Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Gardening Techniques

Microbe Science for Gardeners

Secrets to Better Plant Health

by (author) Robert Pavlis

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

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Your garden's little helpers – the role of microbes in growing great plants

Microscopic organisms are as important to plant growth as water and light. Microbe Science for Gardeners highlights the essential role of microbes in plant biosystems and soil health, provides practical how-to gardening advice for enhancing plant microbiomes, and debunks common gardening myths.

This accessible guide goes beyond soil biology to examine the crucial role of microorganisms in cultivating a productive garden. Coverage includes:

  • The vital interrelationships in microbe populations and between microbes and plants
  • Understanding microbes such as bacteria, yeast, mycorrhizal fungi, and protozoa, both in the rhizosphere and above ground
  • Scientific breakthroughs about microbes that live in the leaves and roots of plants, forming symbiotic relationships
  • How practices such as tilling, crop rotation, and mulching affect the microbe community
  • How the savvy gardener can influence microbial colonies to encourage beneficial organisms while discouraging those that cause disease or other undesirable effects
  • An objective, common-sense analysis of recently popularized practices such as controlling fungal-to-bacterial ratios and applying biostimulants, compost tea, or plant probiotics
  • Prevention and cures for dozens of bacterial, viral, and fungal plant diseases.

Whether you're a home gardener, market gardener, or micro-farmer, Microbe Science for Gardeners will help you leverage the incredible power of the mighty microbe to grow healthy, strong, thriving plants.

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

"Robert Pavlis' newest book, Microbe Science for Gardeners beautifully breaks it down in his usual no-nonsense way. If you want to learn anything about the science of soil, and what's in it, this book will help you easily understand the vital role microbes play in bringing soil (and everything growing in it) to life!"
Joe Lamp'l, founder,, The Online Gardening Academy™, creator/ executive producer, Growing a Greener World®

"Robert Pavlis' Microbe Science for Gardeners is an accessible and understandable dive into the amazing relationship between microbes and plants. Useful and practical gardening advice."
Jeff Lowenfels, author, the Teaming Series and DIY Autoflowering Cannabis

"Microbe Science for Gardeners is deeply in-tune with the current science and Pavlis also introduces us to lesser-known and developing ideas in soil microbiology that we will see grow over the next few years. No matter your understanding of soil biology, I suspect Microbe Science for Gardeners will leave you deeply enriched, as it has me. From backyard to farm-scale, this is a book every grower should possess."
Jesse Frost, author, The Living Soil Handbook: The No-till Grower's Guide to Ecological Market Gardening

"This fascinating book by Robert Pavlis presents the latest science on what is known (and not known) about the multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that fill the soil, cover leaves, and interact with roots. This is an outstanding resource and should be in the hands of anyone interested in gardening!"
Linda Gilkeson, author, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest "A must-have for gardeners who want to understand the unseen worlds above and below the soil, Robert Pavlis' latest book explains the hidden life keeping our plants thriving."
Rebecca Martin, technical editor, Mother Earth News

"Robert Pavlis has a unique ability to communicate complex topics with ease and clarity. He has done it again with Microbe Science for Gardeners. This comprehensive exploration of soil ecology examines the dynamic relationships between plants and the microbiome of the soil, providing the reader with a guide to understanding the role of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes in the creation and maintenance of healthy soil."
Darrell Frey, owner, Three Sisters Farm, and author, Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm

Other titles by Robert Pavlis