Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Soil Science and Management, 6th Edition

  • Edward Plaster
  • ISBN-10: 0840024320
  • ISBN-13: 9780840024329
  • 544 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2003, 1997
  • COPYRIGHT: 2014 Published
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About the Product

Introduce a practical understanding of soil properties and the soil management techniques most important for the effective use of soils with SOIL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT, 6E. This non-technical, reader-friendly book details all aspects of effective soil usage, including management techniques, composition, fertility, erosion, conservation,and irrigation. These topics are integrated into a practical guide to help readers better understand and manage soil as a natural resource. This edition highlights horticultural uses of soil as well as the latest green methodologies in both agricultural and horticultural practice. New content reflects the most recent science and environmental issues related to soil use, conservation, and sustainability. Updates related to nutrient management and best practices, legal issues, and government programs are also included. A complete support package for class preparation, testing and review includes a new CourseMate website that extends learning with interactive resources to further students' understanding and skills.


  • THOROUGH COVERAGE EMPHASIZES PRACTICAL SKILLS. A reader-friendly approach ensures students develop the hands-on skills as well as complete understanding needed for effective soil management.

  • FULL-COLOR, VIVID PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS CLARIFY CONCEPTS. Dozens of new and updated images further exemplify and bring the book's concepts to life.

  • ROBUST APPENDICES PROVIDE AT-A-GLANCE RESOURCES. Useful appendices discuss basic science, offer a complete description of soil orders in the US, and discuss land evaluation, among other topics.

  • PEDAGOGICAL ELEMENTS ENHANCE STUDENT COMPREHENSION OF MATERIALS. Chapters begin with Terms to Know and learning objectives. A summary, review questions, and enrichment activities offer a recap of the content discussed in each chapter.


"I have had many soil textbooks cross by desk over the years. The Plaster text continues to be my favorite. It is user friendly, marrying theory and practical knowledge into one text. It is one that both students and professionals can turn to again and again as a great soils resource."
— Heather Wiggins, M.S. Crop Sciences, Faculty & Advisor

About the Author

Edward Plaster

Edward Plaster has taught horticulture and soil science for more than 30 years. He belongs to the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) and the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). A former ASHS Certified Professional Horticulturist, Professor Plaster remains active in several national and local trade organizations, certification and accreditation programs, including the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Professor Emeritus from Dakota County Technical College, Mr. Plaster continues to make professional presentations about soils to various organizations.

Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Soil.
2. Soil Origin and Development.
3. Soil Classification and Survey.
4. Physical Properties of Soil.
5. Life in the Soil.
6. Organic Matter.
7. Soil Water.
8. Water Conservation.
9. Drainage and Irrigation.
10. Soil Fertility.
11. Soil pH and Salinity.
12. Plant Nutrition.
13. Soil Sampling and Testing.
14. Fertilizers.
15. Organic Amendments.
16. Tillage and Cropping Systems.
17. Horticultural Uses of Soil.
18. Soil Conservation.
19. Urban Soil.
20. Government Agencies and Programs.
1. Some Basic Chemistry.
2. Soil Orders of the United States.
3. Soil Horizon Symbol Suffixes.
4. Land Evaluation.
5. Preferred Soil Characteristics for Selected Trees.

New to this edition

  • NEW COVERAGE HIGHLIGHTS HORTICULTURAL USES OF SOILS. This edition places a greater emphasis on horticultural uses of soils, particularly those used in landscape horticulture. The book further emphasizes urban horticulture with detailed discussion on the biological, physical and chemical aspects of soils.
  • NEW CONTENT FOCUSES ON GREEN METHODOLOGIES IN BOTH AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURAL PRACTICE. Students are introduced to LEED building certification, and its relevance to soil use in construction. This edition also presents expanded content about soil in natural ecosystems and the relationship of soil to climate change. Students study organic and sustainable practices with added analysis on landscaping and on water conservation use.
  • ADDITIONAL COVERAGE AND UPDATES EXPLORE NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN GLOBAL WARMING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE. This edition prepares students to better understand soil use in today's changing environment. New topics cover environmental sustainability while additional content focuses on today's soil food web, landscape drainage and irrigation, and nutrients in various soil types.
  • THE LATEST DATA ON SOIL AND WATER USE IN THE U.S.ENSURES STUDENTS ARE LEARNING WITH THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION. This edition also presents new content related to the soil conservation titles and programs included in the latest farm bill.
  • NEW COURSEMATE INTERACTIVE WEBSITE AND COMPLETE SUPPLEMENTAL SUPPORT PROVIDE VALUABLE RESOURCES. Readers find critical, interactive learning aids to further their understanding of soil science and management with this edition's new interactive CourseMate website. CourseMate provides a full, interactive eBook, student review materials and Engagement Tracker to ensure student engagement.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Resource  (ISBN-10: 0840024363 | ISBN-13: 9780840024367)

The Instructor Resources commonly includes PowerPoint presentations for each core textbook chapter, computerized test bank, Instructor's Manual, and other text-specific resources.

Lab Manual  (ISBN-10: 0840024347 | ISBN-13: 9780840024343)

The Laboratory Manual is a valuable tool designed to enhance your lab experience. Lab activities, objectives, materials lists, step-by-step procedures, illustrations, and review questions are commonly found in a Lab Manual.

CourseMate Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 0840024428 | ISBN-13: 9780840024428)

Engaging, trackable, and affordable, the new CourseMate website offers a variety of interactive teaching and learning tools. Assess student engagement in your course using CourseMate's new Engagement Tracker. Evaluate student preparation and engagement for the entire class or individual students. Identify students at risk early and uncover which concepts are most difficult. CourseMate also offers interactive quizzes, flashcards, videos, and an interactive eBook to address students' varied learning styles and help them review for tests and prepare for class.

Student Supplements

Lab Manual  (ISBN-10: 0840024347 | ISBN-13: 9780840024343)

The Laboratory Manual is a valuable tool designed to enhance your lab experience. Lab activities, objectives, materials lists, step-by-step procedures, illustrations, and review questions are commonly found in a Lab Manual.

CourseMate Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 0840024428 | ISBN-13: 9780840024428)

Make the grade with CourseMate! This interactive website helps you make the most of your study time by providing everything you need to succeed online in one convenient place. CourseMate provides an interactive eBook that allows you to take notes; highlight, bookmark, and search the text; and reference in-context glossary definitions. Numerous interactive learning tools, such as quizzes, flashcards, videos, and more help you master today's soil science and soil management concepts.

LMS Integrated for CourseMate, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305084489 | ISBN-13: 9781305084483)