Geoff Dixon writes book on the science behind gardening

Horticulture Week columnist Professor Geoff Dixon has written a book aimed at new garden owners, allotment-holders, apprentices and students of basic levels in the RHS's or City & Guilds qualifications, career changers, community gardeners and those needing applied biological knowledge for GCSE examinations.

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 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.

Achieving the manipulation of plant life is described in eight colour illustrated chapters covering the growing of potatoes, bulb onions, legumes, small-seeded vegetables, soft fruit, bulbs and herbaceous ornamentals.

Environmental factors controlling the successful husbandry of these crops is described in non-technical language. Also provided are a series of tests identifying the aerial and soil environments beneficial for plant growth using domestic tools.

Discussions of 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 describes practical skills integrated with the corresponding biological reactions of plants. Emphasis is placed on gardeners’ development of healthy soils.

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