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Growing Your Grub Podcast
34 minutes | Apr 14, 2014
GYG-105 Incompatible Plants in the Vegetable Garden
"Can't we all just get along?" as the saying goes also applies to many of the vegetables we all know and love to grow in our garden. Now we have all heard abnout planys that get along well, like Marigolds and Tomatoes, but what about those that have "issues" with certain other plants? Thats what we talk about in this episode of Growing Your Grub. Just a few vegetables that have cautionary garden partners are: Asparagus Beans Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Celery Sweet Corn Onions Peas Peppers Potatoes Tomatoes This episode topic was due solely to the comments by one of the podcast listeners. So please, send your request in to email@example.com. For further plant information go here: Burpee List of Incompatible Plants
24 minutes | Mar 22, 2014
GYG-104 Grow Some Fruit in Your Garden
A listener recently asked about growing her own fruit trees right there in her own backyard. I grow my own fruit, and so can you. Here I have Peaches, Nectarines, Mandarin Oranges, and Myer Lemons. And no matter where you are there should be some fruit variety that tastes good, and will grow in your area. Even if you are in a cold winter zone there is a way you can still raise fruit like lemons. I’ll talk about that in a bit. Sunlight First off, most fruit trees require full sun. This generally means at least 6 hours of pure, unbroken sunlight. While many can tolerate a bit less, it may mean your harvest will be reduced somewhat too. Soil Soil requirements do vary from variety to variety. When planting your tree, yopu can customize the soil based on the individual needs if required. That’s what I had to do here because of all the clay. I dug out a hole much larger than needed, and ammended the soil with a custom blend I made up, and removed the soil I took from the hole to another location. Plant varieties will vary from needs of PH, looseness, etc. Ask your tree supplier what the tree you are getting wants to have. Cold-Hardiness Fruit plants vary widely on cold tolerance. Temps below this may kill just new buds affecting only the new season, or it may even kill the entire plant. You can find what the average temps are in your area at http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ The cold hardiness of your plants are one of the most important points to take into consideration. Some varieties even have a warm days requirement, although these are generally plants for very warm areas like paw-paw and pomegranates. Next I want to talk about one of the most confusing aspects to many new growers - self-fruitful and self unfruitful plants. Self fruitful simply means the tree or plant is able to pollinate itself without the help of another tree. Now it still needs the help of pollinators like bees and butterflies, but it doesn’t require the pollen from a different tree. Self-Unfruitful simply means the plant does require pollen from a different tree. And to confuse matters a little more, some varieties won’t cross-pollinate with their own variety, meaning not only two trees are needed, but also a different and many times specific variety. I believe Some Cherries fall into this category. Spacing is another important thing to keep in mind. Your plants will grow, and quickly become crowed if you’re not careful. Again, spacing is highly dependent
28 minutes | Mar 18, 2014
GYG-103 Why Square Foot Gardening?
First off, I want to apologize for the pity party last week. I almost pulled the episode. Its the first episode I really regretted recording after I listened to it. But what an overwhelming response to my request for input on the podcast. I am extremely humbled by what I received. That is an understatement. You are such a great group of friends.....Thank You I received so many nice stories about how my little podcast has affected their lives I can’t believe it. And they cam from as far away as the UK and Australia. I am attempting to reply to each and every one of you but it is taking some time. I decided to keep the podcast and blog going, although it may not have a solid schedule. I will attempt one at least every week, but I can’t promise success. As for the financial side of the podcast we’ll see how it goes. One of my neighbors suggested I share one of my new country crafts with you. Wile technically not gardening related, it is food related. Since moving to the country I have also taken up woodworking as a form of therapy. I have been making a lot of handmade breadboards and chess boards along with some other things like small cabinets for friends and neighbors. I am thinking about offering them here on the website as a way to defray some of the costs. If there is any interest I’ll give the first one away in some sort of a drawing before I put them on sale. What do you think? They are handmade by me, and made of many different hardwoods such as oak, maple, ash, gum, and others. Its been just a hobby but I use several myself. The are nice and thick, not the skinny little boards you see in the stores. I am also