Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Gardener's Guide to Better Soil Hardcover – 1975
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
It also goes over the basics of practical (in therms of time, money, and effort) organic soil building principles very well. It also gives a very nice geography of soils in North America that provides a great deal of insight into why certain pattens of cultivation developed in certain areas and not others; it helps one understand the ideal location for a farm if they don't own one yet for the kind of growing they intend to do.
Another thing. Gene Logsdon's older books I find to have a wisdom and experience well beyond what one would expect. Unlike a lot of writers, especially since the 1990s, Gene didn't have recourse to the latest equipment, the best soils, etc. because he was relatively poor when he wrote these books. I cannot begin to tell you the enormous disappointment I have come to in reading many modern permaculture books when the author has a picture of them riding on a 10-20K loader-tractor or mini-excavator when they are running farm of a couple acres. Such equipment will never pay its way on a small farm. Yea, a loader makes formal compost making a whole lot easier. But Gene understood way back in 1980 that it was more sensible to sheet compost. Basically apply the computable material to the ground. No lifting and fighting gravity. A whole lot less time and effort and back pain. And where in nature do little neat compost piles form? The ordinary process is to apply material to the ground and let the worms till it in and the rain provide the water. No pumps, pipes, plastic, power (from fuel or electricity). In these pages (I've always suspected this) I learned that the idea of making compost for a garden the size that can produce worthwhile amounts of food is pretty insane. Just one inch deep of moist loam soil on one acre weights about 140 tons. Read that again. And then go and calculate it yourself if you don't believe me. That's all you need to know about the idea of spreading a one inch deep layer of compost (as recommend Jeavons, etc.) on a large garden (one that can actually grow food for a big family, or a small community) being completely insane. Likewise, anyone who has spread or shoveled manure will also understand this. Compost is great, it is certainly better than throwing compostable stuff in the garbage like most people do, but there is not anywhere near enough of it to be main source of a soil improvement program. Green manuring and sheet composting (mulching) is far, far more practical.
Why not five starts? Because the treatment of the minor soil nutrients (besides N, P, K, and C) is inadequate and I think the overall decision of soil amendment and balancing is incomplete. Biological Farmer by Zimmer is will complete the understanding. But hey, can't go wrong for a dollar. I've learned more useful information in this book than more than a few $20-30 newer books.
Logsdon is a great writer. His books, this one included, are always easy to read and packed with great information.
It has way more information about soil types than most people would ever think about, but it is presented well, and the information is a basis for how and why to build and preserve the living soil that is necessary for our existence... that he explains....
.... it is great information for homeowners, farmers, and anyone wanting to have any plants growing.
As I said, he is a great writer. I am not. His book is great. My description and review is pathetic and totally inadequate to describe his work.
The book is easy to read and Mr Logdson is a gifted writer, explaining details about soil, mulch, cover crops, compost, erosion, rotation and pretty much everything about soil and how to get good, organic, living, natural soil that will grow plants without any chemical fertilizers. He explains different methods for large farms or backyard vegetable gardens and has different recommendations for different temperature zones. The work is presented in organized chapters with numerous illustrations and a good index. The fact that it is 37 years old doesn't seem to make any difference; this information is just as vital and true now as it was back then. It really should be printed again; I'm sure it would be a bestseller.
The information here is helpful whether you're starting a farm from scratch or just trying to get more production for your vegetable garden. I've got dozens of books on gardening but I feel like this is the one I will be referring to more than any other. I can't recommend it enough.
gardening where you care for the soil rather than just
dumping on organic fertilizer instead of chemical
fertilizer) - I recommend this book; I learned a lot. It covers
different types of soils and what to so with them, additives
and green manures, cultivation; it's very readable. It's a bit
dated-looking but the information is sound. It spends more
time than I'd like suggesting how to identify good land
before you buy it.