Achieving the manipulation of plant life is described in eight full-colour, well-illustrated chapters covering the growing of potatoes, bulb onions, legumes, small-seeded vegetables, soft fruit, bulbs and herbaceous ornamentals in great detail. Environmental factors controlling the successful husbandry of these crops is described in simple, non-technical language, increasing gardeners’ enjoyment and competence. Gardeners are also informed of the tools and equipment they require and their safe use. Also provided are a series of simple, straightforward tests identifying the aerial and soil environments beneficial for plant growth using readily accessible domestic tools. Discussions of very straightforward techniques for vegetative propagation conclude this book. Each chapter ends with a list of the gardening knowledge that has been gained by readers. The structure of this book fulfils a longstanding need for descriptions of practical skills integrated with the corresponding biological reactions of plants. Emphasis is placed on gardeners’ development of healthy soils, which encourage vigorous, active root systems capable of withstanding stresses—an aspect of gardening that rarely receives sufficient attention.