putting back some links to books I like on Amazon. If you would use any of these links when you go to Amazon, regardless of what you are shopping for, they send me a few pennies. No extra cost for you, Amazon takes care of everything. And again, thanks for all your feedback. It was just what I needed. Remember: Have you thought about starting a garden journal? Be sure and check out nwedible.com Garden Journal Raised Beds - Why? Warm up earlier Dry out - drains Customize your soil Materials Lumber natural branches brick stone anything that will hold your soil or Just a banked mound even.... Lend very well to drip irrigation. Valve or spigot at each bed, different water needs, etc The ABC's of SFG ( Square Foot Gardening) What is Square Foot Gardening? Mel Bartholomew Raised beds Divided - important Mel
33 minutes | Mar 10, 2014
GYG-102 Seed Starting Racks and Gardening Podcasts
Wow! I didn't realize how long it has been since I had produced a podcast or blog post. But in my defense, Fall/Winter of 2013, & early 2014 were difficult times. First my younger brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly and really hit the family hard. Following this, we had some terrible wildfires that even took out some of my raised beds. Then, as we moved into Autumn, around Thanksgiving I came down with that terrible cold/flu that was going around. One day I would think I was getting better, and the next thing I knew I was down again. This continued past Christmas 2013 through Early January 2014. I do want to put that year behind me. But I really don't want this to become a pity party, just an explanation. Part of the wake up call was that life is short and we need to visit places we haven't seen, see relatives we havent seen in a long time, etc. As a result of this and the intense drought here, we intend to be on the road quite a bit this summer and not have a garden at home. I am also in "retirement" so covering all the expenses of a podcast at times has been becoming somewhat overwhelming. 'Nuff' said! Much of the country is still in the throes of one of the toughest winters on record. My daughter in Minnesota has kept me informed of how rough it was there this winter, so I can pretty well picture the rest of you too. But rest assured, it will soon be melting and we will all be thinking of what to plant, how to plant it, and when to get started. So this makes it a perfect time to decide if you want to start your own seeds for planting later on. By doing so, you can choose plants you may not find in your local garden center. To me, that is a big advantage. If you haven't started your own plants before, you should build your own seed starting rack. If your needs are small you can still do so in your windowsill. Window sills are especially good for herbs which you can doo all winter in fact. Racks can be as simple as wood legs with shelves, or you can buy metal shelving at Discounters like Costco, Sams Club, etc. On the underside of each shelf, hang a inexpensive fluorescent shop light. I used some small length of chain I picked up at Home Depot. Some people get picky about getting day time temperature lamps for them, but in my experience, I haven't found it makes much difference for this purchase. Run the shop lights into a timer so you can have the lights automatically turn themselves on and off. Leave them on for
31 minutes | Sep 19, 2013
GYG-101 Preserving Your Grub
It's that time of year again when all our hard earned produce becomes ripe and ready to eat. But after a week or two of Tomatoes, or squash, or (fill in the Blanks) you start to wonder if there is a way you can save some of that great homegrown food for later in the year, or better yet, winter time The good news is there are ways to do this. Many of us know of Canning but may not know just how to start. But there are actually three ways you can preserve your food both safe and reliable. Canning Freezing DeHydrating Each of these methods could have a post or book of their own, so I wlll simply hit the highpoints and provide you with a link to a site where you can find much more information should you choose. I personally use all three methods, after finding somethings see to taste better to me frozen than canned, and dehydrated food has such a long shelf life. I will be discussing these types of processing in more detail on the next podcast, but I wanted to get this information out to you as soon as I could. Canning Canning is the oldest method and involves either a Hot water bath for vegetables with a high acid content like tomatoes, but for vegetables like beans and peas with low acid content, you need to use a pressure Cooker style canning. The first thing you should get as it will become your "Bible" is the Ball "Blue Book of Canning". It not only describes the types of canning, but also provides many recipes for safe canning But unlike normal recipes, you shouldn't vary these recipes much ( at first at least) as they have been closely tested for safety and health issues. Otherwise, you may have problems with issues like botulism, which is nothing to mess with. With Canning, you sterilize glass jars and place your recpe solution in the jar. It is then sealed with a 2 piece lid, and placed into the Water Filled "Canner" to cook for a set amount of time, based on the recipe. At the conclusion of cooking, the hot jars are removed and allowed to sit overnight and col. As they col, the lid will seal and sometimes even "pop" audibly when the seal happens. After the jars are cool, they can be labeled, given as gits, or placed in the pantry. Freezing Freezing has become my favorite for some foods like green beans or peas. Now when I say freezing, I don't mean something as simple as throwing food into a zip-loc food bag and tossing it into the freezer. Freezer Burn will quickly ruined food left in there that way. I use and recommend a
