Book: Building Soils Naturally – For Organic Gardeners

My book Building Soils Naturally is published by Acres U.S.A.
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:

  • 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. 🙂

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 at and I’ll be glad to answer.


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


The Soil and Its Inhabitants

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

Steps to Creating Healthy Soil

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

Garden Action Strategies

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

About Me

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
  • Was a Certified Organic Land Care Professional through SOUL for a few years
  • 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