive textbooks that are too detailed and often assume a scientific background. For those opting to specialise in soil science there are a variety of good textbooks to choose from. This short informative guide, will be particularly useful for students who do not possess a traditional scientific background, such as those studying geography, environment science, ecology and agriculture. Only textbook to cater for introductory courses in soil science. Provides an affordable concise overview of soil science. Learning exercises and chapter summaries enhance usability. Annotated suggestions for further reading. Based on proven and successful modular course structure. Emphasis on readability and interactive learning. No scientific background assumed.

Teaming with Microbes

The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition

Author: Wayne Lewis,Jeff Lowenfels

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 9781604692549

Category: Gardening

Page: 220

View: 2971

Healthy soil teems with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and the soil becomes increasingly dependent on artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative: by strengthening the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms—gardeners can create a nurturing environment for plants. Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. It clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web, and explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. With Jeff Lowenfels’ help, everyone—from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants—can create rich, nurturing, living soil.

The Humane Gardener

Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife

Author: Nancy Lawson

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1616896175

Category: Gardening

Page: 224

View: 7609

In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. Detailed chapters address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. The Humane Gardener fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures that share our world.

The Soul of Soil

A Soil-Building Guide for Master Gardeners and Farmers, 4th Edition

Author: Joseph Smillie,Grace Gershuny

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603581243

Category: Gardening

Page: 173

View: 1859

Soil is the basis not only for all gardening, but for all terrestrial life. No aspect of agriculture is more fundamental and important, yet we have been losing vast quantities of our finite soil resources to erosion, pollution, and development. Now back in print, this eminently sensible and wonderfully well-focused book provides essential information about one of the most significant challenges for those attempting to grow delicious organic vegetables: the creation and maintenance of healthy soil. Chapter 2, "Understanding the Soil System," is alone worth the price of admission. Gershuny and Smillie give lay readers and experts a clear explanation of subjects--soil life and nutrient cycles--that have confounded most authors. Nowhere will the reader find simpler and more coherent descriptions of key concepts including cation exchange capacity and chelation. There are other books about soil available, including Grace Gershuny's comprehensive Start with the Soil, and there are books that feature chapters on soil building. What distinguishes The Soil of Soilis the authors' concise presentation; they give readers important information, including technical essentials, without getting bogged down in scientific or quasiscientific mumbo-jumbo. In addition, useful tables list specific compost materials, green manures, and other resources that allow growers to translate into action the more general information provided by the book. The soil-building techniques featured include: Organic matter management Building and maintaining humus On-site composting Green manures and rotations Cultivation and weed control Nutrient balances and soil testing Using mineral fertilizers Planning for organic certification Updates to the 1999 edition include analysis of Proposed Rules for the National Organic Standards, and expanded recommendations for private testing services and soil-testing equipment for home gardeners and organic farmers. All of us involved in the cultivation of plants--from the backyard gardener to the largest farmer--need to help regenerate a "living soil," for only in the diversity of the soil and its creatures can we ensure the long-term health of ourselves and our environment. The Soul of Soil offers everyone a basic understanding of what soil is and what we can do to improve our own patch of it. Seen in this light, this practical handbook will be an inspiration as well.

Cows Save the Planet

And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth

Author: Judith Schwartz

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603584331

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 240

View: 8860

In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

The Soil and Health

A Study of Organic Agriculture

Author: Albert Howard

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813132096

Category: Nature

Page: 352

View: 6914

During his years as a scientist working for the British government in India, Sir Albert Howard conceived of and refined the principles of organic agriculture. Howard’s The Soil and Health became a seminal and inspirational text in the organic movement soon after its publication in 1945. The Soil and Health argues that industrial agriculture, emergent in Howard’s era and dominant today, disrupts the delicate balance of nature and irrevocably robs the soil of its fertility. Howard’s classic treatise links the burgeoning health crises facing crops, livestock, and humanity to this radical degradation of the Earth’s soil. His message—that we must respect and restore the health of the soil for the benefit of future generations—still resonates among those who are concerned about the effects of chemically enhanced agriculture.

