Recommended Reading List

The Nature and Properties of Soil

This is a great resource for understanding soil, it covers physical, chemical and biological properties and offers practical insights for gardeners and growers. It helps optimise soil health, leading to higher yields, robust plant growth and disease resistance. By learning how to manage soil properties effectively you can create a more sustainable and productive garden, ensuring long term soil fertility and plant health. The book also includes global case studies and practical examples, making the science of soil accessible and actionable.

Essential Soil Science

This practical guide delves into the fundamental principles of soil science, crucial for gardeners and growers aiming to enhance soil health. It covers soil formation, classification, and properties, offering insights into how soils support plant growth and how to manage them for optimal productivity. Understanding these basics helps in making informed decisions about soil amendments, irrigation, and crop rotation, leading to healthier plants and sustainable gardening practices.

Micronutrient Deficiency in Soils and Plants

This book explores the critical role of micronutrients in soil and plant health. It provides detailed guidance on diagnosing and correcting micronutrient deficiencies, which are essential for preventing poor crop yields and ensuring high-quality produce. By understanding how to manage micronutrients effectively, growers can improve plant resilience and productivity, ultimately leading to healthier and more abundant harvests.

Processes in Microbial Ecology

Focused on the ecological roles of microorganisms, this book explains how microbial processes drive nutrient cycling and organic matter decomposition in soils. It highlights the importance of a balanced soil microbiome for maintaining soil health and fertility. By understanding these microbial interactions, gardeners can promote a thriving soil ecosystem that supports robust plant growth and sustainable agricultural practices.

Modern Soil Biology

This book covers recent advancements in soil biology, emphasizing the interactions between soil organisms and their environment. It discusses how these interactions influence soil structure, fertility, and plant health. The book provides practical strategies for fostering beneficial soil organisms, enhancing soil health, and promoting sustainable gardening practices.

Brock Biology of Microorganisms

A comprehensive reference on microbial life, this book details the biology of microorganisms and their ecological roles, particularly in soil ecosystems. It covers microbial metabolism, genetics, and interactions with plants, providing a scientific foundation for understanding how microorganisms contribute to soil fertility and plant health. This knowledge is crucial for implementing practices that support a healthy soil microbiome.

Soil Microorganisms and Higher Plants

Examining the symbiotic relationships between soil microorganisms and plants, this book highlights how these interactions enhance nutrient uptake, disease resistance, and overall plant health. It provides practical advice on managing soil conditions to support beneficial microbial communities, leading to healthier and more productive plants.

The World of the Soil

This book provides an overview of soil ecosystems, detailing the physical and biological properties of soils and how they support plant life. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining healthy soils for sustainable agriculture and offers practical tips for improving soil structure and fertility. Understanding these concepts helps gardeners create optimal growing conditions for their plants.

For the Love of Soil

Advocating for regenerative agriculture practices, this book emphasizes the importance of building soil organic matter and fostering a vibrant soil ecosystem. It provides practical strategies for restoring degraded soils and promoting long-term soil health, ultimately leading to more resilient and productive agricultural systems.

Dirt - The Erosion of Civilisations

This book explores the historical impact of soil erosion on civilizations, highlighting the need for sustainable soil management to prevent degradation. It discusses how past societies have succeeded or failed based on their soil management practices, offering lessons for modern gardeners and farmers on the importance of protecting and restoring soil health.


The Hidden Half of Nature

Delving into the unseen microbial world in soil, this book explains how microbes influence plant health and ecosystem function. It advocates for practices that support microbial life, such as adding organic matter and reducing chemical inputs, to enhance soil and plant vitality. Understanding the role of microbes in soil health helps gardeners create more sustainable and productive gardens.

Growing a Revolution

This book discusses agricultural practices that rebuild soil health, improve crop yields, and restore ecosystem functions. It promotes a sustainable approach to farming that focuses on enhancing soil fertility through practices like cover cropping, reduced tillage, and organic amendments. These methods help create resilient agricultural systems that can sustain high productivity over the long term.