26 minutes | Aug 11, 2013
GYG-100 Tomato Hornworm Control and Homemade Tomato Sauce
Manduca quinquemaculata One of the most devastating garden pests is now making the rounds. If you haven't had a visit from the Tomato HornWorn, consider yourself lucky. Theses beasts can devour a complete tomato plant in a day or two. About the diameter of an adult male's thumb and up to 5 inches long, you can imagine the damage they can do. But there is also help for us from the insect world. Parasitic wasps will lay eggs on these critters which then survive by living off the hornworm and eventually killing it. As you can see in the photo at right, the eggs appear as small kernels of rice. This is a GOOD sign and proof that we need to be careful about killing other insects around our garden. One way you can observe them is to place all yopu find on a sacrificial tomato plant while they eat. If you just want to get rid of these beasts, just pluck them off and squish them or drop in a bucket of water. They spread by the "Hawk Moth" or Manduca quinquemaculata laying eggs on the leaves of the plant. The eggs hatch and turn into the green monster as it's larval stage where it does the most damage. It then cocoons up near the Fall and a new moth emerges in the Spring. Some control can be had by some cultivation where your tomato plants were, and by rotating to another planter or field. Dill, nasturtiums, and some other plants interspersed between your plants will also sometimes help. I just plucked mine off and dropped into some water. never had any more after that. One of the best descriptions on these beasts complete with photos can be found at http://www.gardengrapevine.com/TomatoWorm.html. Homemade Tomato Sauce One of the best uses for tomatoes as far as I am concerned is good old homemade tomato sauce. Cut the core from the top of each tomato. Cut an 'X' in the bottom of each tomato. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and when boiling drop in the tomatoes. After a minute or two, or when you see the skin peeling, pull them out. I use a Spider ( Chinese cooking tool) and drop into a container of ice water to shock them. Peel the skin off each tomato ( it will come off easily) Slice up the tomatoes, removing the tough parts and seeds. Heat up a dutch oven or stock pot and add about a tablespoon of Olive oil or so to the pan. After the oil warms up, add the mirepoix ( carrots, onions, and celery) and garlic, sauteing until they start to soften. Add in the tomatoes, a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, and a 1/2
29 minutes | Jul 11, 2013
GYG-099 Hot Weather Gardening
Although I made this video a couple of years ago, the recent hot weather I experienced for the past two weeks reminded me of the importance of knowing how to garden in hot weather. I know most of these are common sense, but I did want to share these tips with you so you won't become a statistic. Keep hydrated - bring lots of water Wear a long sleeve shirt and don't be afraid of sunscreen. Overalls are rugged, cool and work for men or women Always wear a hat- I like broad brimmed Wesgtern hats or garden hats. Wear Sunglasses Do the gardening Chores in early morning or in the evening as it cools off. Use an ice-wrap around your neck to keep cool Keep bandanas - useful for many things like ice bandanas, bandage, head cover, sweat, etc Water - STAY HYDRATED! Drink lots of water. Have a bottle or two on hand with you somewhere. many places sell small water bottles for hikers that keep your water cool for quite a while. Although the bottled water you can easily find in any store works, I don't like to use them as the plastic left behind is such a mess in landfills. The hiker bottles clip on my belt better anyway. Performing your chores in the early morning while it's still cool will not only be better for you, but your plants will also be better set for watering, weeding, etc than later in the day with a hot sun overhead. Find a cotton long sleeve work shirt for gardening. It will reduce bug bites, thorns, and most importantly sunburn. If extremely hot, wet down the sleeves with water and as it evaporates it will make you feel cooler. Wearing overalls may not look the greatest, but you will be amazed at how much cooler they will keep you. This works equally good for men or women, Always wear a hat when oout in the garden. Broad briommed western style or garden hats are the best, usually in a straw material to help you stay cool. If you are out when it rains someday, you will also learn of some additional benefits like no rain down the back of youor neck. Always wear sunglasses. As an eye doctor told me once, "most people have no clue how much damage bright sun can place on your eyes." Believe him and always wear a pair outside. I have several, including a cheap pair I keep in a mailbox I keep in the garden as a storage box. Ice Neck Wraps - There are small neck wraps filled with a chemical that allows you to freeze them and tie them around your neck. As they thaw it keeps you cool. Unfortunately in my experience the