Medical Growing

A Garden of Peace

Author: N.A

Publisher: Trine Day

ISBN: 1936296977

Category: Gardening

Page: 96

View: 1822

Employing proven flower-growing techniques used by commercial greenhouses the world over, the growing of cannabis plants is demystified in this helpful gardening book. The natural cycles and growth of the plant are explained, as is how to sprout seedlings, manage growth and soil, how and when to use nutrients, what to look for when it is flowering and finishing, how to cure, and a little about what cannabis can be used for in day-to-day living. Advising to grow the crop patiently, take notes, and observe results, the book also includes a growth journal that makes keeping track a breeze. Plans for an herb hut are provided to make it easy to build an outdoor greenhouse. Easy-to-use and efficient methods, materials that are inexpensive and easy to find, and explanations that suit the simple truth of the environment are all presented in this all-in-one guide to growing a successful crop of cannabis.

Secrets of Fertile Soils

Humus As the Guardian of the Fundamentals of Natural Life

Author: Erhard Hennig

Publisher: Acres U.S.A.

ISBN: 9781601731289

Category: Humus

Page: 188

View: 8213

Translation of: Geheimnisse der fruchtbaren Beoden.

A Gardener's Guide to Florida's Native Plants

Author: Rufino Osorio

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780813018522

Category: Gardening

Page: 345

View: 5020

Abundantly illustrated in full color, this guide provides detailed descriptions and methods of cultivation for 350 of Florida's most attractive and easily grown native plants, including ferns, wildflowers, shrubs, trees, vines, aquatics, and epiphytes (air plants). 359 color photos.

Bees, Wasps, and Ants

The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens

Author: Eric Grissell

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 0881929883

Category: Gardening

Page: 335

View: 4126

Explores the biology, importance of, and methods of encouragement of bees, wasps, and ants found in a garden.

Native Plants of the Midwest

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 500 Species for the Garden

Author: Alan Branhagen

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604697776

Category: Gardening

Page: 440

View: 1622

Native Plants of the Midwest, by regional plant expert Alan Branhagan, features the best native plants in the heartland and offers clear and concise guidance on how to use them in the garden. Plant profiles for more than 500 species of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, ground covers, bulbs, and annuals contain the common and botanical names, growing information, tips on using the plant in a landscape, and advice on related plants. You’ll learn how to select the right plant and how to design with native plants. Helpful lists of plants for specific purposes are shared throughout. This comprehensive book is for native plant enthusiasts and home gardeners in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, northern Arkansas, and eastern Kansas.

A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic

Author: E. C. Pielou

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022614867X

Category: Nature

Page: 344

View: 3281

This book is a practical, portable guide to all of the Arctic's natural history—sky, atmosphere, terrain, ice, the sea, plants, birds, mammals, fish, and insects—for those who will experience the Arctic firsthand and for armchair travelers who would just as soon read about its splendors and surprises. It is packed with answers to naturalists' questions and with questions—some of them answered—that naturalists may not even have thought of.

Garden Insects of North America

The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs

Author: Whitney Cranshaw,David Shetlar

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888948

Category: Nature

Page: 704

View: 3503

This second edition of Garden Insects of North America solidifies its place as the most comprehensive guide to the common insects, mites, and other “bugs” found in the backyards and gardens of the United States and Canada. Featuring 3,300 full-color photos and concise, detailed text, this fully revised book covers the hundreds of species of insects and mites associated with fruits and vegetables, shade trees and shrubs, flowers and ornamental plants, and turfgrass—from aphids and bumble bees to leafhoppers and mealybugs to woollybears and yellowjacket wasps—and much more. This new edition also provides a greatly expanded treatment of common pollinators and flower visitors, the natural enemies of garden pests, and the earthworms, insects, and other arthropods that help with decomposing plant matter in the garden. Designed to help you easily identify what you find in the garden, the book is organized by where insects are most likely to be seen—on leaves, shoots, flowers, roots, or soil. Photos are included throughout the book, next to detailed descriptions of the insects and their associated plants. An indispensable guide to the natural microcosm in our backyards, Garden Insects of North America continues to be the definitive resource for amateur gardeners, insect lovers, and professional entomologists. Revised and expanded edition covers most of the insects, mites, and other “bugs” one may find in yards or gardens in the United States and Canada—all in one handy volume Features more than 3,300 full-color photos, more than twice the illustrations of the first edition Concise, informative text organized to help you easily identify insects and the plant injuries that they may cause

