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Keith Reid is a soil scientist who works assessing and advising growers about soil issues.
Before you order that load of topsoil or begin stockpiling compost, I recommend reading (this) excellent book by Keith Reid, a soil scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada with over 30 years' experience.... In it, the author explains all aspects of soil and how it works. He begins by relating what's going on beneath our feet as each seasonal cycle passes, how heat, cold and moisture affect the microscopic life in the soil. He shows how to identify the kind of soil in your garden, explains how it feeds plants, and describes the structure and texture of soil. There's much, much more, including a bit on soil chemistry, too, but don't let scientific references deter you. The author's stated goal is to demystify soil and offer practical methods that will allow you to grow a better garden. It's a fascinating read and I'd consider it essential reading for the serious gardener. It should convince anyone that the answer really does lie in the soil.--David Hobson"Guelph Mercury--Waterloo Region Record" (03/29/2014) Improving Your Soil delves deeply into the intriguing mysteries of the foundation, and soul, of the garden. For such a detailed and technical book, (it) is remarkably inspiring as it explains how soil works to maintain healthy plant life... (Includes) an extensive roster of tips on assessing soil, along with realistic steps for improvement.--Helen Chesnut"Victoria Times-Colonist" (05/01/2014) This book is so comprehensive, it would make an excellent textbook for an entry level college course on soils... Improving Your Soil will not only give you a better understanding of soil in general and how it works, but also will help you make more informed choices to improve and manage its performance in your own garden.--Jeff Lowenfels"American Gardener" (08/01/2014) This book is great source of information that is easily understood and applied in the home garden.... Whether we realize it or not, identifying your specific type of soil, the importance of the content of the soil, and how it functions are all crucial to any home gardener or landscaper. Not understanding the soil that you are working with could become a growing challenge.... Soil health translates into healthier plants and a happier homeowner....This was a terrific book and I would highly recommend it to the homeowner who wants to build a strong, healthy foundation of soil to grow in.--Teresa Speight"Washington Gardener" (04/01/2015) Improving Your Soil features a reader-friendly discussion, organization and format -- feats indeed, considering the wealth of scientific information included in this book. I don't think the topic of soil can be covered better than Keith Reid has managed here.--William Scheick"Seeds" (05/07/2014)