27 minutes | Jun 28, 2013
GYG-098 Tips Taking a Vacation – While Having a Garden
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to raise – yes, raise – the limits for glyphosate residue allowed on fruits and vegetables sold in the U.S. stores. Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Roundup, Monsanto’s widely used broad-spectrum herbicide. MIT Report on Glysophate Health Issues In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean." Is there any wonder why we don't trust them on the GMO issue? Vacations with a Garden Now that it's summertime, many of you will want to take a well deserved vacation. But how doi you do that with an active garden? Here are some tips we discuss on the podcast. Install a Drip Irrigation System on a Timer Be sure to Mulch Check around the Garden and Clean up before leaving Feed the Plants before you leave with some organic fertilizer Find a Garden Nanny ( Take Photos of Garden) Plan some Time in the Garden on Your Return. Chemical Spray Drift Problems Master Gardener Steven Graves wrote in about some problems he is having with spray from a nerby farm drifting in on his garden and some possible solutions. In that discussion, the following radio shows/podcasts are mentioned: Bob Webster - http://ktsa.com/pages/6341589.php Howard Garrett - The Dirt Doctor - http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Dirt-Doctor-Radio-Broadcast-Archivesbr_vq1726.htm Farmer Fred - Farmer Fred Rants
30 minutes | Jun 16, 2013
GYG-097 Heavy Duty Tomato Cages
This past month has been a tough one for many here in the US. First, the Moore Oklahoma Tornados hit, we had a 5.7 earthquake here in Northern California, follwed by wildfires here and in many places in the country, especially in Colorado. All these emergencies really help to point out how important being prepared is. Thats one of the main reasons many of us, myself included, are trying to grow and preserve our own food. If we have a supply of preserved food, whether it's canned, dehydrated, or frozen we will have a much better chance or weathering the storm so to speak than the average Joe or Jane who relies on the Food system for all of their needs. I know I beat this statistic to death here, but it's so important to keep in mind that on average most stores and supermarket only have a 3 day supplie of goods in stock based on current demand. If demand shoots up or we have something that prevents the trucks from coming in like storms, fuel shortages, or ????? what will they do. On a more personal note, my kid brother in law who was a very athletic outdoorsy person, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. So why am I talking about this with you? Simple - I want to share with you what I FINALLY came to realize. Enjoy each day to it's full potential. Don't put off important things till later. Spend time with your family, take those vacations. As much as possible, live today to its fullest. That means don't spend all your life working late for that career. Your company only cares as long as it takes to replace you. Your family and friends care more. Whether you are working for someone or own your own business, find work that you LOVE to do. Don't just accept the job as it is. This little step can reduce stress and make your life more filling. Don't put off those special events. Things like vacation, family gatherings, etc are important not just for you but everyone else too. As we found out with my kid Brother-in-law, you never know when they are going to leave you. Deer Protection The main ways to protect your garden are Fences and dogs, but fences can be expensive. I had a 7 foot deer fence in Texas, but I got careless here in California. One night a roving herd cleared my entire Tomato crop, and pruned my Peach tree. This Winter's project? Guess what? A deer fence. Ground too hard to gig in the summer here ( Clay). Within the enclosure I'll have raised beds with a couple more peach and fruit trees. Sturdy Tomato Cages Thanks to Eric at
35 minutes | May 20, 2013
GYG-096 Composting Made Simple