Dirt

A Love Story

Author: Barbara Richardson

Publisher: University Press of New England

ISBN: 1611688000

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 6860

Community farms. Mud spas. Mineral paints. Nematodes. The world is waking up to the beauty and mystery of dirt. This anthology celebrates the Earth's generous crust, bringing together essays by award-winning scientists, authors, artists, and dirt lovers to tell dirt's exuberant tales. Geographically broad and topically diverse, these essays reveal life as lived by dirt fanatics - admiring the first worm of spring, taking a childhood twirl across a dusty Kansas farm, calculating how soil breathes, or baking mud pies. Essayists build a dirt house, center a marriage around dirt, sink down into marshy heaven, and learn to read dirt's own language. Scientists usher us deep underground with the worms and mycorrhizae to explore the vast and largely ignored natural processes occurring beneath our feet. Whether taking a trek to Venezuela to touch the oldest dirt in the world or reveling in the blessings of our own native soils, these muscular essays answer the important question: How do you get down with dirt? A literary homage to dirt and its significance in our lives, this book will interest hikers, gardeners, teachers, urbanites, farmers, environmentalists, ecologists, and others intrigued by our planet's alluring skin. Essayists include Vandana Shiva, Peter Heller, Janisse Ray, Bernd Heinrich, Linda Hogan, Wes Jackson, BK Loren, David Montgomery, Laura Pritchett, and Deborah Koons Garcia.

Roof Gardens

History, Design, and Construction

Author: Theodore Osmundson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393730128

Category: Gardening

Page: 318

View: 1275

A lavish, richly illustrated study of gardens built on the roofs of buildings traces the history of roof gardens, from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the present; explains how to construct safe, durable gardens; and offers tips on selecting plants, garden maintenance, and planting techniques.

Pollination with Mason Bees

A Gardener's Guide to Managing Mason Bees for Fruit Production

Author: Margriet Dogterom

Publisher: Beediverse Pub

ISBN: 9780968935736

Category: Gardening

Page: 136

View: 9575

A Gardener’s Guide to Managing Mason Bees for Fruit Production Pollination with Mason Bees is an invaluable tool for anyone wishing to know more about mason bees. It is an informative and well-presented how-to book for those considering starting this fascinating hobby with mason bees. The wonderful illustrations make it possible for even the urban gardener to enjoy a harvest of their favorite fruit from their backyard. In this concise manual, the mason bee's lifecycle is discussed and simple methods are presented to attract various bee species.

Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee

Author: Edward W. Chester,S. Eugene Wofford,Joey Shaw

Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press

ISBN: 1621901009

Category: Nature

Page: 813

View: 8610

The product of twenty-five years of planning, research, and writing, Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee is the most comprehensive, detailed, and up-to-date resource of its kind for the flora of the Volunteer State, home to nearly 2,900 documented taxa. Not since Augustin Gattinger’s 1901 Flora of Tennessee and a Philosophy of Botany has a work of this scope been attempted. The team of editors, authors, and contributors not only provide keys for identifying the major groups, families, genera, species, and lesser taxa known to be native or naturalized within the state—with supporting information about distribution, frequency of occurrence, conservation status, and more—but they also offer a plethora of descriptive information about the state’s physical environment and vegetation, along with a summary of its rich botanical history, dating back to the earliest Native American inhabitants. Other features of the book include a comprehensive glossary of botanical terms and an array of line drawings that illustrate the identifying characteristics of vascular plants, from leaf shape and surface features to floral morphology and fruit types. Finally, the book’s extensive keys are indexed by families, scientific names, and common names. The result is a user-friendly work that researchers, students, environmentalists, foresters, conservationists, and indeed anyone interested in Tennessee and its botanical legacy and resources will value for years to come. Edward W. Chester is professor emeritus of biology at Austin Peay State University, where he taught botany and curated the herbarium for more than forty-five years. B. Eugene Wofford is director of the University of Tennessee Herbarium and coauthor (with Professor Chester) of Guide to the Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Tennessee. Joey Shaw is associate professor of biological and environmental sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dwayne Estes is associate professor of biology and curator of the herbarium at Austin Peay State University. David H. Webb is a retired biologist from the Tennessee Valley Authority. In addition, more than 20 experts from throughout the country contributed family or genera treatments, including Andrea Shea Bishop (rare species botanist, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation), Claude Bailey (associate professor, Jackson State Community College), Hal R. DeSelm (professor emeritus, University of Tennessee), Dennis Horn (amateur botanist and wildflower photographer, retired engineer), Chris Fleming (senior project scientist, BDY Environmental), Aaron Floden (graduate student, University of Tennessee), William H. Martin (professor emeritus, Eastern Kentucky University and former commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Natural Resources), Mary Patten Priestley (curator of the herbarium, The University of the South), and Edward Schilling (professor, University of Tennessee).