282 pages | 389 Color Illus.
Written in a clear and accessible style, Garden Practices and Their Science guides gardeners in the practical arts of plant husbandry and in their understanding of its underpinning principles. The author, Professor Geoff Dixon, is an acknowledged and internationally respected horticulturist and microbiologist; he intertwines these arts and principles carefully, expertly leading readers from one to the other.
Achieving the manipulation of plant life is described in eight full-colour, well-illustrated chapters covering the growing of potatoes, bulb onions, legumes, small-seeded vegetables, soft fruit, bulbs and herbaceous ornamentals in great detail. Environmental factors controlling the successful husbandry of these crops is described in simple, non-technical language, increasing gardeners’ enjoyment and competence. Gardeners are also informed of the tools and equipment they require and their safe use. Also provided are a series of simple, straightforward tests identifying the aerial and soil environments beneficial for plant growth using readily accessible domestic tools. Discussions of very straightforward techniques for vegetative propagation conclude this book. Each chapter ends with a list of the gardening knowledge that has been gained by readers. The structure of this book fulfils a longstanding need for descriptions of practical skills integrated with the corresponding biological reactions of plants. Emphasis is placed on gardeners’ development of healthy soils, which encourage vigorous, active root systems capable of withstanding stresses—an aspect of gardening that rarely receives sufficient attention.
Tailored for readers requiring clear and concise directions, this very practical book is an instruction manual directed at early-stage gardening learners. These include people of all ages and requirements such as new garden owners, allotment-holders, apprentices and students of basic levels in the Royal Horticultural Society’s or City & Guilds qualifications, career changers, community gardeners and those needing applied biological knowledge for GCSE examinations.
Preamble: safety in the garden
Chapter 1 What makes plants tick?
Chapter 2 Understanding soil and growing potatoes and onions
Chapter 3 Growing legumes from seed and seedlings
Chapter 4 Growing small-seeded vegetables
Chapter 5 Growing soft fruit
Chapter 6 Bulbous plants
Chapter 7 Flowering plants
Chapter 8 Plant propagation
Enjoy the 15 minute interview with Geoff Dixon on ‘Local World’ broadcasted on Thursday 4 April on Abbey 104, local regional broadcaster in Dorest, United Kingdom, with host Jenny Devitt. The interview was done in Geoff Dixon’s garden, which provided the backdrop to the book and from which about 90% of the nearly 400 illustrations came. The focus was primarily on the vital importance of healthy productive soil for the gardener which is achieved by sustainable and environmentally focussed care using the regular annual incorporation of organic matter such as farm yard manure. Doing that over a period of years leads to a good structure for the soil with ample beneficial organisms especially earthworms which allows good rooting by crops and helps reduce the need for irrigation by building up soil moisture content and increasing the depth of soil to which roots can penetrate.