Announcing a new book...

Building Soils Naturally

"Innovative Methods For Organic Gardeners"

My new book Building Soils Naturally is now published by Acres U.S.A.!

Sign up for the free online course to the right in order to get some free lessons from it.

Gardening Book: Building Soils Naturally

Here's who the book is for. My goal is to help you create health and abundance in your organic garden.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started, you're likely to run into some frustrating issues, such as:

Press Photos (Click)

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  • Food plants that don’t produce the taste/yields you’d hoped for
  • Ornamental plants that fail to thrive as abundantly as they should
  • Plant predators that chew your plants to the ground

All of these problems point to plants that aren’t at an optimum level of health.

They may be lacking in proper nutrition, missing beneficial microorganism companions, or short of the energy they need to reach their full nutrient-dense potential.

The advice most often given by those in the know is "start with the soil," and that's good advice.

But what specific steps should you take to really improve the soil to optimum health?

That's where the book comes in.

Building Soils Naturally shows you how to create productive, living soil using a simple, practical, hands-on plan that includes:

  • Using compost and microbial inoculants to balance the soil food web, because these organisms nourish and protect plants
  • Controlling plant predators and weeds forever, without chemicals, by focusing on the root cause of the problem
  • Soil testing and full-spectrum organic fertilizing, because balancing soil nutrients is crucial for healthy plants

My goal with the book was to outline proven, sustainable methods for growing healthy food and plants that contribute to a healthy planet and a healthy you.

You can grow vigorous, more pest-resistant vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants by using a complete and balanced strategy – far beyond the simplistic, imbalanced concept of NPK.

The information is practical, starting with some basics and getting more advanced on some issues.

It's mostly very hands-on, letting you know what to do, and when and how to do it. You're going to get specific recipes that don't require spending a lot of money.

I list fertilizers and other products (including costs) you can buy to greatly improve the health of the garden, but also focus on gardening without as many external inputs.

The biggest section of the book details the 6 simple, proven steps to take your organic garden to the next level.

To quickly summarize, the main things you'll discover in this book are:

  • How to make incredible, living soil that produces healthy food and plants
  • Proven techniques for how to grow optimally healthy food to create health in you
  • Keeping things simple and practical, while still learning some science
  • How to garden with sustainable practices, in harmony with nature
  • A lot of instructions on how to use organic fertilizers and inoculants
  • How to control pests without chemicals
  • A hands-on plan for doing these things, so there's no guesswork
  • How to do it all without spending too much money

Free Bonus

People who buy the book will get access to over 4.5 hours of audio of me going over the general concepts in the book - some people learn better by listening, and it’s also something you can do while you’re commuting, exercising or gardening. :)

Book available at: Acres U.S.A. | |

Thanks for reading. I really hope you enjoy the book,

P.S. Do you have any questions about the book that I didn't answer here? Feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to answer. Or if you've read it and have feedback for me, I'd love to hear it (I already know a few things I want to add in the next book update).


Paperback: 303 pages
Publisher: Acres USA; 1st edition (July 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601730330
ISBN-13: 978-1601730336

Note From A Reader

"...also want to say how much I’m loving your new book. {{Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!}} You have joined Elliot Coleman, Heidi Hermary, Tobi Hemenway, Steve Solomon, David Holmgren, Rudolf Steiner and Elaine Ingham as one of garden/grower gurus. That your focus is on growing healthy food (the pretties are great but there to support food plant growing) resonates totally with my own perspective and values. Really like the tips on improving nutrient content. Your information (such as about beneficial micro-organisms) is cutting edge, which I really appreciate, as such info is often scattered or difficult to track down. Sometimes what you say is such clear common sense (like your pruning advice), my mind just stutters in amazement. Your writing is tight, well organized and clear. Love your positive spin. I feel happy - uplifted and energized after I finish an article or chapter, ready to jump into my boots and grab my trowel. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Phil. We are fortunate.
Janet, Peace River, Alberta


Six Steps to Creating Healthy Soil

  1. Water
  2. Organic Matter
  3. Compost
  4. Making Compost
  5. Indoor Composting
  6. Cover Crops
  7. Microbial Inoculants
  8. Compost Tea
  9. Effective Microorganisms
  10. Supllementing Nutrients
  11. Calcium and Phosphorus
  12. Other Major Nutrients
  13. Synthetic Products
  14. Biostimulants and Micronutrients
  15. Energy

The Soil and Its Inhabitants

  1. Plants
  2. The Soil Dwellers
  3. All About Soil
  4. Soil And Plant Testing
  5. Soil Nutrient Testing

Garden Action Strategies

  1. Plant Predators and Weeds
  2. Weeds: A Primer
  3. Amending Soil
  4. Garden Health Management Plan

Available at: Acres U.S.A. | |

About Me

Phil Nauta
Phil Nauta

I grew up working for my parents in their garden center and 9-hole, par-3 golf course.