Before I get started on Composting, here is a video that explains the balance needed for hot composting, and does it very well. Compost if one of the most important ingredients to add to your vegetable garden. It adds nutrient back to the soil, and can reduce garbage otherwise sent to the landfill. But to many it's a complicated process with "browns", "greens", ratios, hot compost, cold compost etc. I hope to help you clear the subject a bit so you can get started making your own compost. Successful composting needs 4 things: 1.Greens 2.Browns 3.Air 4.Water “Green” or “Brown” does not refer to the color. Refers to the Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio. Those highest in Nitrogen are called “Greens”. Higher in Carbon called Browns. Greens •Grass Clippings •Vegetable trimmings •Animal Manures ( well composted) •Tea Bags, coffee grounds •Old Flower Bouquets Browns •Straw •sawdust •wood shavings •branches Start Keeping Kitchen Scraps, Lawn Trimmings for your compost pile. You can find compost pails with odor filters online, or if you prefer, keep a big box store 5 gal bucket with lid outside your kitchen door, emptying it to your pile when possible. I have found it is best to keep your pile as near to your garden as possible as you will have a lot to add to the pile from the garden throughout the season. Bowl on the counter or bucket on the porch Types of composting Hot Compost Balance the browns ( carbon materials) to the Greens ( Nitrogen material to get roughly a 30:1 mixture When starting out in sometimes help to have a “recipe” of sorts for fast hot compost. Example Compost recipe: 3 parts fresh grass clippings 1 part kitchen scraps 1 part damp straw Prepare the materials: cut chunky materials like melon rinds into roughly 1” chunks for faster decomposition. Manage the moisture. keep a hose nearby to keep the pile moist Be sure to frequently turn the mixture with a garden fork or pitchfork. Check internal temp with a compost thermometer, adding water or a nitrogen booster like grass clippings or high protein meal like Soybean or cottonseed meal. These are inexpensive and organic. Finish and Cure When no longer warm, it should be ready to use. Cold Compost Can sometimes be better than hot compost as it doesn’t kill of some of the beneficial organisms that are so important to our soil. Slow but less labor intensive - a year or more Build in Some Balance Plan for passive aeration Build a healthy heap Patient
35 minutes | Apr 26, 2013
GYG-095 Drip Irrigation – It’s Easy!
In an earlier Episode, I spoke about how effective and easy it was to extend your growing season with a hoophouse like Elliot Coleman wrote about in his books. Listener Rev John Watton did me one better and shared some photos of his success in Newfoundland, Canada. That's Zone 4, Folks. These photos were taken on April 12th, 2013. As you can see there is snow and cold outside, yet inside his hoophouse he is enjoying Bok Choy, Lettuce, and Spinach. Way to Go Rev Watton! Although many of you are still struggling with cold, snow, and flooding, soon it will be time to get your outdoor garden ready and that should mean a way to water ( irrigate it). I am a big fan/believer in drip irrigation for a couple of reasons: Cost Conservation Healthier for the plants ( less diseases past around) Although much of the materiel and tools needed can be found at the local big box stores, I prefer to use http://www.Dripworks.com. They are not the cheapest, but they always have what I need and many new innovations the other stores don't bother with.
44 minutes | Apr 9, 2013
GYG-094 Easy Ways to Garden
This week I decided to discuss 3 Easy ways to Garden for Vegetables. While I concede the third is open for disagreement, I still consider it easier than many other methods, especially fr beginners. Container Gardening Straw-Bale Gardening as taught by Joel Karsten Raised Bed Gardening Joel Karsten ( who has been a guest on this show ) has a new book on Straw Bale Gardening and is full of information, suggestions, and best of all - photographs. The link to the book is on the right side of this page. I highly recommend it. I am trying it out myself this year in addition to my raised beds. I like doing my own tests. The Fruit trees are beginning to show signs of fruit even in the first year planted here ( from 5 gallon buckets ) so am really excited for this season.
38 minutes | Mar 22, 2013
GYG-093 Growing Fruit Trees and Spring Garden Protection
Many vegetable gardeners don't seem to think much about growing their own fruit trees in addition to their vegetables. Many times they think their climate is wrong, it's too muh work, etc. But nothing could be further from the truth. This week I quickly go over the basics of how to get started with your own backyard fruit orchard and how easy it is. Spring Garden Protection We also talk about using row covers to protect your early plants from pests like cabbage worms, vine borers, etc. But the can also be used to simply keep the bed warmer, and with the use of plastic instead, can be made into a mini-greenhouse, much like John Watton from Newfoundland has done. In Johns case, he did have a small unheated greenhouse, and he created a little low tunnel inside it and has an early start on Spring crops with no heat. If John can pull it off in Newfoundland, imagine what you can do in your location. Recommended Fruit Books Grow Fruit Naturally by Lee Reich ( my main reference) Fruit Trees in Small Places by Colby Eirman Rhw Home Orchard by the University of California ( Focus is on California but it still has a lot of goof info).