What Your Food Ate

Exploring the connection between soil health and human health, this book highlights how farming practices influence the nutritional quality of food. It argues that healthy soils produce healthier plants, which in turn lead to more nutritious food for humans. The book advocates for agricultural practices that maintain and improve soil health to ensure the production of nutrient-rich crops.


Cycles of Soil

Detailing the biogeochemical cycles in soil, this book explains how nutrients are cycled through the soil-plant system and the importance of maintaining these cycles for soil fertility. It provides insights into how different soil management practices can impact nutrient availability and soil health, helping gardeners optimize their practices for sustainable plant growth.

Quality Agriculture

Focusing on practices that improve soil quality, this book provides practical guidance for enhancing crop production and promoting environmental sustainability. It covers topics such as soil fertility, organic amendments, and sustainable farming techniques, offering strategies for creating healthy soils that support high-yielding and resilient crops.

Soil Conditions and Plant Growth

A comprehensive guide on how soil conditions affect plant growth, this book offers strategies for managing soil to optimize plant health and productivity. It covers soil physical properties, water management, and nutrient availability, providing practical advice for gardeners and growers looking to improve their soil and achieve better plant growth.

The Geology of England and Wales

This book covers the geological history and features of England and Wales, explaining how geology influences soil properties and agricultural potential. Understanding the geological context of soils helps gardeners and farmers make informed decisions about soil management and crop selection based on the underlying geological conditions.

Teaming with Microbes

Introducing the concept of the soil food web, this book explains its importance in maintaining soil health. It provides practical advice for fostering beneficial soil microorganisms, such as adding compost and reducing chemical inputs. By understanding and supporting the soil food web, gardeners can create healthier, more productive soils.

Teaming with Fungi

Focusing on the role of mycorrhizal fungi in soil health, this book explains how these fungi enhance nutrient uptake and plant resilience. It provides practical tips for encouraging mycorrhizal associations in the garden, such as using specific soil amendments and planting compatible plants, leading to healthier and more robust plants.


Teaming with Nutrients

This book explains how plants absorb and utilize nutrients from the soil, offering strategies for optimizing nutrient availability through organic practices. It covers topics such as nutrient cycling, soil testing, and the use of organic fertilizers, helping gardeners ensure their plants receive the nutrients they need for healthy growth.

Teaming with Bacteria

Detailing the beneficial roles of soil bacteria in nutrient cycling and plant health, this book provides practical tips for encouraging a healthy bacterial community in soil. It discusses how to support beneficial bacteria through organic amendments and proper soil management practices, leading to healthier soils and more productive plants.

The Intelligent Gardener

Guiding gardeners on how to use soil testing and organic amendments to create optimal soil conditions for plant growth, this book offers practical advice for improving soil fertility and structure. It emphasizes the importance of understanding soil test results and tailoring soil amendments to meet the specific needs of the soil and plants.

Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils

A practical manual for soil scientists and enthusiasts, this book provides detailed instructions on how to accurately describe and sample soils in the field. It covers soil classification, profile description, and sampling techniques, offering essential guidance for anyone conducting soil research or assessments.

Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life

Exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying soil and plant interactions, this book provides a scientific basis for understanding soil biology. It discusses the physical and chemical properties of cells and gels, and how these properties influence the behavior of soil and plant systems, offering insights for improving soil management practices.

The 4th Phase of Water

This book discusses the unique properties of water in soil and its role in supporting soil structure and plant health. It explores how water interacts with soil particles and organic matter, influencing soil moisture retention and nutrient availability. Understanding these properties helps gardeners manage irrigation and soil health more effectively.

Mycorrhizal Planet

Emphasizing the critical role of mycorrhizal fungi in soil ecosystems, this book advocates for practices that support these beneficial fungi. It provides practical advice on enhancing mycorrhizal associations through soil management and plant selection, leading to improved soil health and plant growth.

