As gardeners know and this resource concurs, "good soil management is critical for crop productivity." This informative article, Soil and Plant Nutrition: A Gardener's Perspective, discusses many soil management techniques that will help readers cultivate great gardens this summer (and beyond). These techniques include tilling soil to increase porosity and water-holding, balancing nutrients from plant and animal matter, and checking soil drainage capacity. The article offers some place-specific commentary pertinent to any readers in Maine, as well as universal insights (such as the major functions, physical makeup, and chemical activity of soil). Readers new to gardening can also benefit, as the article highlights popular soil science terms (italicized throughout) that will increase gardening literacy. University of Maine Extension Professors Lois Berg Stack and Mark Hutchinson originally wrote the post in 2011 and updated its contents in 2016. Both specialize in horticultural fields. The article is part of the University of Maine's Maine Master Gardener Volunteers Manual. Readers who enjoy this piece may want to check out some of the manual's other horticultural topics (cataloged on the left-side panel), including "Composting," "Vegetables," "Food & Nutrition for the Home Gardener."