30 minutes | Feb 14, 2013
GYG-090 Garden Journals, Planning Tools, and Why You Need Them
It's been an interesting week so far. I am still planning out the Spring Garden preparing the plots by leveling and in many cases “de-rocking” them. I have a couple of raised bed frames a neighbor donated, and I am building up new ones. Finding a good source of bulk soil is next on the list and so far, I really haven't found anything I like. The New Shop/Garage base was finally inspected and passed so I can have the concrete base poured now. I will be glad to finally get this over with. I need better storage for my tractor, garden tools, and a place to fix things. The main Focus this week is on tools for planning and how they can help you improve your organic garden journal activities. Notebook Journal The old standby. The main way to keep a garden journal is also the cheapest – a simple 3 Ring Binder. This is one you should set up no matter which of these tools you might choose since you can print them out an add them to the notebook, along with Erica's useful Tracking sheets. Smartgardener.com Is a free service that helps you plan your garden online. While it is free, they do try and market “add-ons” to make the job simpler. While I liked what they offered, I dis have some problems getting the templates rotated, and set up the way I wanted GrowVeg.com This is my favorite online Planning site and it seems to improve more and more each year. With a huge database of plants, it helps not only size the number of plants you can fit in a given area, but with a color code, will show you what can and cannot be planted with each other. Click on the GrowVeg link on the Right side if you want more information. NWEdible.Com My newest find is the Garden Planner from Erica Strauss at NWEdible.com. While I am usually skeptical about online “e-books”, this one at $16 is worth far more than it's price. Erica has put a lot of time into this planner with charts, forms, templates, and all sorts of pages you can use or choose not to. Erica also has a page where she gives many useful forms away for free. Please take a look at it before deciding. Favor To Ask I am looking at bringing out either a series of Gardening E-Books, or DVD's, or both. I ask you if they were on something you were interested in, which format would you prefer? Deadly Compost Finally there is a extremely important article on compost issues I speak about from Mother Earth News. Please read it and keep it in mind as you look for compost. Read the Art
36 minutes | Feb 7, 2013
GYG-089 Remember Rotation in Your Garden Plans
Well, after many months of moving, projects, setbacks, and just plain having a “sour” attitude, I think I'm back! I got my “fever” back so we should hopefully be back on a more predictable schedule. Part of what helped me get motivated once again were all the very kind emails I received after mentioning I was thinking of closing down the show. I heard from many of you, most recently: Kathy O’Keefe – Perth, Australia Tim Ratliff in Memphis Tennessee Stephen Graves in Kentucky Too many more to mention I want to deeply thank all of you who posted or emailed me directly. As a result, ( and partially a new years resolution, I have given myself a schedule I will be aiming at. My current plans are to post at least one new Blog post per week, posted on Mondays, and I want to produce one new podcast each week on Wednesday, with a Thursday release, just like this one. There may be missed deadlines, but I will publish a podcast every other week as a minimum. I have new listeners sighing up every week, so I will be covering a lot of the basics, as I look at “Growing Your Grub” as aimed at the beginner to intermediate gardener. Heavens knows a lot of people know far more than I. I just share what I have learned and what has worked for me. Clyde's Garden Planner In this episode, I describe a tool that has become a “must have” for me, and it's very inexpensive. It is Clyde's Garden Planner, and it works just as well for Fall Scheduling as it does for Spring. We were mentioned on Sustainablog.org this past month, and I wanted to thank to folks over there for mentioning us with a link It's an interesting website on all aspects of green living, sustainability, and much more. Give them a look at http://www.sustainablog.org Vertical Vegetable Gardening by Christine McLaughlin I recently read a new garden book from Chris McLaughlin on “Vertical Vegetable Gardening”. This book is full of great tips and ideas on small space gardening but she goes much much farther. Topics like Composting, Soil Building, and many more topics every gardener should know that will apply to conventional gardening as well. They're at it Again Mark Bittman in the NY Times posted a very interesting article about how the city of Orlando Florida is threatening a homeowner with massive fines if he doesn't remove/reduce his front yard food garden. Seems they want all to grow grass and not food. Mr Bittman ( Food Columnist and cookbook author) mak
39 minutes | Oct 30, 2012
GYG-087 Grow Your Own Organic Garlic!
