Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener's perspective. Where Teaming with Microbes used adeptly used microbiology; Teaming with Nutrients employs cellular biology.
Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients involved or how they get into plants. Teaming with Nutrients explains how nutrients move into plants and what both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients do once inside. It shows organic gardeners how to provide these essentials. To fully understand how plants eat, Lowenfels uses his ability to make science accessible with lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany all gardeners need to understand how nutrients get to the plant and what they do once they're inside the plant.
Teaming with Nutrients will open your eyes to the importance of understanding the role of nutrients in healthy, productive organic gardens and it will show you how these nutrients do their jobs. In short, it will make you a better informed, more successful and more environmentally responsible gardener.
“A breakthrough book. . . . well worth owning and reading. No comprehensive horticultural library should be without it.” —American Gardener
“For years, we’ve thought of the ‘food chains’ in our environment. Lowenfels and Lewis explain an even more wonderful idea: the ‘soil food web.’ Read Teaming with Microbes and keep it or give it to the library so others may learn of this astounding way to grow vegetables, trees, lawns.” —Washington Gardener
“Exceptional. . . . A brief, clear overview of scientific information with which every gardener should be familiar.” —Monterey Herald
“Digs into soil in a most enlightening and entertaining way.” —Dallas Morning News
“Required reading for all serious gardeners.” —Miami Herald
“This intense little book may well change the way you garden.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“All good gardeners know healthy plants start with healthy soil. But why? And how? In Teaming with Microbes Lowenfels and Lewis reveal the new research in the most practical and accessible way.” —The Oregonian
“For years, we’ve thought of the ‘food chains’ in our environment. Lowenfels and Lewis explain an even more wonderful idea: the ‘soil food web.’ Read Teaming with Microbes and keep it or give it to the library so others may learn of this astounding way to grow vegetables, trees, lawns.” —Detroit News
“Sure, it’s a gardening book, but it has all the drama and suspense of an extraterrestrial thriller. . . . Read this book and you’ll never look at soil the same way.” —B&B Magazine
“[This book] is a must read for any gardener looking to create a sustainable, healthy garden without chemicals.” —Virginian-Pilot
“It takes readers underground to meet the critters that live if you let them under the garden.” —Rockland Courier-Gazette
“All good gardeners know healthy plants start with healthy soil. But why? And how? In Teaming with Microbes Lowenfels and Lewis reveal the new research in the most practical and accessible way.” —Anchorage Daily News
From the Author
Teaming With Nutrients...how plants eat and what to feed them. We all learn about cation exchange capacity, CEC, but that always ends up as a discussion of how the soil particle holds nutrients. It never really explains how plants actually take up nutrients, ie how they eat. And, what about these nutrients once they get inside the plant? What happens to them?
This second Teaming book is a trip that delves into the cellular biology of plants in the same way Teaming With Microbes was a book that starred microbiology. This is, at least to me, a fascinating voyage that requires some chemistry and botany, too, but stars cellular biology. Don't worry, the learning is fun and fascinating and I make it easy. In the end you will know how plants eat and, of course, what to feed them. It is not all biology and botany. Teaming contains the practical advice you need feed your plants properly and organically.
Teaming with Nutrients should change the way you farm and garden, for sure, but hopefully you will never look at plants the same way again. You will appreciate the 18 trillion cells in an apple tree and know how they work. And it all happens with just 17 nutrients!
From the Back Cover
Smart gardeners know that soil is anything but an inert substance. Healthy soil is teeming with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. By eschewing jargon and overly technical language, the authors make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.
This revised edition updates the original text and includes two completely new chapters—on mycorrhizae (beneficial associations fungi form with green-leaved plants) and archaea (single-celled organisms once thought to be allied to bacteria).
Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
The book has great illustrations, and is hardcover and It does a ...
Just received the book this morning and read it already. The book has great illustrations, and is hardcover and It does a good job of explaining what takes place in the care and feeding of a plant at the cellular level. It explains some basic chemistry to help with understanding the technical side of how this happens.
It does mention soil testing and shows a sample soil test. There is no explanations as to how to figure what quantities to add to one's soil to amend it. Perhaps I misunderstood what the book was suppose to be about.
If you want the rest of the story, which gives you the understanding of how this chemistry is utilized in a very well explained manner, and how to use soil test results to determine what a soil needs, and how to determine these quantities through filling out a step by step well explained worksheet and applying basic math, then I would recommend "The Intelligent Gardener" by Steve Solomon and Erica Reinheimer.
In short,Jeff's book is an explanation, utilizing the principles of chemistry to demonstrate how plants take on nutrition and develop at a cellular level, while Steve and Erica's book is about this and also adds the practical side of how to calculate which and how much of each amendment to use to bring the deficiencies found through soil sampling, to an acceptable nutritious level for human consumption. HS
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Read this Book!
I would read 'Teaming with Microbes' first. After reading that you will never look at your garden or any plant the same way again. This is a great follow up, but it is a more difficult read. There is a great deal of biology and plant anatomy in the first half of the book. Don't skip it, but don't dwell on it. Plant biology is much more complicated than rocket science on a molecular level, so just try to grasp the general concepts. You can come back later to refresh. Take in what you can and push forward. The only thing I would do differently is to buy the hardback instead of the e-book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
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Blown away reading Teaming With Microbes but disappointed reading teaming with nutrients.
Skip the first two chapters of the book of you come from a science background or completed one semester of bio and chem in college. I should have done this it might have made the book more enjoyable to ready. I was blown away reading Teaming With Microbes and disappointed reading teaming with nutrients.