Cristina da Silva, Owner of SoilGroundWork.com

Until recently, the soil wasn’t discussed very much in gardening groups, tweet chats or conferences. New plant selections, flowers as well as dealing with pests and diseases took center stage. Ignoring soil/media while gardening is a mistake. If the ground is healthy, plant pests and disease problems go down 80 percent. Vibrant, healthy gardens start with healthy soil.

In 2012, I started a weekly tweet chat, #groundchat, to remedy this oversight. Every Friday we discuss different aspects of the earth and how it relates to gardening. For a niche subject, the result was overwhelming. The chat peaked at 3 million impressions. Gardeners were ready to talk about the ground. Five years later, I’ve started online soil courses and ebooks.

I want to give gardeners the tools and knowledge to improve and maintain their land. I want you to have better soil in your gardens. Better ground means you’ll see fewer pests and diseases, as well as using less water and fertilizer. Paying attention to the land is also good for the environment.

I am fortunate to have a deep well of knowledge and experience to draw on. In one form or another, I’ve been gardening and teaching for the last 30 years. I’ve been an instructor in all things plants, from soil, botany, plant physiology and garden design.

I have a very handy BSc and MSc in horticulture as well as a residential garden design certificate. That covers the science and the art.

I’ve published a couple of scientific papers in the Plant Physiology Journal. I understand the scientific jargon. I’ve also published over 100 garden/gardening magazine articles. And I wrote a gardening column for a major national newspaper for a couple of years. All this practice in writing for gardeners has given me a useful skill. I know to explain scientific jargon, techniques, and theory in everyday accessible language. You don’t need science credentials to comprehend and use my soil and gardening courses. They are suitable for everyone!

Join me in the grand adventure in learning how to build a better garden through healthy soil.