Must watch Video - Farmageddon. In this episode I discuss the two types of garlic and how easy they are to grow. Whether you choose Hardneck or Softneck, homegrown Garlic adds a nice touch to almost any meal. Prop 37 Prop 37 ( Label GMO Food) is being fought with millions of dollars funneled by the big Food companies. All we want is to know. No tax, no bans, no surcharges - just let us know whats in our food No matter what state you are in, the outcome of this legislation has the potential to impact you and your family. Aquaponics or Hydroponics what are they? This week I want to talk a little about each and share a video link where you can see it put into practice. The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Nikki Jabbour This book on year round vegetable gardening is my new must read book. Next to Elliot Colemans excellent book on the same subject, this book helps any gardener get started and improve their gardens production all year round. The author lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia so she knows about cold weather growing. Now that Fall is upon us with Winter soon to come, what better activity than to read and learn about techniques to help us grow all year round.
36 minutes | Sep 29, 2012
GYG-086 Fall Garden Prep Part 2 & Know Your GMO
Genetic Roulette Please see this Movie! Movie Web Site GMO's are becoming such an important topic and political hot potato you need to keep aware. Fall Garden Prep Part 2 Wrap up your harvest Take out any diseased plants, cut up stalks, plant residue, etc leave in the garden Add Compost Add Mulch Take a soil test and add any organic amendments you might need Drain water from any irrigation you may have, take in items that may freeze Clean out an scrub any pots, terra cotta etc and store indoors so not to break it . Map out plant locations and plan your rotation for next year. Important On The Farm Back in Texas this week due to wife’s surgery - all is well and will travel back to the farm in California later in the week. Thanks for all the prayers and wishes. One of the things I was so looking forward to was being able to return to growing my food directly in the ground, and not need to bring soil in to fill raised beds. As I have mentioned in the past, I was surprised to find out clay like ( rock hard) the soil was here ( all was green when we looked at it), and the large number of rocks and gophers. Not sure which are worse. Knowing what goes into and on my food is too important to me. Not growing isn’t even an option. I have decided to return to raised beds and have been building and designing where the best location will be. In the meantime, I have been building bed frames and will lay them out only after I get the main lines for irrigation brought in. Trenching for the lines isn’t easy in this hard soil, but I am also going to try a couple of new techniques too. I am bringing a 1/2 inch pvc into each bed, so I can individually control pressure and timing. Delivery from My well is limited so I need to closely monitor my demands. My new neighbors tell me that all digging, trenching, etc is usually done in the Winter of Spring after the ground has been softened by the Winter Rains. In addition to the benefit of more quickly getting soil, the beds will provide gopher protection, warm up sooner in the spring, and provide some much needed drainage in this area of heavy clay. Meanwhile, I will be busy amending the soil to improve it and eventually be able to better use it. This Fall I plan to plant a cover crop of legumes or soil builder mix fro growOrganic.com and mow it in the spring. If possible I will dig it into the soil, but if it’s too hard I may need to use a tiller to get the process started. ( I know, I
40 minutes | Sep 19, 2012
GYG-085 Planning for Drought – and Trouble on the Farm
Over this past month, I experienced some well problems on the new farm. Well, more than just a little, we ran out for a while. Not being experienced with wells, I called in an expert who found that my well is a low producer, something the original inspection failed to point out. In the process of adding a 2500 Gallon Storage tank and secondary pump, I thought I would talk about the importance of water and preparing for drought conditions. Rain Barrels - The answer for Free Water - In this episode I spend some time talking about rain barrels, and how easy they are to set up. Big Box store rain barrels are expensive, but with a little hunting online, you can find several sources at a lower cost of 55 Gallon Food Grade barrels, which is all they are. Rain Barrel installation and planning Info Master Gardeners even have a Rainwater Harvesting Specialist Course Rain Barrels Divert water from storm drain systems and thus reduce pollutants and the velocity of water entering local rivers and streams; Store high quality water for gardens; Direct overflow water away from building foundations to more desired locations; Reduce water and sewer bills, as well as electrical bills from sump pump usage. Drip Irrigation Very important tool in water conservation Better for plants too Use Fall and Winter season to plan next years configuration Mulch & Compost Material Mulch helps hold in moisture, and prevent evaporation Compost holds even more moisture, under the mulch Plans for a Inexpensive Hoophouse I forgot to include in the last episode. This online article is well dewscribed with lots of photos. Take a look. $50 Hoophouse Plans
50 minutes | Aug 26, 2012
GYG-084 Hoop Houses, Low Tunnels & Greenhouses – What are they?