Fungi of Temperate Europe

A comprehensive guide to the fungi found in temperate Europe, this book details their ecological roles and importance in soil health. It includes identification keys, ecological information, and practical tips for promoting beneficial fungi in gardens and natural landscapes.

Entangled Life

Exploring the fascinating world of fungi and their interconnectedness with all life forms, this book highlights their essential roles in soil ecosystems. It discusses how fungi interact with plants and other organisms, influencing soil health and ecosystem function, and offers insights for fostering a healthy fungal community in soil.


Advocating for rewilding practices, this book emphasizes the restoration of natural ecosystems, including soil health, to promote biodiversity and ecological balance. It provides practical strategies for rewilding landscapes, enhancing soil fertility, and supporting a diverse range of plant and animal life.

Honor Thy Symbionts

Examining the symbiotic relationships between soil organisms and plants, this book emphasizes the importance of these interactions for soil fertility and plant health. It provides practical advice on managing soil to support beneficial symbiotic relationships, leading to healthier and more productive gardens.

Soil and Manures

This book provides practical advice on the use of manures and organic amendments to improve soil fertility and structure. It discusses the benefits of different types of manures, application methods, and their impact on soil health, offering guidance for enhancing soil productivity through organic amendments.

Tuning in to Nature

Focusing on biodynamic farming practices, this book discusses how aligning agricultural practices with natural rhythms can enhance soil health and plant vitality. It provides practical tips for implementing biodynamic techniques, such as composting, crop rotation, and lunar planting cycles, leading to healthier soils and plants.

Nutrient Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems

This book explains the processes of nutrient cycling within terrestrial ecosystems and highlights their importance for maintaining soil fertility. It delves into the interactions between plants, soil, and microorganisms that facilitate the movement of nutrients, essential for healthy soil and productive ecosystems. By understanding these cycles, gardeners can adopt practices that enhance nutrient availability and support sustainable soil management.

Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry

A comprehensive reference, this book details the roles of soil microorganisms and their biochemical activities. It explains how microbial processes contribute to soil health and fertility, offering insights into managing soil biota to promote plant growth. Practical strategies for fostering beneficial microorganisms are provided, crucial for maintaining a balanced soil ecosystem.

Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease

This book discusses the relationship between mineral nutrition and plant disease resistance. It provides strategies for managing soil nutrients to prevent and control plant diseases, highlighting the importance of balanced nutrition for maintaining healthy crops. Understanding these interactions helps gardeners improve plant resilience and productivity through effective nutrient management.

Mineral Nutrition of Plants

Covering the essential mineral nutrients required by plants, this book explains how these nutrients can be managed in soil to optimize plant health. It provides detailed information on the roles of various minerals and offers practical advice on soil testing and fertilization techniques. This knowledge is vital for ensuring plants receive the nutrients they need for robust growth.

The Ideal Soil

This guide provides practical guidelines for creating and maintaining ideal soil conditions for plant growth. It covers topics such as soil texture, structure, organic matter, and nutrient management, offering strategies for improving soil health through organic and sustainable practices. By following these guidelines, gardeners can create fertile, well-balanced soils that support healthy and productive plants.



Exploring the Gaia hypothesis, this book posits that Earth’s biological and physical components interact to maintain conditions suitable for life. It emphasizes the role of soil in this system, highlighting how soil health contributes to the stability and resilience of ecosystems. Understanding these interactions helps gardeners appreciate the broader environmental impact of their soil management practices.

10% Human

Discussing the importance of the human microbiome and its connections to soil microbiomes, this book highlights the interdependence of human and environmental health. It underscores how healthy soil microbiomes contribute to overall human health, advocating for practices that support microbial diversity in both soil and the human body.

Missing Microbes

Exploring the consequences of microbial imbalance in humans and the environment, this book emphasizes the need to support microbial diversity for health and ecological stability. It advocates for reducing the use of antibiotics and chemicals that harm beneficial microbes, promoting practices that enhance microbial health in soils and beyond.

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