Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener's Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition

Jeff Lowenfels

Language: English

Publisher: Timber Press

Published: May 7, 2013


Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener's perspective. Where Teaming with Microbes used adeptly used microbiology; Teaming with Nutrients employs cellular biology.

Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients involved or how they get into plants. Teaming with Nutrients explains how nutrients move into plants and what  both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients do once inside. It shows organic gardeners how to provide these essentials. To fully understand how plants eat, Lowenfels uses his ability to make science accessible with lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany all gardeners need to understand how nutrients get to the plant and what they do once they're inside the plant.

Teaming with Nutrients will open your eyes to the importance of understanding the role of nutrients in healthy, productive organic gardens and it will show you how these nutrients do their jobs. In short, it will make you a better informed, more successful and more environmentally responsible gardener.



“Colorful illustrations, plentiful and readable diagrams, and a well-executed chapter structure make this an indispensable resource.”

(Tom Karwin Muskogee Phoenix)

“Your awe of plants and the lives they lead will increase if you ‘just read it’ and you’ll never garden the same old way again.”

(Todd Heft Organic Plant Magic Blog)

Teaming with Nutrients is a terrific follow up to Teaming with Microbes by asking and answering the next big question – How do plants absorb nutrients?”

(Maureen Gilmer The Monterey County Herald)

“In this book, Lowenfels offers a deeper understanding of the major and minor plant nutrients and delivers the necessary science in a conversational style that most gardeners will appreciate.”

(Big Blog of Gardening)

'Books like Teaming With Nutrients (and Teaming With Microbes) are like adding better, sharper, more durable tools to your garden shed… Another great book from Lowenfels.'

(The Desert Sun)

“Now Jeff Lowenfels offers everyone else a crash course in discovering soil structure, fertility and microbial actions powerful enough to turn a dry wash into a productive source of clean, slow, organically grown food, without a single bag of potting soil.”

From the Author

Teaming With plants eat and what to feed them. We all learn about cation exchange capacity, CEC, but that always ends up as a discussion of how the soil particle holds nutrients. It never really explains how plants actually take up nutrients, ie how they eat. And, what about these nutrients once they get inside the plant? What happens to them?

This second Teaming book is a trip  that delves into the cellular biology of plants in the same way Teaming With Microbes was a book that starred microbiology. This is, at least to me, a fascinating voyage that requires some chemistry and botany, too, but stars cellular biology. Don't worry, the learning is fun and fascinating and I make it easy. In the end you will know how plants eat and, of course, what to feed them. It is not all biology and botany. Teaming contains the practical advice you need feed your plants properly and organically.

Teaming with Nutrients should change the way you farm and garden, for sure, but hopefully you will never look at plants the same way again. You will appreciate the 18 trillion cells in an apple tree and know how they work. And it all happens with just 17 nutrients!