You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Teaming with Microbes

Mar 24, 2010

I had the benefit of interviewing Jeff Lowenfels for my radio show today. The show will be aired in a few weeks (sat. apri 3, 10am but we talked about the relationship of the microbes with veggie roots and plant roots and how to make the most of the little critters. The chat was able to clarify for me how companion planting probably works, as well as why pH is important for the survival of the microbes which turn chemicals into a useable form for the plants. I will post a link to the full blog post and story, when I have assimulated all the chemistry and microbiology!


Are we talking about microbes like Rhizobia Inoculant or something new. Forgive me but who is "Jeff Lowenfels"?
Joel This is more the microbes that occur naturally in the soil rather than the bean/pea inoculant. I suspect they are along the same lines though. Jeff Lowenfels is the author of a great book, now in its' first revision, about the microbiology in the soil. Teaming with Microbes is the book and it is on lAmazon etc, out of Timber Press. The new editions should be available, but mine is the older one. Great basic reading for any gardener.
Hi Joel how are you doing. I think the book 'Teaming with Microbes' is the one suggested by Mike Delate, when we were discussing Biochar on the old site. I,m getting my son to buy the book for me for my birthday. Hopefully it will put everything into place, and give me an understanding of the relationship between plant roots, microbes/bacteria, soil fungi and the effect of adding additional carbon in the form of charcoal. Glenn
Hi Kate, Which time zone would that be? The book is very well laid out and written in a user friendly manner. I'm re-reading parts. I always make notes (with page numbers) in the back of the book. I can barely wait until my compost thaws and I can make tea. Mike DeLate Tetonia, ID USA
Mike I am right with you on the 'rereading parts' - I scanned it for the interview, then read parts, and now really need to start at the beginning with those little sticky notes along the way! The show is will be aired on Saturday April 3rd (Easter weekend) at 10am. It replays in the afternoon but I am not sure when. The site to go to though is and either listen live (most Saturdays, like tomorrow I do live shows) or go to the archives for the other shows. Tomorrow is a chef with his own garden in the back of the restaurant. It is Earth Day too and he is coming in direct from the market to show what to do with the veg that is available. In my garden that is kale, kale and more kale right now!
I forgot to add that the show is America's Home Grown Veggie Show and we have a Facebook page: americashomegrownveggies
Hi Kate I tried to listen to your interview with Jeff Lowenfels, but was unable to find any sort of iplayer on the americaswebradio website. Is it because i am in the UK and not the US that i am unable to listen to it after the event? Is it posssible for you to post a link direct to the interview? Glenn
Hi Mike Sorry i should have read further down the page before making my comment. How are you keeping. Regards Glenn
Glenn, I am sold on the book, but I will not wait til December(my brithday)to get it. All good books are better on the second read,that is one of the things that makes them good.
Hi Joel. Perhaps, I can help: Mike
Hi Glenn, No Apologies necessary, I am keeping well but getting antsy to grow something outside. Yellowstone doesn't open until the end of May, so I can't dash up and burn off all this excess energy chasing wolves. I left some turnips in the garden last year and the deer discovered them and some kale. I got rid of them with blood meal. Apparently it smells like a fresh kill and they aren't willing to stay around on the chance that a predator might return or is still near. Deer in the garden is not a good thing. I also had one young buck eating from my bird feeders. I nicknamed him "Buckwheat", but I don't think he appreciated me putting chili powder on the bird food because he hasn't been back. Mike

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