This episode runs a little longer than usual, and after putting it together, I noticed I spent more time just talking about whats been happening around here, and discussing two very interesting emails I received from listeners. First there was the article on how Gardening is helping the developmentally Disabled which was exciting to me. The fact that something as simple as gardening can not only help our health, but also many other unexpe3cted side benefits, I do get interested. Please read the article yourself at Gardening Helps developmentally Disabled http://www.chron.com/life/article/Gardening-provides-job-skills-behavioral-3778286.php Listener Email Kimberly Stevens of the UK, emailed talking about moving to raised beds, as her soil there is very much like mine - Clay and rocks . And, judging from her photos, whatever she is doing is working. Good going, Kimberly. We then hear from Sarah who provides us with several tips on everything from Cat Control to Using the FoodSaver with Moist items like sauces, etc. I used the technique this past week to seal some Syruped Nectarines I made from my tree this year. Give it a try if you use a food Saver and let us know what you think. Hoop Houses, Low Tunnels, and Greenhouses (Extending the Season) Greenhouse Basics We all love our home grown fruits and vegetables. We know how they were cared for, we know there are no pesticides on them, and in general taste much better than anything you can find in the store. But if they are so great, why do we only have them in the Summer? What if you could grow many of these same vegetables earlier in the Spring, Later in the Fall, or even all year round? Well, brace yourself. Most likely you can! I’m talking about the different ways you can extend your growing season, either by letting you start earlier, or letting you grow later in the season, even after frosts hit your area. Low Tunnels and Hoop Houses The cheapest and easiest is what is called a low tunnel. This is simply a small frame placed over your growing area, either a row or even a raised bed. Most times, people use curved sections of PVC plastic irrigation pipe bent in a curve to form the ribs whish are held in place by a short section of steel re-bar driven into the ground along each side of the garden row or raised bed. Once this frame is in place you can cover it with a form of Fabric which will hold the temperature inside as much as 5 degrees warmer than the o
35 minutes | Aug 12, 2012
GYG-083 Fall Garden Preparation
This week I decided it was getting time to talk about preparing your Fall Garden. Even if you don't plan on growing anything ( but you should) there are certain things you should do in the Fall to make your garden better prepared for Spring Planting next year. Dead Leaves The more the better, pile them on! You can collect from your own yard, or with caution even collect from the neighbors as they rake them up and put in plastic bags on the curb for the city. Ask permission, but most folks don't mind. Old Straw Watch out for seeds in hay. Straw is much cleaner and better for the garden as it has none of the seeds that come with hay. Compost from Grass, Kitchen and Garden Clippings Here's one of the reasons you composted all summer long. Spread it out across the garden to take advantage of all those nutrients as it decays over the winter. Worm Castings Worm "Poo" from Vermicomposting is wonderful stuff. If you don't keep your own worms, look in your local garden center before they prep their shelves for winter. Pine Needles While pine needles can be terrific, be careful with how much you use. They can be a little acidic. If you get too manyh, you can offset it a little by adding some agricultural lime. Cottonseed Meal A great way to add Nitrogen and some other nutrients. Egg Shells These add calcium which is needed by vegetables Manures Horse, cow, chicken or rabbit, no more than a inch or two, and be sure it has composted down a bit and is dry. Try raising your own rabbits or chickens for your own supply. Green Manures Green manure is simply some just plants which grow well during the off season and dig down deeply with their roots, then are turned under in spring to breakdown before planting. This type of composting creates organic material in the soil, does deep digging for you, and can even add nitrogen if you use bean type (legume) plants. Red Clover and Annual Rye grass will grow in the winter months and when turned under, will release nitrogen as it breaks down. Fall Gardening Many of the cool weather crops you raised in the Spring, can be raised for another cool season in the Fall. Bush Beans, Snap Peas, carrots, and many others can be grown late in the year and with the use of a cold frame, can even be grown through the winter in cold areas, much like Elliot Coleman does in Maine. If you need help planning when to plant, remember to pick up one of Clydes Planners that will tell you when to plant, how to plant, and
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