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.
Table of Contents
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
Geoff Dixon is Professor of Horticulture and an internationally distinguished biological and horticultural communicator, educator and research scientist. He has worked in Cambridge, then the Scottish Universities (Aberdeen and Strathclyde) and Colleges of Agriculture, and is now a member of the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD) at the University of Reading, UK.
Featured Author Profiles
I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone with a thirst for knowledge about growing plants whether as a professional or enthusiastic amateur, or anyone who wishes to nurture and encourage that interest in a friend or family member.
-Richard Bar1ey B.App.Sct (Hort) MCIHort FLS Director of Horticulture, Leaming & Operations, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. From the Review Garden Practices and their Science, The Horticulturist 28 (1), Spring 2019.
The writing style is clear and precise with abundant illustrations, and its approach is very much ‘what to do.’ The objective of the advice provided is the generation of the most abundant blooms or the most vegetables.
– Dr. SG Compton. From the Review Garden Practices and their Science, The Biologist 66 (2), 2019.
This combination of practice and science will be one of the great strengths of this unique and remarkable book, which will give the reader a lot of knowledge that he or she can apply immediately in everyday practice.
- Robert J. Bogers, ISHS Council Member, The Netherlands
Garden Practices and Their Science (Routledge) guides gardeners in the practical arts of plant husbandry and in their understanding of its underpinning principles. The author, Professor Dixon, is an acknowledged and internationally respected horticulturist and microbiologist. The structure of this book describes practical skills integrated with the corresponding biological reactions of plants. Emphasis is placed on gardeners’development of healthy soils.
- Matthew Apple, Horticulture Week
Interesting and a valuable view of how science and practice work together.
-Brian Humphrey, previously Director of Production, Notcutt’s Nurseries and author of The Benchgrafter’s Handbook
A highly engaging practical tone is taken toward the current fashion of growing fruit and vegetable crops organically or naturally.
-Chris Bird, Lecturer in Horticulture, Sparsholt College, Hampshire, The Plantsman, The Royal Horticultural Society, London.
For anyone wanting to understand the science that underpins horticulture and gardening, then this soft back is a good place to start.
-Ian Hodgson, Garden News, Bauer Consumer Media, Great Magazines
The book sets out to inform and educate in a practical way, which it most certainly does and the reader is invited to test their understanding of each aspect by engaging with a list of questions at the end of each chapter. In answering these questions, one gets the sense of forming building blocks, and consolidating a foundation from which to move on to another aspect.
-Tony Girard, Chemistry & Industry, Society for Chemical Industry
Printed in a practical, compact size this publication takes a new look at an area of quite familiar territory for introductory study or background information.
-Chris Bird, The Plant Review, Royal Horticultural Society
"An easy read, which one can dip in and out of, Garden Practices and Their Science is also a very good reference book. Just about every fundamental aspect of plant science is visited, from the biology of plants, through growing a variety of crops and plants, to understanding soil sciences. In addition, the author discusses the tools requred in the garden and how to use them safely...This book is a welcome addition to my library, and I am sur eanyone with an interest in gardening will want to have it to hand."
-Anthony Girard, Horticulturalist
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.