Mike McGrath's Book of Compost

Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost

During his seven years as Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening magazine, Mike McGrath learned quite a bit about the nature and science of composting. And he’s never stopped studying, because he wants to give the best, most up-to-date information to the listeners of his nationally-syndicated Public Radio show, “You Bet Your Garden.” He offers the fruits of his labors in this illustrated guide that reveals why compost is the answer to virtually every garden question. McGrath explains why compost improves soil structure; why it provides the perfect amount of food for every plant; how it fights plant diseases more safely and effectively than any chemical fungicide; and how to make your own. This is a must-have on every gardener’s bookshelf!


  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1st edition (August 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402733984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402733987
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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  1. Well written, and very helpful for someone composting for the first time. I have lots of leaves and horse manure to recycle. I bought a leaf shredder after reading the book in order to accelerate decomposition. I do not include kitchen material although it is recommended due to the abundance of rats and other critters in this area. It was really good to see better results from using my own CHEAP compost rather than the store-bought compost and fertilizers I had been using on the sandy soil surrounding me.

  2. This book is a very accessible guide for gardeners to get information on composting and how to do it. It is neurotically focused on maximizing the amount you can make for your garden, including multiple recommendations to steal copious amounts of leaves from other lawns.

    Its accessibility makes it a quick read but makes it disappointingly thin in other spots. I’m going to have to hit some additional resources to get a more rounded approach to composting that addresses the impacts of composting to reduce household waste, such as paper goods. I’m not convinced that paper towels shouldn’t go in the compost pile.

  3. I used to listen to Mike’s radio show faithfully when I lived in Philly. When I read the chapters, I could hear his down to earth, if a little corny, descriptions and advice on growing stuff in a healthy way.

  4. BUY THIS BOOK. You’ll never regret it, and you’ll read it to tatters. Turn your household garbage into beautiful rich loam. Mr. McGrath tells you what you need to know, in simple but funny language, about composting. This is an excellent gift book, written by someone who knows how to make plain old information fascinating and funny. Although we’ve never met, I sense a kindred soul who understands how to save the planet by intelligently recycling garbage to create a home for flowers and vegetables.

    Composting is an art. This book will tell you how to learn it.

  5. This is an excellent book with very helpful information. We have used the ideas in this book to start composting and our vegetable and flower gardens are amazingly better. I had about given up on growing flowers in one of our difficult beds, but now the flowers are big and healthy.

  6. Adequate information, however too much time is spent trying to be humorous. Wasn’t successful at this either.
    The price of the book suggested more valued information. The info presented was accurate, but should have been expounded
    in certain areas to keep it from being just another basic book.

  7. I was looking for books on compost and I usually check books out from my local library, if I can, before deciding to buy them. “Mr. Mulch” makes learning about compost easy to understand and a little fun too. It’s clear what the dos and don’t are. This book is fairly short and easy to pick up, read, then know what you need to know. Excellent.

  8. I purchased two books on composting for our gardeners’ library. This was a simple and fun basic composting guide, and with the other book purchased from Amazon: The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, the library now has a great compost resource from basic to expert tips and how-tos.

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