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Gardening Techniques

Compost Science for Gardeners

Simple Methods for Nutrient-Rich Soil

by (author) Robert Pavlis

New Society Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2023
Techniques, Sustainable Living, Horticulture, Microbiology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2023
    List Price

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Create your own compost and grow better plants.

With breathtaking clarity, Compost Science for Gardeners demystifies composting practices and helps readers determine the best technique for their unique situation. This comprehensive science-based book is your key to building healthier soil and growing better plants.

Using plain language and easy-to-follow instructions, this essential resource distills and blends the latest scientific research with the author's many decades of knowledge and experience into manageable form, debunking a host of common gardening myths along the way. Learn about:

  • The role of composting in the ecological cycle
  • Compostable materials to incorporate and those to avoid
  • Browns and greens vs the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio
  • The full range of composting methods, including cold and hot composting; composting in piles, bins, and tumblers; and pit and trench composting
  • Keyhole gardening, food digesters, vermicomposting, bokashi, eco-enzyme fermentation, and more
  • The relative merits and impact on the environment of each composting technique
  • Using finished compost to improve soil health

Anyone can compost. Whether you are a balcony or backyard gardener, market gardener, small-scale farmer, or homesteader, or even if you are simply looking for a way to keep organic matter out of the landfill, this book will show you how to do it simply, safely, and sensibly.

About the author

Robert Pavlis, a Master Gardener with 40 years of gardening experience, is owner and developer of Aspen Grove Gardens, a six-acre botanical garden featuring over 2,500 varieties of plants. A popular and well-respected speaker and teacher, Robert has published articles in Mother Earth News, Ontario Gardening magazine, a monthly Plant of the Month column for the Ontario Rock Garden Society website, and local newspapers.


Robert Pavlis' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Do you want to know anything about compost or composting? And I do mean “anything!” Robert Pavlis’s book “Compost Science for Gardeners” covers it all, including of course, leading you through the nitty gritty, hands-on making of compost, various kinds of bins, and best uses of compost. Also, some specialized composts, such as bokashi and vermicompost, and more."
Lee Reich, PhD. author of The Ever Curious Gardener and Growing Figs in Cold Climates Come visit my farmden at

"Myth buster Robert Pavlis has done it again -- written an essential resource on the science (and art) of composting. This will be a great addition to your gardening bookshelf."
Rebecca Martin, technical editor for Mother Earth News

"Robert Pavlis does what he does best: uses down to earth science to teach, this time to make great compost. This should be your go to manual for great soil!"
Jeff Lowenfels, author of DIY Autoflowering Cannabis, and the Teaming series books on organic growing.

Other titles by Robert Pavlis