In 2005, I completed a certificate in Organic Landscape Management from Gaia College and later taught classes there.

Since then I have done all kinds of related things:

  • Started an organic gardening business
  • Became a Certified Organic Land Care Professional through SOUL
  • Received my Permaculture Design Certificate
  • Completed a Certificate in Sustainable Building and Design from Yestermorrow
  • Started a business selling high quality organic fertilizers called The Organic Gardener's Pantry
  • Taught courses for Gaia College and helped put together their cutting edge online learning environment
  • Spent 3 years on the board of directors of SOUL

Free Ebook Download

Organic Gardening Ebook
"The Holistic Gardening Handbook: Condensed Version"
Discover how to grow nutrient-dense, organic food and control pests without chemicals...
"You have been a source of wisdom, humour, encouragement and influence" Marylin, B.C.

Book Reviews

Here are just a handful of reviews or emails I've received. Thanks to everyone for the support!

"...a refreshing take on explaining soil mechanics to the home gardener. The book is "nutrient dense", meaning there is a lot of information stuffed into this package."
Leslie Halleck, Degreed Professional Horticulturalist, Dallas, Texas

" the reader a complete education in all things soil, from recognizing the effects of poor soil on our plants to helping us improve and care for it responsibly."
Colleen Vanderlinden,

"...has the potential to fundamentally change the way you look at your garden. I know that in the past two weeks as I’ve been reading the book, I’ve made changes and started brainstorming about things I want to do this season and into the future. I like books that get me thinking, and I firmly believe that improving the health of our soils will improve the health of our plants, and in turn improve our health."
Laurie Neverman,

"My favorite section was on how to increase your garden’s soil microbe web by adding a number of preparations... Building Soils Naturally will be especially helpful to those transitioning to organic gardening for the first time or who have garden or lawn soil which has been decimated by years of neglect or chemical abuse."
Todd Heft,

"There are many interesting ideas about how to improve soil health in Building Soils Naturally. This book has more new ideas than anything I’ve read in a long time."
Bill Brikiatis,

"I have probably 30 or 40 books on organic, biodynamic farming/gardening, and even two books on biologic, but I learned as much from your stuff as from any of them."Scott Lefoll, organic farmer

"I highly recommend the book to anyone who’s serious about growing healthy food and promoting a healthy earth in the process. Phil’s writing style is simple and direct. (Note, I did not say simplistic.) He is able to paint with a broad brush and give the big picture, while also supplying the necessary detail for implementation."
Cassandra, Boerne, Texas

"The wealth of information and knowledge squeezed between the covers is invaluable! When my husband, who is a man of few words, first saw it on our kitchen counter he exclaimed,"I like that! Is it for my birthday?" His birthday is in August. And he is the avid gardener at our house."

" extensive (and scientific!) look at the importance of soil sustainability in organic gardening... keeping it simple (and practical) in a way Bill Nye would approve of."
Jessi Stafford,

"Get ready to have your gardening gloves knocked off! Phil is the real deal when it comes to growing incredible gardens, especially the edible type. Thanks for showing us the way, Phil! Who knew vegetables, when grown properly, can taste like candy?"

"I'm into chapter 3 and just want to keep reading and not put the book down until I'm done. If this is your first book I can't wait until the next one comes out."

"I LOVE the book! The book is a wealth of information about growing healthy food from healthy soil. A tremendous job! Well done. Even though I have only skimmed the book I can see it will be one of my main sources of information."

"Hi Phil, love your book so far, seems to be chock full of invaluable info!"

"I am very pleased with your book. I have been getting good results with aerated compost tea and EM."
Ernest J. Ratnayake, Sri Lanka

"Phil is a genious at distilling the best practices and explaining them clearly."

"He knows his stuff and he makes me feel more ready to take on organic gardening without the use of chemicals or other harmful products. I have already had a lot of aha moments that have been helpful and can't wait to continue reading!"

"Phil Nauta has done a terrific job of compiling some of the most cutting edge research on organic growing and presenting it in a conversational style that empowers each reader to determine what will work best in his or her own garden."

"This book has so much useful information that, by the time I reached the fifth chapter, I was highlighting so much of the content that the very purpose of highlighting became useless, so I stopped doing so. This is a truly valuable reference for anyone wishing to grow anything; from the casual weekend gardener to the dedicated organic farmer."

"I just finished reading (studying, underlining, making notes, etc.) your new book. I have read other gardening books in the past few months. I have to say that none of these other books even come close to compare to the clear, concise information that is contained in your book. I view your book and the academy as a treasure amidst a lot of information out there that is either incomplete or downright wrong."
David, Lenoir, NC